ACCOUNTING DATA ANALYTICS ACCT 4550 – Fall 2021 Final Project Please form


ACCT 4550 – Fall 2021

Final Project

Please form groups of 2 or 3 and complete the requirements below. This project is based on “The 360” case study provided by EY Foundation for academic purposes. Use the “MCF_Employees.xlsx” data provided in D2L. Perform all your analyses in Tableau. Your deliverable is one Tableau file (twbx format) uploaded to D2L. The due date is midnight on Tuesday, December 7th.

Analytics mindset

The 360


MC Foods, Inc. (MCF) is a US-based food company headquartered near Denver, Colorado. It was established by brothers, Melvin and Casper Winifred, in 1934 as a small condiment business, with a specialty for pickles and relishes using homemade recipes developed by their mother, Edith Winifred. Since then, MCF has grown to include 18 business units in 71 locations and employs over 9,100 employees. MCF has broadened its offerings to include seasonings, canned and frozen vegetables and fruits, a range of plant-based vegetarian products and international foods.

Description of the 360-degree performance evaluation process at MCF

Employee performance evaluations are an important component of the management control system in many organizations. Effective employee performance evaluation programs should inform employees of the organization’s expectations of their performance and encourage them (often explicitly) to work diligently to meet those expectations. Employee performance evaluation programs come in many forms and employees can be evaluated on many different performance dimensions. Sometimes employees are evaluated based on objective performance targets (e.g., quarterly sales goals). Employees can also be evaluated on more subjective measures, such as their attitude or the quality of the customer service they provide.

In 2015, MCF began using an annual 360-degree performance evaluation for its employees (the 360). A 360-degree performance evaluation typically collects input for an employee from multiple sources within an organization’s work hierarchy, including an employee’s supervisor, subordinates and peers, as well as from the employee directly. Essentially, these sources are from the center, above, below and around the employee; therefore, the concept of 360 degrees. A 360-degree performance evaluation is intended to provide a fairer, broader perspective of employee performance because performance evaluations are not based on only one source (i.e., the supervisor). However, they are subjective in nature and there could be differences in how they are executed across a large organization. Companies typically use the results of these evaluations for decision-making regarding compensation and promotions, as well as to support professional development.

The 360 takes place each spring at MCF. For the 360, each employee is evaluated by:

Their manager (e.g., direct supervisor)

Their direct reports (if applicable)

Their cross group (This is anyone in the organization who has had significant or meaningful interaction with the employee. Generally, the cross group is determined by the employee and manager, but sometimes the employee does not know individuals in their cross group or why they have been included. The number of cross-group evaluators can vary.)


Each rater evaluates the employee on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) for each of the following seven core values:

Core value

How employees exemplify the core values


Be open and receptive. Always be prepared and excited to take on new challenges.


Persevere. Deliver superior results. Adopt a sense of urgency. Make things happen.


Fulfill commitments. Be punctual. Deliver results. Do not make excuses.


Be helpful and thoughtful. Act with respect. Prioritize the team over yourself. Value the opinions of others. Listen with an open mind and heart.


Take responsibility. Be committed to results. Focus on details.


Focus on what is important. Adopt a hands-on approach. Avoid bureaucracy.


Be direct, honest and transparent. Respectfully express opinions. Don’t just say no. Be positive and offer solutions.

In early summer, the results of the 360 process are compiled. All of the results from the 360, except for the self-evaluation results, are utilized in determining promotions and raises. In compiling the results, MCF calculates the average score of all seven core values for each employee from each source. Based on these scores, MCF then uses the average of the following inputs to generate an overall score for each employee:

Average of the direct report and cross-group ratings combined

Each of the manager’s ratings

These ratings are then used to group (i.e., force rank) employees into performance and potential categories (i.e., boxes) within MCF’s Performance and Potential Matrix (also referred to as the Nine-box as it has nine performance and potential categories).

MCF Performance and Potential Matrix (Nine-box)



Potential gem

High potential


Inconsistent player

Core player

High performer


Average performer

Solid performer



High-level managers, who are in the rankings meeting, make determinations on specific box placement for each employee using the ratings from the 360 evaluations, as well as their own subjective judgment. When needed, these managers might use their judgment to differentiate among employees using their scores on specific core values to determine the final box placement.

Employees meet with their supervisors in person to review the results of their 360 evaluations. These meetings occur in midsummer to late summer when the promotions and raises are announced. During these performance review meetings, employees learn in which performance and potential box they are categorized.

