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Project Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 1Guidelines for Infographic ProjectMarketing AnalyticsProfessor César ZamudioThe Infographics Project is an important part of the Marketing Analytics class, becauseyou will have to apply your knowledge of understanding business problems, datacollection, visualization and even statistical inference, as well as your wit and skill indeveloping an infographic. The project will serve as useful practice for your professionallife and will boost your analytics skills: dealing with a new analytics problem, developingdata requirements and finding data, gathering it, visualizing it, and making editorialdecisions concerning how to best present it.The steps necessary for the project and useful guidelines are discussed in what follows, inthe order in which you will deliver them.PreliminariesWhat is an infographic?Because we will start thinking about the final project early on in the semester, you maynot be entirely familiar with what an infographic is. Generally speaking, it is a set ofvisualizations with a strong storytelling component. This means that an infographic maybe composed of not one, but multiple visualizations that, as a whole, tell a persuading orinformative story about a given topic.Who is the audience for an infographic? This is generally not a managerial audience, asfor most of our activities and discussions during the semester. Instead, infographics areaimed to a general audience who must be informed or something, or who you may wantto convince about something. With that said, recently, more companies have adopted aninfographics approach to develop informative brochures, generally to persuade potentialcustomers.What are the characteristics of a good infographic? It should address an important topic,in a way that “sticks”: it should present compelling arguments while being interesting,memorable, and storytelling so as to maximize persuasion. Furthermore, if deployed onsocial media, a key goal of an infographic is to attain virality: one way to achieve this isto develop infographics which touch on key viral emotions such as humor, awe, ordisgust, as years of research indicate.What are good examples of editorial infographics?Given that infographics are now quite prevalent in daily life, there are a plethora of great(and terrible) examples. Editorial infographics are those with a wider audience, that areProject Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 2not used to promote a business but to persuade or inform about a given topic. Here aresome examples:• Flowingdata’s excellent repository of infographics, with explanations as to whatmakes them good (or bad).• Gareth Cook’s “The Best American Infographics” book series. It is not free, butyou may find it at your local library. Great selection of infographics, some ofwhich are covered in class.• The Pudding, an online publication that promotes data-driven conversations.Interesting, although not exactly “infographics”, but inspiring nonetheless!What are good examples of brand-centric infographics?Unlike traditional infographics, brand-centric infographics focus on your company. Thesewould be used much like a brochure, to disseminate information about your company andwhy others might need your services. Here are some examples:• Interfolio, a company that provides management of job applications, has a numberof good infographics on their Dossier product: this one introduces you to thecompany and explains why letters of recommendation matter; this other oneshows results from a survey of Dossier users.• Import.io, a web data harvesting company, has an interesting infographic on thereal estate market, highlighting their thought process of creating the infographic.• IBM showcases many of their products and services through infographics, forexample, Weather and NASCAR; Shipping and Blockchain; Anatomy of theUltimate Fan Experience; The Future of Identity; etc.• SAS provides information on how to create infographics using their software,occasionally providing infographics of their own such as a Star Trek infographicand a Twitter “stickman” viz.• Deloitte is a consulting company providing multiple infographics based on theirfindings, such as Consumers in Control; 2016 Global Life Sciences outlook.• Euromonitor, a marketing research services firm, provides a couple interestinginfographics: Navigating Marketing Research (not data-driven, but interestingdesign); How to Succeed in Emerging Markets.• Yelp, a services review platform, provides insight into their business and howYelp can help business succeed with their tool Yelp for Business, featuringinfographics such as this one (not exactly an infographic but small pieces of one,focusing on making an argument tying Yelp browsing to purchases); as well asthis giant repository of Yelp infographics which is quite instructive andinformative.What are some FREE DIGITAL resources I can use to learn more aboutinfographics?Since the course only briefly touches on the subject of infographics, feel free to perusethe following books available FOR FREE and DIGITALLY at the VCU library websiteProject Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 3so you can access them whenever you want. This link will take you to the availablebooks. I suggest:• Infographics for Dummies by Justin Beegel (a great resource, including this freecheat sheet);• Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling by Jason Lankow (with aninteresting classification of infographics into brand-centric, for firms, andeditorial infographics, for a larger audience);• Cool Infographics by Randy Krum (a deep dive into many infographic styles,layouts, etc.)