Descriptive Statistics Memo:

Now that you’re familiar with looking at data sets and extrapolating the “story” that the data reveals (your regression memo assignment), it’s time to take a more encompassing look at descriptive statistics, in particular, what statistics can tell us about different variables and what the larger picture is from that “story.”

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Each of you will review your new assigned data set.

You are to:

  • Review your data set and all of the statistics, charts, graphs, and related data that your Excel file reveals.
  • Fill out the Descriptive Statistics Matrix for your data set.
  • Prepare a memo to me, your manager at Quanta Communications. The scenario: I’m your manager. At our last meeting, I gave you a data set and asked you to summarize it for me. Tell me what it entails, who might find it useful, and why.
  • Your memo should summarize the overall findings of your data.
    • What’s the story that the data tells you?
    • Why is that important?
  • Upload your memo and your completed matrix to Canvas by the due date discussed.

How should you organize your memo to give me the best information?

  • It’s your turn to come up with the sections (section titles) that you think are important in order for your reader to best understand your data set.
  • Include in an Appendix to your memo at least 2 charts or graphs that you think best illustrate what you’re summarizing. Make reference to these images. Don’t just cut and paste them; do some editing so they don’t just look cut and pasted. (You will lose points if you don’t follow this step.)


  • The first part of the memo will introduce why you’re writing the memo.
  • The next part will summarize what your data set is about, the scope of the data, and the descriptive statistics used in the data. In essence, you’re summarizing the information from your matrix.
  • Keep your memo to two pages max.
  • Interpret how this data can be useful.
  • Your closing paragraph should tell me to reach out to you if I have any additional questions.
  • DO NOT discuss any regression statistics in this memo.

Other considerations:

  1. Your narrative must be clear enough to evaluate your interpretation of the data and your conclusions.
  2. Anything merely copied/pasted from your downloaded Excel file may lead to loss of points because many of these need to be edited for clarity and design. 
  3. In sum: You are describing the data you have by showing that you understand the descriptive statistics presented in your data set. You are clearly articulating how your data can be used to help form an opinion or make business decisions.

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