BUS508 Business Analytics

BUS508 Business Analytics

Written Assignment: Computer Application Project

(worth 15% of the overall assessment)


  • This assignment has 4 questions.
  • You will need to download Assignment Question file (this file) and data file to complete your assignment.
  • All numerical calculations and graphs/plots should be done using EXCEL as much as possible. 
  • This assignment requires substantial work in generating Excel outputs. The written answers and the practical application in Excel collectively will be equivalent to 1000-2000 words assessment. Therefore, the total word count of the final written assignment should not exceed 1000 words (this limit excludes the word count in excel outputs).
  • Only typed assessments in a Word document will be marked. Hand-written equations and symbols are accepted if scanned and pasted into the word document. You have to copy and paste Excel outputs (eg, plots, tables etc) into your main assignment, which is a Word document. Any answer in the Excel document, but not in the main document, will NOT be marked.
  • The completed assignment (Word document and Excel file) must be submitted electronically via “Submission” point in Assessment 2 Assignment folder. 
  • Word files that are not accompanied by Excel files will NOT be marked.
  • You are required to keep a hard copy of the submitted assignment to re-submit, in case the original submission is lost for some reason.

Important Notice:

As this is an individual assessment item, students should submit their individual assignment. All assignments submitted will go through a matching process. If found to have plagiarised, all submissions involved would receive a mark of zero for this assessment item.

Description of Marking Criterion

  1. The graphical or numerical descriptive measures have been generated using excel, and the outputs have been pasted in the word file under the corresponding question numbers.
  2. All sub-questions in the main questions have been answered.  
  3. The suitability of the graphical or numerical descriptive measures used according to the requirements in the question.
  4. Where the question says to explainprovide reasons-whywhat information you can get from the output, a correct and concise explanation/interpretation has been provided.
  5. The output that has been generated using incorrect data will not be accepted.
  6. No marks are allocated for the perfect formatting of outputs.
  7. The correctness and readability of output have been ensured, and the basic information to facilitate the interpretation of outputs is provided.

Question 1 (4 marks–1 mark for each question)

Suppose that the average waiting time for a patient at a physician’s office is just over 29 minutes. To address the issue of long patient wait times, some physicians’ offices are using wait-tracking systems to notify patients of expected wait times. Patients can adjust their arrival times based on this information and spend less time in waiting rooms. The following data show wait times (in minutes) for a sample of patients at offices that do not have a wait-tracking system and wait times for a sample of patients at offices with such systems. The data are stored in Question 1 sheet in Assignment 2 data file.

Without Wait-Tracking SystemWith Wait-Tracking System
  1. What are the mean and median patient wait times for offices with a wait-tracking system? What are the mean and median patient wait times for offices without a wait-tracking system?
  • What are the variance and standard deviation of patient wait times for offices with a wait-tracking system? What are the variance and standard deviation of patient wait times for visits to offices without a wait-tracking system?
  • Create a boxplot for patient wait times for offices without a wait-tracking system. What information you can get from the boxplot?
  • Do offices with a wait-tracking system have shorter patient wait times than offices without a wait-tracking system? Explain.

Question 2 (3 marks–1.5 marks for each question)

The scatter chart in the following figure was created using sample data for profits and market capitalizations from a sample of firms in the Fortune 500. The data are stored in Question 2 sheet in Assignment 2 data file.

  1. Using appropriate graphical technique, explain the relationship between profits and market capitalization.
  • Using a suitable numerical measure, explain the strength and the direction of the relationship between profits and market capitalization.

Question 3 (3 marks–1.5 marks for each question)

The Ajax Company uses a portfolio approach to manage their research and development (R&D) projects. Ajax wants to keep a mix of projects to balance the expected return and risk profiles of their R&D activities. Consider a situation in which Ajax has six R&D projects as characterized in the table. Each project is given an expected rate of return and a risk assessment, which is a value between 1 and 10, where 1 is the least risky and 10 is the most risky. Ajax would like to visualize their current R&D projects to keep track of the overall risk and return of their R&D portfolio. The data are stored in Question 3 sheet in Assignment 2 data file.

ProjectExpected Rate of Return (%)Risk EstimateCapital Invested (Millions $)
  • Create a bubble chart in which the expected rate of return is along the horizontal axis, the risk estimate is on the vertical axis, and the size of the bubbles represents the amount of capital invested. Format this chart for best presentation by adding axis labels and labelling each bubble with the project number.
  • The efficient frontier of R&D projects represents the set of projects that have the highest expected rate of return for a given level of risk. In other words, any project that has a smaller expected rate of return for an equivalent, or higher, risk estimate cannot be on the efficient frontier. From the bubble chart in part a, which projects appear to be located on the efficient frontier?

Question 4 (5 marks – 1+2+2 marks)

The following table shows monthly revenue for six different web development companies. The data are stored in Question 4 sheet in Assignment 2 data file.

Revenue ($)
Blue Sky Media899592851155595301123013600
Innovate Technologies182501687019580172601829016250
Timmler Company848076507023654057004930
Accelerate, Inc.283252758023450225002080019800
Allen and Davis, LLC4580642067807520837010100
Smith Ventures175001685020185189501752018580
  • Use Excel to create sparklines for sales at each company.
  • Which companies have generally decreasing revenues over the six months? Which company has exhibited the most consistent growth over the six months? Which companies have revenues that are both increasing and decreasing over the six months?
  • Use Excel to create a heat map for the revenue of the six companies. Do you find the heat map or the sparklines to be better at communicating the trend of revenues over the six months for each company? Why?
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