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Final Project Assignment Instructions
A marketing company based out of New York City is doing well and is looking to expand internationally. The CEO and VP of Operations decide to enlist the help of a consulting firm that you work for, to help collect data and analyze market trends.
You work for Mercer Human Resources. The Mercer Human Resource Consulting website lists prices of certain items in selected cities around the world. They also report an overall cost-of-living index for each city compared to the costs of hundreds of items in New York City (NYC). For example, London at 88.33 is 11.67% less expensive than NYC.
More specifically, if you choose to explore the website further you will find a lot of fun and interesting data. You can explore the website more on your own after the course concludes.
In the Excel document, you will find the 2018 data for 17 cities in the data set Cost of Living. Included are the 2018 cost of living index, cost of a 3-bedroom apartment (per month), price of monthly transportation pass, price of a mid-range bottle of wine, price of a loaf of bread (1 lb.), the price of a gallon of milk and price for a 12 oz. cup of black coffee. All prices are in U.S. dollars.
You use this information to run a Multiple Linear Regression to predict Cost of living, along with calculating various descriptive statistics. This is given in the Excel output (that is, the MLR has already been calculated. Your task is to interpret the data).
Based on this information, in which city should you open a second office in? You must justify your answer. If you want to recommend 2 or 3 different cities and rank them based on the data and your findings, this is fine as well.
This should be ¾ to 1 page, no more than 1 single-spaced page in length, using 12-point Times New Roman font. You do not need to do any calculations, but you do need to pick a city to open a second location at and justify your answer based upon the provided results of the Multiple Linear Regression.
The format of this assignment will be an Executive Summary. Think of this assignment as the first page of a much longer report, known as an Executive Summary, that essentially summarizes your findings briefly and at a high level. This needs to be written up neatly and professionally. This would be something you would present at a board meeting in a corporate environment. If you are unsure of an Executive Summary, this resource can help with an overview. What is an Executive Summary?
Things to Consider:
To help you make this decision here are some things to consider:
Based on the MLR output, what variable(s) is/are significant?
From the significant predictors, review the mean, median, min, max, Q1 and Q3 values?
It might be a good idea to compare these values to what the New York value is for that variable. Remember New York is the baseline as that is where headquarters are located.
Based on the descriptive statistics, for the significant predictors, what city has the best potential?
What city or cities fall are below the median?
What city or cities are in the upper 3rd quartile?
What is an Executive Summary?
While Alchemer has powerful built-in reporting features that are easy to use and present, sometimes you need an executive summary to preface the results of any particularly large or important online survey or research project. An executive summary efficiently summarizes a larger business plan while communicating key findings and takeaways from your research, as well as proposed courses of action.
For example, if a company performs a competitor analysis prior to deciding whether or not to move in a different strategic direction, a business plan would be put together to articulate findings and suggest the next steps. This business plan would open with an executive summary.
As such, an executive summary quickly becomes the most important element of any business plan.
Executive summaries should include the following components:
An explanation of why the research was performed
The results that the research yielded
Proposed suggestions for how management or leadership should best alter strategies based on the findings of research
Writing an executive summary can be a daunting task. It can be difficult to know where to start, what to write about, or how it should be structured.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how to write an effective executive summary.
How to Write an A+ Executive Summary
Write it last.
No matter what online survey software you use, the research you perform is only truly valuable when it’s able to inform business decisions and strategies.
Once your online survey is performed, there is work to be done in terms of packaging your findings to leadership in a way that easily communicates the need for a new strategy. The most straightforward way to do this is to create a business plan that includes all of your research, findings, and suggestions. This business plan naturally requires an executive summary.
Crafting the executive summary of your business plan after writing every other part of the report is the best practice. This ensures that you can build out a summary that represents the remainder of the plan as accurately as possible.
Capture the reader’s attention.
While an executive summary should be informative in nature, it should also capture the audience’s attention immediately so that they are motivated to read the remainder of the document. Even while crafting an objective presentation of your research findings and the proposed direction that your business, never forget that you want to inspire excitement in your audience!
At the end of your executive summary, your audience — whether they be an investor, banker, advisor, or executive — should be eager to read on. Your executive summary should be thorough, but it should not reveal everything. Your audience should be encouraged by the summary to read the remainder of your report if they want the full story.
Make sure your executive summary can stand on its own.
With a clearly defined structure, an executive summary can be a standalone piece. Without one, however, it would need the support of the entire report to make an impact. Strive for the former, not the latter.
If your executive summary can’t stand on its own, consider revising it until it can.
A tightly informative introduction, body, and conclusion should allow someone with no prior knowledge of your business or industry to read your executive summary and understand the key findings from your research, and the primary elements of your business plan.
Think of an executive summary as a more condensed version of your business plan.
Your executive summary should be directly aligned with the rest of your larger business plan. While writing your executive summary, read through your business plan and take the most vital information from each section. Numbers, facts, and goals in your business plan should be consistent with your executive summary.
Your executive summary should highlight the best features of your business plan. For example, if you’ve identified a primary advantage you should be leveraging, your executive summary should include this advantage.
Include supporting research.
Support the claims you make in your executive summary and the business plan with research, and cite this research via footnotes in your business plan.
