STA-213 Business Statistics II
Please read the following information to understand the requirements of the class project. If you have questions about what is expected on the project, please ask them in the discussion area on Blackboard so that others can benefit from the answer. If you have questions about your specific project idea or analysis, please email them to or request for time to meet.
Each student will turn in a project that involves collection and analysis of data, utilizing techniques taught in this course, or other approved techniques. This project will be worth 10% of each student’s grade. There are two deliverables required of each student:
1. Project Proposal – a one page document that describes the project. This will be worth 10% of the overall project grade.
2. Final Report – a document that thoroughly describes the objectives of the project, the data collected conclusions and observations, and a summary of things that the student learned about data collection and analysis. This will be worth 90% of the overall project grade.
Students should write their own report, but may consult at any time with anyone in order to generate ideas, get feedback, and ask questions about their report.
Due: Thursday, September 24th
Value: 10% of the project grade
The project proposal is a non-binding, one-page, typed document that must include two sections. The purpose of the proposal is for you to obtain feedback on your project idea, so that you know your idea has the potential to be successful, and/or you know what you need to do to modify it so that it can be successful. Your proposal must include the following sections:
1. Objectives: List the topic you plan to investigate and the specific questions you want to answer in your final report. A list of successful past project topics is included at the end of this document. Be sure to select a topic that will allow you to collect enough data to be successful.
2. Data Collection: List the data you plan to collect and where you plan to collect it from. It will be desirable to have at least 30 samples for quantitative and at least 60 samples for categorical data. It is advisable to collect data for more than one variable so that you can study relationships between variables.
Advice: Whenever possible, collect quantitative data. For example, if you do a survey that asks for age, have the person fill in the blank with their age vs. giving them categories e.g. 17-19, 20-22, etc.
Due: Tuesday, November 24th
Value: 90% of the project grade
The final report will include the following sections:
1. An opening paragraph that summarizes (2-3 sentences) the topic of your report. You can also briefly list a key result if you want.
2. Background – a paragraph or two that sets the context for the work done on the project. For example, this section could include a discussion of project objectives, information on what data was collected, why the data collected is useful to answer the question, and/or when and how the data was collected. It does not have to include all these items, but it should help the reader understand conclusions and other observations made in the report.
3. Conclusions / Observations – this summarizes the main learning(s) supported by the data analyzed. It is better if the information provided is presented in priority order, with the most interesting or important items first.
4. Graphs and calculations supporting conclusions or observations. These may be provided either in the body of the report or as appendices at the end of the report. The latter approach would refer to “appendix C” or “graph 5” as opposed to providing it next to a particular conclusion.
5. Student Reflection – this section the student’s personal reflections from the project. If you were to do the project over again, what would you do the same, and what would you do differently (if anything)? What aspects of the project were easy and went well, what aspects were harder?
Note that the data and contents included in your report will not be shared without your express consent. The topic of your report may be shared anonymously, to give future students ideas for their project.