• The Power of Infographics by Mark Smickilas (focusing on understanding youraudience; and• The Best Magazine Design Photography, Illustration, Infographics & Digital bythe Society of Publication Designers (includes pages upon pages of excellentvisual design, for inspiration). The Amazon link has many of these imagespublicly available;Note that, aside from these digital resources, VCU has more books on-shelf not listed inthe link provided above. Your local library (e.g., Richmond Public Library, Library ofVirginia…) might also have some resources, so check them out!What SOFTWARE can I use to make an infographic?Since creating an infographic is a very creative endeavor, there is not one specificsoftware you can use to create an infographic. Here are some software packages youmight want to try:General purpose software• Adobe Spark and Adobe Illustrator: Spark can be used to create infographicsusing its many infographics templates (more here). Illustrator can be used tocreate original vector art. Because VCU is now an Adobe Creative Campus, weare now more engaged than ever with Adobe to provide their software to ourstudents. The VCU student version of the Creative Suite (which includes Sparkand Illustrator) can be found here.• Venngage: Web-based infographic creator. Features a very large number oftemplates.• Canva: An infographic creator very popular among the students, very similar toVenngage.• Easel.ly: Yet another free option. Importantly, includes a great set of tutorialson everything about infographics.• Snappa: Another infographic creator, focusing on novice users who have neverused photo editing software (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator) before.• Infogram: Infographics creator that is more data and chart-driven. Allows toembed actual data into your infographic and produce charts inside the webProject Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 4platform itself. Be sure to verify that the data you use remains private in case youneed to protect it.Specialized software• MindTheGraph: Infographics creator focused on the sciences (e.g. medicine,physics). Useful if your infographic concerns those topics.• WordItOut: A word cloud generator which, importantly, includes a feature tomanually filter irrelevant words.• Flourish: A powerful web visualization creator which includes many interestingviz. However, the data in the free version is PUBLIC, so if you have data thatyou cannot/should not share (such as your employer’s data) DO NOT use it.• Biteable: Free video infographic creator, if you’re interested in trying it.• GGPLOT2: A R library to create beautiful visualizations using R code. However,it requires some time to get used to it as it uses concepts from The Grammar ofGraphics.• Kartograph: A Python/JS geographic visualization library, if you want to learnit.• Blugraphic: A repository of free design templates to use as elements in yourinfographic.• Unsplash: A giant repository of free HD pictures to use as wallpaper or aselements/background(s) in your infographic.Final Infographic Report IThe first Final Infographic Report requires you to sit and think about what topics youmight want to explore this semester. It can be anything: past students have developedinfographics based on Amazon mattress pricing; celebrity scandals; NCAA coachsalaries; horror movie box office success; crime in the US before 2016; the growingnumber of animals in shelters; and many more. It’s really up to you: what excites YOU?What are YOU passionate or curious about? In my experience, picking a topic youfind interesting will positively influence the quality of your final work.Your Final Infographic Report should contain the following.• A list of five subjects you’re interested in and why you care about them (bebrief, a couple sentences is fine).• An interesting big question you want to answer with the data.• For each subject, list at least one possible source of data, including a link to thewebsite that hosts the data.• For each data source, briefly summarize it, focusing on the key variables and unitsof analysis (e.g., athletes, books, states…) it contains.Project Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 5VERY IMPORTANT: what do we mean by “data”? You have to find a source that youcan show has at least 50 unique observations for the topic you’re interested in. Forexample, a New York Times article reporting that there are three major causes of heartfailure in the U.S. population is equivalent to three data points and does not qualify. Hereare three examples of some qualifying topics and data sources a student might report:a. Stephanie’s passion is cup stacking, and she found a website from the WSSAcontaining a large amount of information, so she reports the following:
Topic
Why?
Big question
Datasource
Data summary
Cupstacking
I am aprofessional cupstacking athlete
Which countrieshave the best andworst cupstackers?
WSSArecords
Contains data on athletesand their performance bycountry
b. Jamelle loves graphic novels, and he is interested in determining what the bestand worst graphic novels have in common, so he reports the following:
Topic
Why?
Big question
Datasource
Data summary
Graphicnovels
I love graphicnovels,especially thoseby DC Comics
• What are thebest and worstevaluatedgraphicnovels?• What do theyhave incommon?
AmazonGraphicNovelssection
Data on novels, theiroverall rating, price, andreviews for every novel.
c. Mona loves sneakers, and would like to know which are the most valuablesneakers of the past three years, so she reports the following:
Topic
Why?
Big question
Data source
Data summary
Sneakerprices
Sneakers aremy passion andI am starting acollection!
• What are the mostvaluable sneakersof the past threeyears?• What makes themvaluable? Brand,color, designer?
StockXsneakerprices
Sneaker releases,characteristics,and pricing overtime.
Project Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 6d. Qin is a student interested in healthcare issues and proposes the following:
Topic
Why?
Big question
Data source
Data summary
Healthinsuranceand drugoverdoses
