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Signature Assignment

About Your Signature Assignment

This signature assignment is designed to align with specific program student learning outcome(s) in your program. Program Student Learning Outcomes are broad statements that describe what students should know and be able to do upon completion of their degree.

Purpose of Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is for students to synthesize the concepts learned throughout the course, provide students an opportunity to build critical thinking skills, develop businesses and organizations, and solve problems that require data.

Case 1: Analyzing Server Downtimes

Cloud Data Services (CDS), headquartered in Memphis, provides information technology services, specifically, application hosting services in the cloud for several clients in the southern United States. CDS hosts software applications on their network servers. While CDS has achieved great success and customers rate CDS’s services highly, lately, some customers have been complaining about downtime on one of the primary network servers. The given dataset contains the downtime data for the month of November. Your task is to study the downtime data and make a short presentation to the CDS’s management. Use the data analytics skills learned in Week 3 of your QRB/501 course to analyze the downtime data.


1. Using Microsoft Excel’s Pivot Tables, construct a frequency distribution showing the number of times during the month that the server was down for each downtime cause category (This data is found in the Signature Assignment Excel Template.)

2. Develop a bar chart that displays the data from the frequency distribution in part 1.

3. Develop a pie chart that breaks down the percentage of total downtime that is attributed to each downtime cause during the month.

4. Evaluate the mean, median, standard deviation, and variance of the downtime minutes for the month of November.

** Your Power Point presentation should between 4-7 pages and include the frequency distribution, charts, summary statistics and conclusions. Please use the “notes page” format to add comments and observations. **

Case 2: Consumer Price Index

Note: Although you will be studying the concept of CPI in more detail in your future ECO/561 class, for the purpose of this case, you need to use the concepts of percentages, percentage increase/decrease, and creating and interpreting line charts to compute the inflation rate in the US economy and determine which time period experienced the highest inflation rate.

Follow the steps below to complete this signature assignment:

  1. Search for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED).
  2. On the home page of the website, you will see a search box.
  3. Type in CPI- AUCSL in the search box and press the return key.
  4. The first result of the search will be “Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items.” Click on this result link.
  5. Click on the Download link and download the data in Excel®.
  6. On the Excel® file, the second column gives you the CPI values for each period starting from 1947.
  7. Go to the last row and notice the last date and the CPI value. Go back 6 years from this last date. For example, if the last date is 2016-11-01, then the date 6 years ago would be 2010-11-01.
  8. Copy and paste this six years data into a separate Excel® tab.
  9. Using Excel®, calculate the percentage change in CPI from a year earlier for each observation, beginning with the observation one year later than the first observation. To make this calculation, click on the blank cell next to the observation corresponding to that date and then use Formula 1, located in the Signature Assignment Excel® Formulas document (note that in Excel®, the symbol for multiplication is *), where t-1 is the first observation and t is the observation one year later. For example, to find the percentage change in CPI from 2010-11-01 to 2010-10-01, refer to Formula 2 located in the Signature Assignment Excel® Formulas document. Convert this value to a percentage in Excel®. Repeat this process for the remaining observations (you can use the copy and paste functions to avoid having to retype the formula).
  10. This new column contains the national inflation rate.
  11. Create a line graph of the percentage changes (inflation rates) from a year earlier.
  12. Which period experienced the highest inflation rate? What was the inflation rate during that period? (Just answer this within Excel. Separate document not required.

Click on the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.

Please submit both the PowerPoint file from Case 1 and the Excel spreadsheet(s) used for Case 1 and Case 2.


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