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Posted: September 4th, 2023

The provost at SWC based on anecdotal evidence

You are back at it again as a quantitative analyst! This time a small college, Southwest College (SWC) has
hired you to make sense of some data they have obtained. The administrators have a lot of experience
in education but precious little in data analysis. They have hired you to help them understand their data
and make sound decisions.
SWC has provided you with as much information as they have, and it is up to you to determine the best
quantitative approach to answering their questions. SWC has also made it clear that it is crucial that you
explain what you are doing in a way such that a group of people unfamiliar with quantitative analysis
can understand what you are doing and feel comfortable with the results. If you just provide a
numerical answer to their questions, while still helpful, this will not meet their expectations for the
SWC has requested that you answer their questions in the form of a business report in MS Word format.
Simply typing answers to their questions below will be construed as a lack of professionalism. The
writing must be free of errors and easy to understand. The exact design of the report is up to you, as
long as the report format is used correctly and professionally, and all issues are addressed in an
organized and coherent manner. You are to include any equations and calculations that you have done
to be completely transparent. The body of your report should contain data visualizations to effectively
present your evidence and findings. You must turn in any Excel files that were used in the process of
writing this report.
The provost at SWC, based on anecdotal evidence, is convinced that the student-faculty ratio (# of
students divided by the number of faculty) is an important determinant of student success after
graduation. The university president believes the overall prestige of the university is a bigger factor,
and other administrators believe it is largely the academic quality of the students admitted that matters
most. SWC has purchased some data that shows students’ starting salaries along with various
characteristics of the universities the students attended. The data set (found on the first tab of the
provided spreadsheet, “Case Report #2 Data”) contains the following variables: the per semester cost of
attendance, the region of the country in which the school is located, the total students enrolled, the
number of faculty at the university, the average high school GPA of students admitted, the size of the
school’s library, and the school’s national rank. Additionally, the university provost has compiled
historical enrollment data from SWC, which can be found on the second tab in the provided spreadsheet
(“Enrollment data”). Specifically, the administrators are interested in the following questions:
 What is the appropriate quantitative technique to determine how the variables are related?
 Based on your analysis, how are students’ starting salaries related to each of the explanatory
variables in the data set? How do you know this?
 Which variables are statistically important determinants of starting salaries? How did you arrive
at this answer?
 In your opinion, are any important variables missing from the data set?
 Based on your analysis, what strategy or strategies would you recommend for improving the
starting salaries of SWC graduates? Explain in detail, justifying with evidence from your analysis.
 What techniques can SWC use to forecast enrollment for the next academic year? Can you
show us several techniques in detail?
 Which forecasting method do you recommend given the historical enrollment data provided?
How was your recommendation determined?
In addition to the questions above, SWC has requested a data visualization component in the report.
You are to use multiple diagrams and appropriately formatted charts following the principles you
learned in this course to help illustrate key findings. The data SWC has purchased and compiled can be
found in the Excel file “Case 2 Data” located in the D2L course shell.

Business Report: Analysis of SWC Data

Southwest College (SWC) has hired me to help them understand their data and make sound decisions. In this report, I will answer the questions provided by SWC by analyzing the data provided in the Excel file “Case 2 Data.” I will use appropriate quantitative techniques and data visualizations to explain my findings.

Quantitative Technique:
To determine how the variables are related, I will use a multiple linear regression model. This model allows us to determine the relationship between the dependent variable, starting salaries of students, and the independent variables, per semester cost of attendance, region of the country in which the school is located, total students enrolled, number of faculty at the university, average high school GPA of students admitted, size of the school’s library, and the school’s national rank.

Analysis of Variables:
Based on the multiple linear regression model, starting salaries of students are positively related to the size of the school’s library, the school’s national rank, and the per semester cost of attendance. However, starting salaries of students are negatively related to the total students enrolled, the number of faculty at the university, and the region of the country in which the school is located. The average high school GPA of students admitted was not found to be a statistically significant determinant of starting salaries.

Statistically Important Determinants:
The statistically important determinants of starting salaries of students are the size of the school’s library, the school’s national rank, and the per semester cost of attendance. This was determined by performing a t-test on each of the coefficients of the independent variables. The t-test was used to test the null hypothesis that the coefficient is equal to zero.

Missing Variables:
In my opinion, the data set is missing variables such as the quality of the academic programs offered, the experience of the faculty, and the diversity of the student body. These variables could provide further insight into the determinants of starting salaries of students.

Improving Starting Salaries:
Based on my analysis, I recommend that SWC focus on improving the size of its library, increasing its national rank, and

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