I would like ajob in healthcareand this projectcan help meunderstandimportant issuesin the industry.
•Which stateshave themost drugoverdoses?•Does lack ofhealthinsurancecontribute todrugoverdoses?
1. CDC DrugOverdose data(2014-2017)2. CensusHealthcareCoverage data
• CDC data containsdrug overdose byyear and state.• Census containshealthcare coveragein same time frame.
Notice that in all the examples the students have found sources of data with large tables,lists, or similar information that they can gather manually or using a scraper (as wewill learn later in the semester). Also, some projects seem easier and others morecomplicated, but, in general, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE how difficult a projectmight be.You might want to deliver a table with five topics as presented above, or be creative anduse your own structure. However, please make sure you meet the minimum requirements(five ideas, with topic, reason, question, data source and brief summary).Please deliver Final Infographic Report I via the Assignments section of Blackboardby the deadline specified in the syllabus.• Use the format shown here or your Assignment will be penalized.• Name your report “FirstNameLastName_FinalInfographicReport1” or yourAssignment will be penalized.Final Infographic Report IIOnce you deliver Report I, you will have a set of ideas and datasets that you can explorethis semester. Do not start Report II before hearing from the professor: he willinstruct you on which idea to pursue and which dataset to use.After the professor has let you know which idea you will tentatively pursue and whichdataset you will use, the next step is to collect data. As discussed in class, the time it willtake you to collect and clean data may be considerable and should NEVER beunderestimated. Thus, the Final Infographic Report II requires you to show somepreliminary evidence of your data collection, as well as a minimum analysis of the datayou collected so far.Your Final Infographic Report II should contain the following.Project Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 7Data file• A file containing the data you have collected so far. The data is expected to beprovided in Excel format – however, advanced students might provide a TableauTWBX file, which is fine as well. If you wish to submit other data formats,consult with the professor first.o IMPORTANT: If you downloaded data from the Web or using WebHarvy,FIRST SAVE IT AS A CSV FILE. Then, open it, and SAVE AS…EXCEL FILE. The CSV version is for your personal backup, and theExcel file is what you will deliver.• Variable names that satisfy the following requirements. These requirements willhelp you develop a good sense of “etiquette” when constructing your datasets sothat other members of an analytics team (in this case, the professor) canunderstand your work:o Each variable name should be reasonably legible. For example,“WTPSegment” probably means willingness to pay of certain segments.Names such as “bk”, “sd12”, “ar_34”, “variab”, or similar, should not beincluded.o No variable name should start with a number. For instance, you may wantto call a variable “Insurance2” or “S2_ScaleItem”. But do not write“2Insurance” or “2S_ScaleItem”.o Variables can be named using lowercase or uppercase as you see fit.o Variable names should not be excessively long – think a maximum of 20characters or so.• Relevant IDs that are correctly identified and marked as such. For instance, youmay indicate a consumer ID as “ConsumerID”, “ID_Consumer” or “CID”;transactions might be called “Trans_ID”; basketball games “IDGame” and soforth. If your dataset has multiple levels, please indicate the corresponding ID foreach. If your levels have IDs that can be represented by text (e.g., Statenames, country names) you can use those as IDs.• If your dataset is an Excel file, consider coloring your columns and variableheadings in a way that is pleasant and indicates different variable groups. Fig. 1presents an example. Feel free to create a style that suits your own needs. Thegoal is to make the structure of the data easy to understand and the major variablegroups easy to remember.Project Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 8Fig. 1. Example of colored variable headings and columns in an Excel FileData dictionaryThe data dictionary can be delivered as a Word or Excel file (if your data is an Excel fileitself, the data dictionary can be a separate Sheet) and must contain at a minimum, foreach variable in the data:• The name of the variable.• The level the variable belongs to. For example, five variables may pertain to Statelevel and four to Factory level.• (Optional) If some of your variables belong to identifiable groups, which groupeach variable belongs to. For example, ten variables might be about Attitudetowards Apple and five about Demographics. You are free to define these groupsyourself and doing so is optional.• A short description of what the variable is, so that other analysts can easily figurethis out. If the variable is nominal or ordinal try to describe, in general terms,what the categories are. Be sure to include the NUMBER of total categories.• The measurement level (NOIR, Unstructured, ID or Date)• The units of measurement (e.g., dollars, thousands of dollars, 5-point Likert scale,10-point rating scale, 5-point online review…)• Optionally, any additional remarks about the variable that a different analystmight need to know when using your dataset. For instance, a certain scale mightcome from a particular research paper, or a variable might have been collectedspecifically for a certain goal.Table 1 presents one example of how a good data dictionary might look like. FOLLOWTHIS EXAMPLE. (Next Page)Project Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 9Table 1: Example of data dictionary for a hamburger restaurant
Level
Group
Var. name
Description
Measurement
Units
Remarks
Consumer

