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How could I tackle the problems with the graph analysis?

Case Interview McKinsey
Recent activity on Aug 08, 2017
1 Answer
3.1 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Aug 07, 2017

Hi to all preplounge guys!

Could you pls advise on how could I prepare for the graph analysis part? I wanted to develop certain algorithms on each type of graph. For example: first, tell about overall industry trends. Second, say whether your client is behind the indsutry trends, third, analyze competitiors, etc. But I think it doesn't work well all time, since there could be graph, which could be VERY difficult to understand (and even classify). What should I do in this case. I'm good at solving the cases, but when the graph is very hard to grasp, i m starting to panick and fail the whole case.

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replied on Aug 08, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Honestly I think you overcomplicate it when you are talking about various algorythms per each graph. Basically you should approach each graph in a following way:

  1. Take a minute to look at the graph
  2. Read the graph title
  3. Look at the graph type and define the type (pie chart, line chart, etc)
  4. Look at the legend
  5. Identify whats going on on graph. Look for: Trends, correlations, outliers, % structures)
  6. Make 3-4 conclusions from the graph. Think of potential hypothesis on what could be the root cause / what are the concequences
  7. Prioritize the most important for you current analysis and move forward with the case

Sources to learn from (prioritized):

  1. Study "Say it with Charts" book by Barbara Minto
  2. Learn basic statistics (Any GMAT or MBA prep guides)
  3. Check all available MBB presentations and publications. Practice to derive conclusions and check yourself with the actual ones from the article / presentation
  4. GMAT IR part (Official guide and Manhattan prep)
  5. "Consulting Bible" and "Vault guide for consulting" - check the chapters on cases with graphs in these books

Good luck!

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Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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