SSC442

Group Project Outlines

Due Thursday, March 12

Each group must write (at least) one page describing their plans for the project project. It must include the following details:

  1. A description of how you intend to intend to get data.
  2. A loose outline of your project.
  3. Five questions you hope to answer. These may be questions you are interested in or merely questions that you think the data is well-suited to address.

Finally, you must discuss your findings with me after your return from Spring Break. Thursday, March 12 will be dedicated to group discussions about projects. Please be prepared.

You may turn in your writeup by depositing it into your group Github repository.


As a reminder of the group project:

  1. You must find existing data to analyze.1 Aggregating data from multiple sources is encouraged, but is not required.
  1. You must visualize (at least) three interesting features of that data. Visualizations should aid the reader in understanding something about the data that might not be readily aparent.2
  1. You must come up with some analysis—using tools from the course—which relates your data to either a prediction or a policy conclusion. For example, if you collected data from Major League Baseball games, you could try to “predict” whether a left-hander was pitching based solely on the outcomes of the batsmen.3
  1. You must present your analysis as if presenting to a C-suite executive. If you are not familiar with this terminology, the C-suite includes, e.g., the CEO, CFO, and COO of a given company. Generally speaking, such executives are not particularly analytically oriented, and therefore your explanations need to be clear, consise (their time is valuable) and contain actionable (or valuable) information.4
    • Concretely, this requires one of the two following options:
      1. At least one member of the group presents from a slide deck (preferably as a PDF; alternatively as either a Powerpoint or Presentation file). If your group chooses this option, presentations will be 10 minutes in duration (preferrably, within about 30 seconds on either side of that time). This is hard: you will need to be able to quickly and clearly present a few results.
        • Whether or not a given person presents (or does not present) will not affect their grade if this alternative is chosen. Accordingly, groups should divide their work to capitalize on the skills of the members.
      2. The group writes a memo—approximately 5 pages—which describes their data, analyses, and results. This must be clear and easy to understand for a non-expert in your field. Figures and tables do not apply to the page limit.
  1. Note that existing is taken to mean that you are not permitted to collect data by interacting with other people. That is not to say that you cannot gather data that previously has not been gathered into a single place—this sort of exercise is encouraged. 

  2. Pie charts of any kind will result in a 25\% grade deduction. 

  3. This is an extremely dumb idea for a number of reasons. Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that sports data, while rich, can be overwhelming due to its sheer magnitude and the variety of approaches that can be applied. Use with caution. 

  4. This exercise provides you with an opportunity to identify your marketable skills and to practice them. I encourage those who will be looking for jobs soon to take this exercise seriously.