1. Both deliverables should be typed and include your class and section number.
2. Both deliverables should be submitted in hard copy for full credit (email reports will receive 5% deduction).
3. The Project Plan must be typed, double-spaced, and contain 2 sections as specified earlier in this document.
4. The Final Report formatting is up to you. Readability counts!
The following criteria will be used to grade the final report:
1. On time delivery (20%)
2. Hard copy report (5%)
3. Introduction, background, readability. You should provide information that you think I need to understand the project e.g. the source or method of data collection, information about the topic, and present your report in an easy to read, understandable format. (10%)
4. Quality and quantity of data collected. I will be looking for you to have enough data to apply the techniques and graphs you are using in the report. I also will be looking to see if you measured more than one variable. It is possible to score all points in this category with a small data set, but your report will need to be really interesting to do so. (10%)
5. Correct and rigorous use of an analysis technique(s) taught in this class. You must complete at least one of the following: multiple linear regression, Chi-square, ANOVA, or any non-parametric analysis. You must include output from Statcrunch in your report. It is also OK to also use techniques taught in 212 where appropriate. (15%)
6. Correct conclusions/observations that are supported by your data. Correct conclusions will not receive credit unless they are supported by your analysis. (10%)
7. Depth of analysis/investigation. I will be looking to see if you analyzed your data in depth or if you just did the minimum and did not demonstrate noticeable curiosity about your topic. (10%)
8. Unique or interesting findings. A conclusion that scoring more runs or more points at a sporting event leads to more wins is not particularly interesting or surprising. If your report tells me something I don’t already know, you will meet this requirement. (5%)
9. Student reflections – I will be looking to see if you include your reflections or not. I am interested to read your reflections, but I will not be grading their quality. (5%)
Percentages add up to 90%. I will add in your grade on the project proposal (10%) for the final project score.
I hope you will pick a topic that interests you. The main issue that students run into is getting “enough” data. As a rule of thumb, you will need at least n = 30 data points if you are collecting quantitative data, and at least n = 60 or more data points if you are collecting categorical data (n > 100 is better if you can get it).
The following topics have been selected successfully in the past. These will give you some ideas, but, again, I hope you will select something that interests you.
Note that if you wish to field a survey to collect data, I will field your survey in my classes as long as you get a copy of the survey to me by no later than Thursday, October 8th.
• How many customers enter your workplace during each hour of the day? How much do they spend, and on what items? Which things lead to increased or decreased sales (e.g. does average daily temperature effect ice cream sales?)
• What are the revenues or costs for the business where you work? Which items are best sellers?
• Are your sales forecasts accurate on average? Gather at least 30 daily forecasts and compare them to the actual sales results.
• Does the change in the Dow Jones index vary by day of the week? Does the Dow tend to go up or down at the beginning of trading each day? Gather the daily change in the Dow Jones index.
• Is the advice “sell in May and stay away” correct? For the past 30 years, collect data on the change in the Dow
Jones index for 11/1 through 5/1, and for 5/1 through 11/1, to see if one of those time frames has a larger return than the other. Collect other economic data e.g. the unemployment rate to see how it is related to the 6 month trend in the Dow, or to see if it is higher/lower in these 6 month intervals.
• What is the variation in service time at a drive-thru restaurant? How does it compare to a competitor’s service?
What variables improve service? This topic works best if you are an employee and can access data from the company.
• What is the effect of a loyalty program on visits to the store/restaurant where you work? How frequently to loyalty card or gift card holders buy at the store, what do they buy, and how much do they spend? Again, this works if you are employed at a store that will give you access to cash register receipts.
• How long does it take employees to complete tasks? Do more experienced employees finish faster?
• What factors about vehicles contribute most to mileage estimates? Group cars by weight, # cylinders, horsepower, type of vehicle, etc. and analyze EPA mileage estimates for city & highway mileage.
• Does money spent significantly improve race times or earnings for a sprint cup or drag racer?
• Which statistics contribute most to a golfer’s overall earnings? Get data for a random sample of PGA golfers to find out. (This can be done for almost any sport)
• What is the profile of Major League Baseball players by position? How has it changed compared to 25 years ago? Obtain and analyze relevant offensive and/or defensive statistics from starting first basemen, shortstops, etc. Are there differences between the American & National League?
• Who is the better player, Michael Jordan or LeBron James? Gather several statistics for each player in his prime and compare each one to see if one player or the other is significantly better. (This project has already been done, so pick other/additional players or sports).
• Which team statistics have the most effect on team wins? Most college and professional sports leagues have extensive statistics available online that can be copied into excel and read into Statcrunch.
• What is the statistical profile of starting NFL quarterbacks, and which quarterback statistics contribute most to overall team and offensive success? Are there differences between AFC and NFC quarterbacks?
• What statistical measures are most closely associated with winning? Obtain won/loss records and team statistics from a sport of interest.
• Are their differences in field goal accuracy (basketball or other sports) related to angle or distance? Perform an experiment yourself, or obtain shot charts from a team.
