Any resources to practice graphs and take aways?
Overview of answers
I can share some of them with you. Feel free to reach me.
you can structure a graph analysis considering the following steps:
1. Read the graph
- Ask for one minute of time to understand the graph.
- Summarize what the graph is about. Read in particular the graph title (often forgotten), the axes and the legend.
2. Analyze the graph
- Repeat the main question you have to answer. Many people don’t spend time to clarify the specific question they have to answer; consequently, they answer the wrong question. Don’t be one of them and be sure to restate what is the main insight you have to derive
- Provide an analysis related to the question. Once you have a clear understanding of the graph, then, and only then, you can move to an analysis of how the graph can answer the question you have repeated.
3. Provide a conclusion for the graph.
- Answer to the question asked. Again, very often people simply state what the graph is about, without providing any conclusion. A great candidate will provide a connection between the analysis done and the previous question formulated, with a clear summary of the whole analysis
- Present the next steps to follow based on such conclusion. As a last step, a great candidate will present what can be done next to help further the client on the particular question raised.
In terms of takeaways and conclusions, you can structure as follows:
1. Repeat the objective. This will ensure you are indeed answering to what is relevant for the case. Forget to repeat the objective is one of the most common mistakes candidates do in the conclusion and can lead to answer to the wrong question. As an example:
- “Our goal was to understand (i) why profits are declining and (ii) how we could increase profits by XYZ”
2. Provide an answer-first solution. You don’t have to present everything you discovered in the case at this stage, only the main conclusion and its supporting factor. If the conclusion is not clear 100% as you have not analyzed all the elements of your structure to derive a definite yes or no, you can provide a preliminary answer based on the elements you have identified.
- “After our initial analysis, we found out that profits are declining due a decrease in revenues in division 1 and that, in order to increase profits, with the information we have so far it seems a good idea to enter Market A. This is based on the following reasons:
- [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 1]
- [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 2]
- [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 3]”
3. Provide risks / next steps suggestions. You should always have next steps/ risks in your conclusion. You can refer to the elements present in your structure that you did not have time to cover or to risks emerged during the case:
- “As additional elements, we would like also to consider the following …[RISKS/NEXT STEPS]”
You should spend around one minute to deliver a conclusion. The interviewer may give you a shorter time constraint (usually minimum 30 seconds), thus you should also practice for shorter allocations of time.
If interesting for you, I offer a specific class on graph analysis and conclusions, please feel free to PM for more information.
you can find tons of mbb presentations on slideshare and pdf search