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Sample BUS1100 data analysis report

BUS1100 Assignment 1

Statistical Analysis and Report Writing

Name: John Smith

Student number: 31075698

Tutor's name: David Jones

Tutorial time: 2pm Wednesday

Table of contents

List of Tables i
List of Figures i
1 Introduction 1
2 Data Analysis 2
3 Conclusion 3
References 7
Appendices 8

List of tables

Table 1: Initial Summary Statistics of the Sample 2
Table 2: Measures of Central Tendency 3
Table 3: Measures of Dispersion for Manufacturing Sectors 5
Table 4: General Statistics of Manufacturing Sectors 5

List of figures

Figure 1: Histograms of Data from Different Manufacturing Sectors 3
Figure 2: Boxplot Comparison of Net Assets 4

1 Introduction

This report uses a descriptive statistical method to analyse and compare the net assets ($m) of a sample of companies in four different manufacturing sectors; Sector A, Sector B, Sector C and Sector D. For the purposes of the report it is assumed that the sample of data analysed for each sector is representative of the entire population of companies. However a comparison of the data is limited by the varied number of observations for each sector. The discussion presents an analysis of the data using descriptive measures of frequency distribution, central tendency and standard deviation which reveal similar net asset figures between the four different manufacturing sectors.

2 Data analysis

To enable a comparison of the net assets (individual data, in million dollars, $m) of the companies in the four different manufacturing sectors a random sample from each of these populations was made (see Appendix I). .............................................. [topic sentence only]

Sector 1

Sector 2

Sector 3

Sector 4

Count (no. of companies) 73 45 19 50
Sum 24177.9 13284.6 5347.9 13941.9
Range 1570.5 1063.4 444.3 1746.0

Table 1: Initial Summary Statistics of the Sample.

(Summary statistics have been rounded off to one decimal place to maintain clarity.)

It can be seen from Table 1 that far less samples were obtained from Sector 3 than the other sectors. This could have resulted in a significantly lower range because there was less opportunity for an individual company to have extremely high or low assets. As the number of companies in each sector increased, so did the sum of their total net assets. This is significant because it indicates that the majority of companies throughout manufacturing sectors had similar net asset values.

The general spread of net assets for each sector can be seen by allocating the raw net asset figures into frequency distributions and then histograms for each of the four manufacturing sectors . Using histograms as a graphical representation 'allows us to comprehend the shape of frequency distribution at a glance' (Harrison and Tamaschke, 1993, p. 91) and is therefore a quick and easy way to determine the asset distribution for each sector.

bar chart bar chart

bar chart bar chart

Figure 1: Histograms of Data from Different Manufacturing Sectors

(Note the histograms were obtained using Minitab for Windows, with 24 intervals between the range of 0-600 $m, thus midpoints were allocated every 25$m. A number of few extreme values have been omitted to provide a more precise representation of the majority of the data within each manufacturing sector. For full histograms covering the entire range of values refer to Appendix 2.)

The histograms of the manufacturing Sectors 1-4 are illustrated in Figure 1. . . ................................................ [topic sentence only]

Sector 1

Sector 2

Sector 3

Sector 4

Median 306.2 308.2 290.5 317.2
Mean 331.2 295.2 281.5 278.8
Trimmed mean 316.9 201.1 295.7 300.9

Table 2: Measures of Central Tendency.

As indicated in Table 2, we can see that the median and both means for all manufacturing sectors are close to the suspected 300 $m figure. 'Measure of central tendency is defined as a single term that is considered most representative of the whole set of data' (Johnson, 1978, p. 182) thus using a mode for this value would be inappropriate (see Appendix 1) The reason for this is that three of the manufacturing sectors contained more than one net asset figure as the most common. In Sector 4, the minimum value was also a modal value, certainly not representing where the majority of data lies. The problem in using the mode arises from the fact that continuous data with two decimals is used for the initial net asset values, thus it is rare that two companies have equal net assets in any given sector.

bar chart bar chart

Figure 2: Boxplot comparison of Net Assets ($,m)

A large difference between the median and mean for Sectors 1 and 4 respectively is apparent upon looking at Table 2 . In sector 1, the mean is far higher than the median. This is due to one company having an extremely large net asset figure ($1530.06 $m), and many outliers above the mean (see Figure 2). . .

..........................................[this paragraph continues]

Sector 1

Sector 2

Sector 3

Sector 4

Standard Deviation 169.5 168.0 95.5 249.3
Sample Variance 28742.6 28239.6 9123.1 62166.3
Inter-Quartile Range 55 109.2 67.6 122.6

Table 3: Measures of Dispersion for Manufacturing Sectors

From Table 3 it can be seen that the standard deviation for Sectors 1 and 4 are distorted by the exceptionally large and small values within each of these sectors. . . . ............................................... [topic sentence only]

Sector 1

Sector 2

Sector 3

Sector 4

Minimum -40.5 -261.2 -69.8 -512.9
10th percentile 267.2 188.6 237.6 157.3
Lower Quartile 289.3 245.4 260.4 231.4
Median 306.2 308.2 290.5 317.2
Upper Quartile 344.3 354.6 232.0 354.0
90th Percentile 423.5 433.3 365.9 422.2
Maximum 1530.1 802.3 374.5 1233.2

Table 4: General Statistics of Manufacturing Sectors (calculated in Minitab)

An examination of Table 4 provides some further interesting observations. . .