CID
Consumer ID
ID
Numeric ID

Fav_Rest
Consumers’ favoritehamburger restaurant(among five: BK, McD,Wendy’s, Hardee’s,Cookout)
Nominal


Rating
Rating of consumers’ lasttrip to our restaurant
Interval
10-star scale
Attitudetowardshamburgers
S1_Like
Item 1: I like hamburgers
Interval
5-pointagreementscale
Source for thescale is thework ofHungry et al.(2015)
S2_Flavor
Item 2: Hamburgers havegreat flavor
Interval
S3_Convenient
Item 3: Hamburgers areconvenient
Interval
State

SID
State ID
ID
Text ID

Population
Population in state as of2017
Ratio
Millions
From Census

Weather
Average weather in stateas of 2017
Ratio
Fahrenheit
From AccuWeather
Note how, in this table, the hamburger restaurant names are abbreviated informally(“McD”, “BK”) for brevity. You can do so for any content of the dictionary as long as itis obvious enough like in this case.DescriptivesThe descriptives can be delivered as a Word or Excel file (if your data is an Excel fileitself, the data dictionary can be a separate Sheet). For every variable in the data you mustprovide the following:• For continuous (measures) data:o The minimum;o The maximum;o The average;o The standard deviation;• For discrete (dimensions) data:o You must identify the categories contained in the data. For instance, if youhave an ordinal variable of Olympic medals, you’d have three categories:Bronze, Silver, Gold; you might have five cities in a given variable; or youmay have a Yes/No dummy. For each category: The Percentage of observations within the category (for example, if yourecorded 300 Yes and 700 No, you would include 30% Yes and 70% Noo If you have a very large amount of categories (more than 7) then report themost common 5 categories.Project Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 10• You do not need to provide descriptives for ID or Date variables. However,do provide the following:o Number of total observations in the datao For each level in your data, the total number of observations. For example:“one million reviews from 375 consumers from 8 U.S. states about 4 brandsof coffee”.• Optionally, provide the corresponding level if it makes the table easier to read.Table 2 presents an example of an appropriate descriptives table.Table 2. Descriptives table for a hamburger restaurant, following Table 1
Level
Variable
Avg. orCount
Pct.
Min
Max
Dev. Std.
Consumer
Fav_Rest
86
100