• Which type of workout or pre-workout routine is most effective? Switch up the pre-workout and type of workout, and measure various statistics about the workout results e.g. peak and average heart rate, calories burned, length of workout.
• What are usage patterns and attitudes about social media e.g. Facebook, Twitter? Does gender or age have an impact? Survey people to investigate.
• What proportion of NKU students have had (or have) a medical condition? Past projects analyzed the proportion of students have had a concussion, have been clinically depressed, etc.
• What are NKU student attitudes towards social issues e.g. smoking, abortion rights? Does gender or age, or whether the student smokes, have an impact on their views? Survey to investigate.
• Collect data on US health care spending per capita, and compare it to other countries. Measure the percent change in health care costs over the past several years to see trends and distribution.
• Collect crime statistics e.g. NKU campus crime to analyze trends, determine which types of crimes are most common, etc. For crimes where there is an arrest, what demographic groups are over or under represented?
• Which candidates do NKU students and/or faculty support in the upcoming elections? Do these vary depending on demographics e.g. male/female?
• Which national or local issues are most important to students? If forced to choose between 2 issues, which issue to students think is most important? Generate a survey to ask questions of interest.
• What factors increase NKU students’ satisfaction with their education? Does involvement in campus activities,
Greek life, etc. have an effect? Does this vary by gender? Does it matter if students are working or not?
• What do you spend your money on? Which category is the largest? Is it different than reported figures for the average college student? (If you collect budget data on a daily basis, you will be able to generate 30+ data points over the course of a month)
• What is the price difference between 2 or more stores that you could shop at? Identify a market basket of 30 or more items that you might buy at those stores, and get the prices for those identical items at each store. Categorize the items to see if a store is cheaper in one area than they are in another.
Health Care and Nutrition
• How do e.g. obesity rates, income levels, etc. relate to other health & wellness statistics?
• What is the ingredient and nutrition profile for various foods e.g. fast food burgers, cereal? How does it differ between 2 or more competitors e.g. McDonald’s, BK, Wendy’s?
• What is your daily intake of calories, or other nutritional factors? How do contents of food relate to the calories in food?
• Measure your blood pressure, pulse, etc. How does the time of day, whether or not you just ate, whether your legs are crossed or not affect blood pressure? If you do this daily over the course of a month you will have 30 or more data points.
• If you have a product idea, how many students would be interested in your idea and how much would they pay for it? For example, a past student had a smartphone application that he was thinking about developing, his project asked students if they ever had the problem that the app would solve, if they would buy his app, and how much they would pay.
• How accurate is the 5-day (or next day) weather forecast? Record the 5-day weather forecast from 1-3 sources, and then record the actual weather that occurred on the day being predicted. Do that for a month and then analyze the data to see if the 5-day forecast is accurate, and if one of the sources is better than others at predicting the weather. When you record rainfall results, record the amount of rainfall, not just whether or not it rained on the day in question.
• Does a product meet requirements e.g. weight that are marked on its package? Measure/test a sample to find out.
• Do people tend to avoid extremes when guessing (i.e. on multiple choice questions, do they tend to guess B, C, or D as opposed to A or E)? Ask multiple choice questions designed to get at this question.
• How accurately can people answer factual questions e.g. about government, history, or other topics? Do the results depend on other variables e.g. class (sr, jr, soph, fr), gender, political viewpoint, etc.
• How long does it take to commute to NKU every day? For 1-2 months, measure the day of the week, weather conditions (dry, rain, snow) the time left home, the time the car is parked and turned off.
• One project idea that HAS NOT worked out well in the past is trying to figure out what things affect GPA. Almost every project that has tried to get at this question has failed to find out anything of much use. I recommend you avoid this topic unless you have some new idea for how to explore it (which you can tell me about in your proposal).
Whatever you pick, make it something that is interesting to you! You will get more out of the project if you try to answer a question that you really care about.