Graph and tables analysis

BCG McKinsey and Bain Data Analysis quantitative analysis Quantitative skills
Recent activity on Jan 15, 2022
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 14, 2022

Hello, 

 

I really struggle with analyzing tables and graphs. Most of the time, I have trouble priorizing when there is a lot of information and connecting insights to the case when it's not obvious.

I have been making drills on rocketblocks for several months and finished them, but didn't really improve.

Do you know some useful resources to improve on that? Both lessons and training.

 

Thanks

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Francesco
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replied on Jan 15, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

The method I would suggest for graph analysis is the following:

1. READ THE GRAPH

  • Ask for 30 seconds to understand the graph
  • Summarize the graph. Read in particular the graph title, the legend, and the footnote. Candidates quite often skip this part and then make mistakes

2. ANALYZE THE GRAPH AND FIND THE MAIN INSIGHTS

  • Repeat the question. Many candidates don’t spend time clarifying the question; consequently, they answer the wrong question. Be sure to align with the interviewer on what you have to do
  • Provide an analysis related to the question. Identify the key insights of the graph based on the question (this is the most difficult part of graph analysis, as it is different in every graph)

3. PROPOSE THE NEXT STEPS

  • State your hypothesis or suggestion on what to do next. Present what should be done next to help further the client
  • Ask a question/propose an analysis related to what is needed to move forward. This will show you are able to drive the case

In case you need help, I do a specific session on graph analysis, please feel free to PM me for details.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
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updated an answer on Jan 15, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

If you did all of the Rocketblocks drills and didn't improve then honestly I'm concerned. I think you should seriously consider a coach to teach/train you in chart reading. For whatever reason, you haven't fundamentally shifted your mindset/approach.

You're beyond the point of finding more resources online imho. Rather, you need teaching in the subject.

For a start, try reading my article on mindset shifts. There is some information there that should help with chart reading: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

For some additional practice:

Read the Economist (esp. the Charts section) and BCG Insights daily.

(edited)

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Lucie
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replied on Jan 14, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hello there, 

I think it would be important to clarify: Are you having problems to read charts and graphs also outside the business case, in your day to day life?

… I would guess you may struggle to identify what information is relevant for your case, as during the interview, you may be given information out of which a significant part is not relevant (testing how you prioritize, 80/20 approach, able to navigate in complex problems). 

If you struggle overall with the graphs and charts, I would recommend any course in the internet that gives tips and tricks. If you struggle only during the case, then I would recommend:

- start practicing cases where are no charts and graphs to identify what process works for you and so being able to transfer that process

- most importantly, when you approach the case and you formulate your early hypothesis, you identify what is information you will need to test it. This should help you to read the charts.

Please feel free to reach out if you would like to dig deeper → I can provide insight as a BCG trainer, teaching newly-joined Associate and Consultant precisely this

Wishing you all the best,

Lucie

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Francesco

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