Boil it down as much as possible.
One of the most essential aspects of an executive summary is succinctness. You should condense your summary as much as possible, with the goal of getting all of the vital information onto one page. The more succinct you are, the clearer your message will be, and the more confidence your readers will have in your plan.
Start with a BANG.
Including a thought-provoking statistic, or an inspiring and relevant quote at the beginning of your summary will capture the reader’s attention and get them thinking on the track that you want them to.
Keep things positive.
Your executive summary should focus only on the positive elements of your research and business plan. Leave the discussion of risks, obstacles, and challenges for the body section of your plan. Keep a positive tone and use upbeat language in your summary.
The Five-Paragraph Formula for an Effective Executive Summary
An effective executive summary can be broken down into five key paragraphs.
Paragraph 1: Provide an overview of your business.
As mentioned, you can get your readers thinking along the track you’d like them to by including a quote or statistic in the first paragraph of your executive summary. This first paragraph is also where you should provide the name and nature of your business, and relevant insights about your industry.
Paragraph 2: Discuss target market, competition, and marketing strategy.
Your second paragraph should include a clear and concise definition of your target market, and the need or pain point that your business will aim to solve.
Next, outline the competitive landscape of your industry, and the advantage that your particular business possesses.
Your marketing strategy should hinge on the three primary ways that you plan on reaching your target market. Focusing on just the three strongest points of your marketing strategy will maintain precision, and get your readers excited to explore the rest of your plan.
Paragraph 3: Provide an overview of operational highlights.
The third paragraph of your executive summary should provide operational highlights such as where your company offices will be located, whether or not you will incorporate or remain a sole proprietor, or whether you will serve as a brick and mortar or online business.
Paragraph 4: Show forecasting.
Here you should make sales forecasting projections for one and two years after your business plan has been implemented. Calculate your break even point, and inform your audience of when you project to turn a profit.
Paragraph 5: Detail your investment needs.
If your business requires financing, this is where you should go into detail about the investment needs of your business. The number you include here should be clear, and should align with your projections from the previous paragraph.
You should now have the tools and knowledge to draft an effective executive summary to back up your online survey findings. Hopefully, this article has alleviated some of the overwhelming feelings that come with getting the ball rolling.
MATH302 Final Project Description
Evaluation/Grading of your Final Project
Math 302 Final Project will open up Friday morning of Week 6 in the course. You have 3 full
weekends to review and work on the Final Project.
Content addressed in the Final Project
In the final project, you are given a data set and a regression output. The concept of a data set
should be something that you are familiar with because you collected one during Week 1.
There are descriptive statistics that go along with said data set, which should also be familiar
because you calculated descriptive statistics during Week 2.
The Regression output won’t look familiar to you until Week 7. Once you go through the
Lessons and the Discussion Forum, (particularly your second response post) you should be
familiar on how to run a Regression and what a Regression output looks like from the
ToolPak. By the end of Week 7, you will have all the information needed to write up the Final
Project. There is nothing new that you learn in Week 8 needed for the write up of the final
Final Project Overview
The final project is worth 100 points and no calculations are needed. You will write up an
Executive Summary on what city you chose to open a second location in and justify the results.
Again, no calculations are needed because you will be writing up your own Executive Summary
that will then be submitted through Turnitin. From Turnitin, an originality report will be
generated. No Turnitin report should exceed 20% of originality because you are writing this up
in your own words. If any originality report is over 20%, then further action will need to be
required from your instructor. This can include an automatic failure and 0 for plagiarism. If you
have questions on what Academic Plagiarism is, please contact your instructor.
1) Executive Summary – up to 10%
a. Please review what an Executive Summary looks like:
▪ What is an Executive Summary?
b. Must have cover page.
2) Grammar – up to 10%
a. Spell and grammar check your work.
b. Make sure you have correct punctuation and complete sentences.
3) State significant predictors – up to 25%
a. Must state which predictors are significant at predicting Cost of Living and how
do you know.
b. Show the comparison to alpha to state your results and conclusion.
c. Do these significant predictors make sense, if you want to relocate?
4) Discuss descriptive statistics for the significant predictors – up to 25%
a. From the significant predictors, review the mean, median, min, max, Q1 and Q3
b. What city or cities fall above or below the median and/or the mean?
c. What city or cities are in the upper 3rd quartile? Or the bottom quartile?
d. How do these predictors compare to the baseline of NYC? What cost more or
less money than NYC?
5) Recommend at least 2 cities to open a second location in – up to 30%
a. You must justify your answer for full credit.
b. You need to use the Significant Predictors AND Descriptive Statistics in your
c. Justification without the use of Significant Predictors WILL NOT get full credit.
d. Justification without the use of Descriptive Statistics WILL NOT get full credit.
You need to use both.
e. For example, let’s look back at London. London at 88.33, is 11.67% less
expensive than NYC. But that doesn’t mean London is a good place to open a
second location once you discuss the significant predictors and how it relates
back to each city.
f. Use what you have learned in the course and analyze all the data not just what
you see on the surface.
g. You must use the numbers and the output to justify your answers. Do not use
any outside resources to justify your answer. Only use Significant Predictors
AND Descriptive Statistics.