Burger King
25
29.07



McDonald’s
45
52.33



Wendy’s
1
1.16



Hardee’s
12
13.95



Cookout
3
3.49



Rating
8.75

1
10
2.25
S1_Like
4.21

2
5
0.71
S2_Flavor
4.78

2
5
0.12
S3_Convenient
3.90

1
5
2.78
State
Population
25.12

3.57
39.55
12.21
Weather
75.30

53.09
105
21.12
Note how, in this example:• The average (for continuous variables) and the count (for nominal variables) arecollapsed in a single column. This is because those two metrics are the mostimportant in general.• The nominal variable is collapsed in a pleasant way, by including the fivecategories below the variable name, appropriately identified using italics andindentation, and presenting the breakdown of responses for each one. Note thatthe counts sum to 86 and the percentages sum to 100. This has to be the case foreach of your nominal or ordinal level variables.• Given their nature, for continuous variables, the percentages are omitted; fornominal variables, the min, max, and standard deviation are omitted.Your Final Infographic Report II must contain your data, data dictionary and descriptives.Please deliver Final Infographic Report II via the Assignments section ofBlackboard by the deadline specified in the syllabus.Project Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 11• Use the formats in Figure 1, Table 1 and Table 2 as a guide of how aprofessional report should look like. Assignments that do not pay attention toformatting details will be penalized.• Name your report “FirstNameLastName_FinalInfographicReport2” or yourAssignment will be penalized.If you have NOT completed the Report by the deadline, you must provide evidenceof sufficient progress and can request up to ONE-week extension. No additionalextensions will be permitted.Final Infographic Report IIIAfter completing your Report III, you have:• An idea you chose to pursue; and• A clean dataset you proposed, with a data dictionary;For the Final Report III, simply deliver a draft of your final infographic in whicheverformat you are developing it (most likely PDF, an image file, or even PPT). This is allyou need to deliver. I will use this draft to provide feedback in preparation for your finaldeliverable. Good luck! What I expect/useful tips:• Have an interesting title.• State your name and whatever information about you you’d like to share.• Have an introductory paragraph describing the main goal of your project – whatinspired you? Why are you curious about this problem? Try to start a narrativehere. However, be as brief as possible.• Include the SOURCES you used. For instance, if you scraped data fromBeerAdvocate.com, be sure to cite them. Maybe even include their logo as part ofyour Infographic.• Supplement your Infographic with images and other appealing content. Forinstance, if making an Infographic about movies, why not include some posterart? If your Infographic is about sneakers, why not show a couple sneakers?• When placing images in your Infographic, make sure you do not DEFORM theimage if you resize it. To this effect, when resizing an image, hold SHIFT (orCTRL, or CMD, depending on your computer and software – experiment!) whileresizing the image with your mouse. This will preserve the image’s “aspect ratio”so it does not look deformed.ONLY REQUIREMENT: You cannot have a PPT with multiple slides. YourInfographic must be ONE SINGLE image.Final Infographic DeliverableProject Guidelines Marketing Analytics – Zamudio Page 12Your Final deliverable should include:• Your infographic file (PDF, PPT, etc.)o Again, if you are delivering on PPT, you cannot have a PPT with multipleslides. Use one single image.• The dataset you used to construct the infographicMake sure that the final infographic has your name, and that it adequately references thesource data/organization/etc. from which you obtained the data.A file in Canvas contains some examples of good infographics you can refer to. As arough guideline for your grade:• Infographics that do not have at least three data-driven charts (i.e., using theactual data you gathered) will likely obtain no more than 50% of the finalinfographic points.• Infographics that rely on very small datasets will likely lose about 30% of thefinal infographic points.• Infographics that do not have a professional appearance or exhibit multiple typoswill be penalized depending on how prevalent this problem is.

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