RGV, Inc., sells international specialty food items to buyers from around the world. Management is currently realizing that issues such as rising shipping costs due to gas prices as well as competition are cutting into the company's profit margins. In an effort to reduce cost and increase profits, they have hired you to perform an analysis of their sales data. They have provided you with a set of data from their sales database that includes sales data that spans three years (See attachments). This data set includes the following information for each order:
- product category
- last name and first name of the salesperson
- country from which the order originated
- order date
- product ordered
- quantity of product ordered
- product name
- unit price for the product
- any discount given to the customer off the item price
RGV, Inc., has a company looking at their overall costs to see where reductions can be made, but at the same time, they wish to see if there are any trends in their sales that might enable them to increase their sales revenue. Based on only the data that you have been provided, you must analyze the data, draw conclusions, and present them in a recommendation report. Use Excel data, charts, and tables to justify these recommendations.
Organize the Data
- Open the Excel spreadsheet containing sales data.
- Review the data to see if there are any calculations that you need to provide that will give more information about sales in general. For example, how will you calculate the total revenue from each sale made?
Analyze the Data
Your goal is to experiment with tools to see what trends might become obvious as you begin working with the data. Remember that you can copy the data to new worksheets as you explore its meaning and begin to draw conclusions. The following are some strategies you might use:
- The data is sorted by date and then product. Determine price increases there have been over time? How have these price increases impacted sales? Graph sales over time to see trends. Are there any peaks and lows in sales? Is there any time of year during which sales are highest or lowest?
- Determine total sales by quarter, country, category, and salesperson. Are there any highs? Are there any lows that need to be addressed?
- Subtotal the data. How are the quarterly sales' totals? How are the sales by salesperson?
Your data-analysis activities will lead you to draw conclusions about sales highs and lows. Once you have determined items that are impacting sales, can you suggest solutions? For example, suppose you determine that the lowest sales are in Japan. Would you recommend that marketing in Japan be increased or that discounts for Japanese customers be increased? Are there any products you would suggest be discontinued based on lack of sales, or products that might be added to the mix due to high sales in that particular category? These are just some recommendations to get you started. Remember that you have been contracted by RGV Inc to provide recommendations for changes that you believe will impact sales and increase the overall performance of the company. These recommendations should grow out of the conclusions you draw as you perform your data analysis. Let the results of your analysis draw the conclusions. Don’t make guesses; you need to have data to support your recommendations in your Memo.
Present the Evidence
The last step in the project is to present your findings in a Memo that includes data and graphs copied and pasted from your spreadsheet. Use the memo template provided as a starting point. Make sure to include an explanation in your Memo that shows your approach and outcome for each method of analysis you completed. Also, you will need to turn in both your recommendation Memo and your spreadsheet to the Blackboard. Remember that the Memo is just as important--if not more--as the analysis. Please include in your memo at least 6 analysis examples with a graphic and a recommendation (the memo template only includes room for 3, you will need to add to the memo template).