.. ............................................. [topic sentence only]

3 Conclusion

The data from four different manufacturing sectors has been analysed through the use of descriptive measures of central tendency, frequency distribution, and standard deviation. Robust statistics were also deployed to provide a better indication of net asset values within sectors with extreme values as these values can distort calculations of central tendency and dispersion. The relatively close measures of central tendency identified in the analysis suggest that although the spread of assets between the sectors differs; sectors 1 and 3 had small spreads of assets and sectors 2 and 4 had a larger net asset range, the majority of companies across the four sectors have similar net asset values; a higher frequency of assets values at approximately 300 ($m).


Harrison, S. and Tamaschke, R.H.U. (1993) Statistics for business economics and management. Sydney: Prentice Hall.

Johnson, P.R. (1978) Business statistics. Sydney: MacMillan.

Luxford, K., Bedingfield, S. and Betts, J. (1998) Course notes for BUS1100 Qualitative methods for business systems. Melbourne: Monash University.

Mansfield, E. (1994 ) Statistics for business and economics and methods and applications. New York: Norton.


Appendix 1 Random Sample of Data

Appendix 2 Histograms of the entire range of company net assets ($m) values for the four manufacturing sectors

Appendix 3 The frequency distribution of assets from the four manufacturing sectors

Title page

Follow the assignment guidelines when preparing a title page. Be consistent in your use of capitals and lower-case letters.

Table of Contents

The Table of Contents lists every section of the report.

In contrast to an essay where headings are rarely found, information in a report is presented in sections which require headings.

Use Roman numerals for the preliminary pages of the report.

Use Arabic numerals for the body of the report, commencing with page 1 for the Introduction

List of Tables

The List of Tables contains the names and page numbers of all tables appearing in the report. If illustrations are used in a report, these are presented as a separate List of Figures.


The Introduction provides essential background information. The sections required in the introduction vary, depending on the type of report and the department to which you belong.

The introduction of a data commentary report usually does the following:

  1. explains the purpose of the report
  2. describes the scope and limitations
  3. identifies the methods used
  4. presents a brief plan of the report

These four stages of an introduction are present in the introduction of the sample report.

Data Analysis

The Data Analysis section provides an interpretation of the data and comments on the significance of the findings.

The body of the report consists of a series of paragraphs providing an interpretation of the data, and is often referred to as the Discussion or Data Analysis. Before writing this section of the report you should prepare an outline which orders your ideas into a logical sequence. You can then expand these ideas into paragraphs. Each paragraph should commence with a topic sentence stating the main point of the paragraph, followed by a group of related sentences which support and expand the main idea.

The topic sentence for each paragraph in the sample report has been provided for you to study. These sentences are shown in blue. Read through each of these topic sentences, including those in the complete paragraphs. Notice how the topic sentence in each paragraph maintains the overall theme of data analysis. For example, the Discussion initially focuses on sampling, followed by a discussion of frequency distributions, histograms, medians and means, standard deviations, and inter-quartile ranges. Evaluative comments on the significance and implications of the results then follow.

The results of research are usually presented in both a written and graphic form, for example text, figures, tables, and graphs. The text assists the reader to focus on the most important aspects of the data, whilst the graphic illustrations usually present the complete findings. Data presented in a graphic form may be included in the main text or in an appendix. Generally, data of primary importance to the discussion is presented in the body of the report, and data referred to indirectly is included in an appendix. The size of a table or figure may also determine placement in an appendix.


The Conclusion sums up the main points which have emerged from the Data Analysis.

The conclusion of a data commentary report usually provides a brief summary of the methods of data analysis and the main results. It should also comment on the reults by making generalisations from the results where appropriate, explaining possible reasons for the results and discussing implications of the results. Any arguments presented in the body of the report should be referred to here. A conclusion should never introduce new information.


The Reference List includes all sources cited in the report. It should be on a separate page and arranged alphabetically by author. Each reference should include the following bibliographic details: author(s), date of publication, title, place of publication, and publisher. A reference for a periodical article requires two titles - the article title and the periodical title - as well as the page numbers of the article. You will need to follow the preferred style for references specified by your school or department. It is important to follow these guidelines precisely and to be consistent in the setting out of your reference list.


An appendix includes any supporting evidence which is not possible to incorporate into the body of the report.

When labelling an appendix, the title should clearly and precisely indicate the contents of the appendix. The title used for Appendix 1 could be improved by describing the contents more specicfically (e.g. Random sample of net assets ($,m) of companies from the four manufacturing sectors).

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