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ITM 209 Spring 2017 Assignment #2:
Business Analytics: Tableau
Due:           Due 8 AM on Mar 22/23, 2017.
Points:       95 points (25 point penalty if less than 8 hours late, 45 point penalty if less than 24 hours late, 95 point penalty if more than 24 hours late.)
To evaluate your ability to:

Understand Tableau functionality in solving business questions and
Explain your results to upper management in an executive memo.

Submit:       1) A “Tableau file” (.twb) that you used to perform the analysis which includes all five Tableau worksheets and the Tableau Dashboard.  Submit your Tableau saved results file to your TA’s dropbox on D2L.
2) An “executive memo” (in the form of a three-page word document) describing the context of your analysis with Tableau solutions, your interpretation and evaluation of the solution results, and your corresponding conclusions and recommendations based on your evaluation.  Page three of your memo will include your figure/graph for your Tableau Dashboard.   Submit the document to your TA’s dropbox on D2L.
Use the required template shown on page 7 of this document. “Memo” should use Times New Roman Font, 12 pt, 1 inch margins, double spacing.
Points will be deducted for poor writing, so write well!
The Worldwide Commerce Consulting Scenario:
You work for a large consulting firm, and your manager has asked you to analyze the performance of your new client, Worldwide Commerce, from 2011 to 2014.  Worldwide Commerce sells three categories of products; technology, furniture and office supplies.  Within these three categories there are many different types of products, ranging from smart phones to microwaves.  These products are sold round the world to different countries and through different markets.  Each transaction is recorded in the worldwide_commerce.xlsx file. The excel file contains an extensive amount of information regarding the transaction information for Worldwide Commerce including Order ID, Customer and Product Name.
Following is an outline of how the data is organized in the Worldwide Commerce data set.  This data outline is the same outline you used for Tableau In-class Practice II.  You will use the analysis you performed for Tableau In-Class Practice II as the starting point for your analysis for Assignment #2.
Outline of Worldwide Commerce Data Set
Product Categories





Office Supplies




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Your Role:
You are the director of business analytics at the consulting firm you are working at. You realize that there are problems with the current business approach of Worldwide Commerce, and you need to come up with insights and alternative solutions.
Management wants a detailed plan for the changes in business to improve revenue and reduce costs, and wants hard numbers and facts to back up any proposal you submit.  Remembering your time in ITM 209, you recall that Tableau allowed you to use data analytics to provide high quality analysis of businesses.  You decide to use Tableau to investigate the current business operations and to assess the quality impacts of several changes you have in mind.  Based upon your findings, you will make a recommendation to management about your specific marketing and operations improvements.
Set-Up Instructions for Tableau (You may wish to refer to the Instructions Section of In-Class Practice Activities II):
You have got a sense of how to use Tableau, so let’s prepare for assignment #2 and get oriented for this assignment.

Retrieve the Tableau Assignment #2 instructions from D2L and read the instructions and the model scenario thoroughly.
Use the xlsx data file from the Assignment #2 folder as a starting point. Please refer to the Getting Started with Tableau section of In-Class Practice Activities II to download this file, save it on your Desktop and P Drive, launch Tableau, and load this file into Tableau to prepare for Assignment #2.
You will be using the knowledge gained and the steps we did in In-Class Practice Activities II to complete Assignment #2.

Questions for Assignment #2:
The following business questions will guide you through your analysis using the Tableau data analytics software.  (You may wish to refer to the Performing Data Analytics Using Tableau section of In-Class Practice Activities II)

Profits by Category

Which product sub-category is being sold frequently, yet bringing Worldwide Commerce poor profits?
Hint: Refer to Bar Chart and Quick Filter functionality noted in In-Class II, question one.

Sales by Month

What do the sales of Worldwide Commerce look like for each month of the year? Which months have downward spikes in sales?  Note:  Include an option for the user to see Year-to-Year Growth in this visualization as well.
Hint: Refer to Line Graph and Year Over Year Growth functionality noted in In-Class II, question two.
Questions for Assignment #2 (continued):

Furniture Sales Margins

Which sub-category under the Furniture category has the worst sales margins? Under this sub-category, which month has the lowest profits?
Hint: Refer to the Heat Map and Filtering functionality noted in In-Class II, question three. Remember, you may need to create a Calculated Field as well.

