Thursday, January 23, 2014

Donation Statistics

The main project I worked on this quarter involved analyzing the data of donations given to the Hope Lodge from the past year. The Hope Lodge is affiliated with the American Cancer Society and is funded through donations, so the ability to analyze these donations was a good opportunity to apply statistics to a situation outside of school.

When beginning this project, Kristin and I decided that we wanted to focus on either analyzing donations given to the Hope Lodge or interpreting the results of guest surveys. We met with the manager in Rochester to discuss our ideas and found that there was an abundance of donations data in easily accessible spreadsheets, so we decided that the best approach would be to work with this data.

The first step was to reformat the spreadsheets. Various details such as price, quantity, category, and location of each individual donation were included in the spreadsheets. However, besides the month each donation was given, there was minimal organization in the data. In order to ensure that the analysis process went as efficient as possible, we decided to reorganize the spreadsheets before beginning any other work. While this was time consuming at first, it ended up saving a lot of time in the long run.

After organizing the data into consistent groups, I analyzed the different categories according to the quantity of donations given from November 2012- October 2013 in total, then broken down into each individual month. Additionally, I used the same process to find the total monetary value of each donation category. Later, I decided it would be interesting to see a comparison between the total values and the values divided by each month.


To display the results, I created a few visual aids using various pie charts and bar graphs. These were later put into a presentation that included the cumulative analysis of all the donations.

This project was a good reminder for me of the numerous applications statistics has in the world. The ability to gather and interpret data into results that can benefit the Hope Lodge was a positive aspect of its completion. I also found that working on this project was a good experience that allowed me to further my understanding of concepts related to statistics.  Overall, this project has improved my ability to time manage as well as taught me how helpful statistics is in a variety of different ways.

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