Market Analysis

In terms of the number of items sold, where is there currently an emerging market for Worldwide Commerce?
Hint: Refer to Bar Chart and Multi-Data functionality noted in In-Class II, question five.

Profit by Country

Which country in the EU has the lowest profits for Worldwide Commerce?
Hint: Refer to the Filled Maps, Map Layers and Filtering functionality noted in In-Class II, question four.

Worldwide Analysis

A summary highlighting your findings would be very useful to your manager.  Create a Dashboard containing your visualization from questions 1, 2 and 4.  Be sure to include this Dashboard figure/graph in your executive memo.
Hint: Refer to the Dashboard and Filtering functionality referred to in In-Class II, question seven to allow the user to filter by all categories of product sold by Worldwide Commerce.
Important:  Tableau Assignment #2 Results (after each Tableau session) should be saved to the Desktop and to your P drive after completion!
Describing Tableau Results in an Executive Memo
The results from your analysis will be summarized in an executive memo.  Be sure to include the results from each question within your memo.  You should lead the executive through a “story” of how you approached the analysis using Tableau to explain your findings.  You are leading your executive through the same path of discovery that you used in answering all of the business questions.  Be sure to include the dashboard into the executive memo and refer to the dashboard in your memo.  Encourage your executive to view the Tableau worksheet results and graphs and encourage your executive to actually utilize the Tableau dashboard and dashboard filter within your memo.  Here are a few key points to guide you with your memo:

After you have completed the business analytics and answered the analysis questions, what insights can you share regarding the use of Tableau for data analytics?
You will need to write an executive memo to the management explaining your analysis using Tableau. Be sure to include the Tableau dashboard graphs/figures noted above in your executive memo.
These questions may help you to write a better memo

Who will be reading your memo? Do they really know the process, or do you need to help explain it (at a higher level)?
What should you say about the analysis in Assignment #2 so that your description provides more information than can be obtained by simply reading the numbers in the database?
What are your recommendations and what is your argument on why your recommendation will create the most value?

4) The following outline may be useful for your executive memo:

Background Information
Results Using Tableau (be sure to include results from Assignment #2). Include the requested Tableau dashboard graphs & figures. Describe the dashboard figure in your memo and encourage the executive to “experiment” with the dashboard using the Tableau file itself.
Be sure to reference the Assignment #2 Solutions to all questions in your analysis and encourage your executive to view the Tableau results in the five worksheets.
Explain all results from the questions in your memo and perform additional analysis using Tableau that you think would be useful.
Summary of Findings and Recommendations.

5) Use the following Memo Template:
(This is a required template for your memo)
Date:  Mar 22/23, 2017
TO:  Chief Marketing Officer
CC:  Vice President of Finance
Subject:  Data Analytics and Recommendations for Worldwide Commerce Performance
Your Name
Business Analytics Director
Submitting Your Assignment:
1) A “Tableau file” (.twb) that you used to perform the analysis which includes all five Tableau worksheets and the Tableau Dashboard.  Submit the file to your TA’s dropbox on D2L.
2) An “executive memo” (in the form of a three-page word document) describing the context of your analysis with Tableau solutions, your interpretation and evaluation of the solution results, and your corresponding conclusions and recommendations based on your evaluation.  Page three of your memo will include your figure/graph for your Tableau Dashboard.   Submit the document to your TA’s dropbox on D2L.
Grading for Assignment #2 will be based on:

Correct answers of ALL questions, including the Tableau dashboard.
Quality of writing and grammar.
Discussion and rationale for recommendations using the results from Assignment #2 questions.
Reasoning behind conclusion.
Academic Integrity


Points breakdown
Grading Requirements

10 points
Correct & complete Tableau file submittal

35 points
Correct solution results to Assignment #2 questions, including the Tableau dashboard

30 points
Reasoning within Memo
Ÿ Introduction and Context Setup
Ÿ Recommendation on what to do with your analysis results
(reasoning behind the recommendation)
Ÿ Conclusion

20 points
Memo quality
Ÿ Narratives: Interpreting your results
Ÿ Quality of writing

Please refer to page 1 of the ITM 209 Syllabus for the statement on Academic Integrity and Honor Code. Your submission to your TA’s dropbox implies that you adhered to these integrity guidelines.
rity guidelines.

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