Your role

MCF has recently hired a new Human Resources Department Director, Alejandro Molina. He wants to get a better understanding of the 360 process to determine if it provides quality inputs to MCF’s Performance and Potential Matrix and if it should continue to be used as a basis for promotion and raise decisions. Alejandro wants to make sure the 360 serves its intended purpose — performance improvement — without jeopardizing employee morale and motivation.

You are an employee in the Human Resources Department and Alejandro has asked you to review and analyze the 360 data from 2019 and provide some insights and recommendations. Alejandro has given you an Excel spreadsheet with the 2019 data. It contains over 675,000 rows and includes the following data fields:

Data field



Unique identifier for each employee


Employee name


Employee’s gender as self-reported as female, male or none given

Ethnic Group

Employee’s ethnic group as self-reported as one of the following: American Indian/Alaskan, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White or none given


Employee’s date of birth in the format mm/dd/yyyy

First Day Worked

First day of employment at MCF in the format mm/dd/yyyy

Tenure in Days

Number of days between 12/31/2019 and the first day worked


Name of employee’s manager

Location Code

MCF operates in 71 locations and each location is designated with a 1- or 2-digit numeric code

Business Unit

MCF has 18 business units and this variable is the name or description of each business unit


One of the seven core values being evaluated; each value is on a separate line


The number of individuals who evaluated each employee (including self)


The description of the rater, values include:

Self – employee’s self-assessment

Manager – employee’s direct supervisor

Cross Group – can be anyone in the organization with significant or meaningful interactions with the employee (This group is intended to be determined by the employee and their manager, but sometimes the employee does not know the peer or why they were included in the cross group.)

Direct Report – individuals supervised by the employee

It is possible that some employees will not be rated by each rater category. This may occur if a category is not relevant (e.g., an employee who does not supervise others would not have any direct reports), or because a rater failed to submit a rating for some reason.


Rating for specific value; ranges from 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest

Manager Ethnic Group

Manager’s ethnic group as self-reported as one of the following: American Indian/Alaskan, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White or none given

Manager Gender

Manager’s gender self-reported as female, male, unknown or none given

Alejandro would like you to prepare a brief presentation of your findings for the Executive Committee, which includes the chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief human resources officer. He’d like that presentation to be as easy to interpret as possible because he will only have about five minutes to present to this committee, so you’ll want to use visualization software to perform your work.

Throughout this case, you should use an analytics mindset to guide you. An analytics mindset is the ability to:

Ask the right questions

Extract, transform and load (ETL) relevant data

Apply appropriate data analytics techniques

Interpret and share the results with stakeholders

The requirements of this case will walk you through the analytics mindset.

Analytics mindset

The 360

Part 1 (75 points)

Extract, transform and load (ETL) relevant data

Load the data from Excel into Tableau.

Review the data fields to make certain that the data format is properly identified for each field. For example, fields containing dates should be set as date fields.

Create worksheet to validate the ETL process. Label this worksheet “ETL data validation.” Your ETL data validation page should show that the data set contains the following:

9,144 unique employee IDs

18 business units

70 locations

Apply appropriate data analytics techniques

Your goal is to provide insights about the 360 process and its use for forced rankings of employees at MCF. To this end, you need to examine whether and how the evaluations may differ across the company, by location, by business unit and by rater type. You should also consider differences in each of the seven core values.

Prepare the following visualizations showing the information requested, making certain to title them appropriately based on the step reference.

Summarize your visualizations in a Tableau story and provide brief descriptions/explanations on each page. You don’t have to create a page for each worksheet, you can bring combine related worksheets in a dashboard, and feed the dashboard into the story.

The average (non-self) ratings for each business unit sorted from highest rating to lowest rating.

Show the average (non-self) rating across business units for the entire organization on this visualization for comparison.

Identify outlier business units based on a criterion of your choice.

The average ratings for each business unit comparing ratings by rater types.

Show the average rating across business units across rater types for the entire organization on this visualization for comparison.

The average ratings for each business unit comparing only the manager and self-ratings. Calculate and show the difference between these ratings.

The average (non-self) ratings by location using the mapping tool.

The average ratings for each core value across the entire organization comparing these ratings by rater types.

Show the average rating for each rater category by value on the visualization.

Show the average rating for each core value on this visualization for comparison.

The manager and self-ratings for each core value showing the calculated differences between these ratings.

Show the calculated difference and average manager and self-ratings on the visualization using a combo chart.

The average non-self-ratings for each core value by business unit.

Use a heat map to highlight the differences.

Select two business units with results that appear to be the most different and drill down to investigate those differences. Consider the different factors that might be driving the differences. You may want to examine ratings by specific managers, number of employees, etc.

Although you do not have the actual Nine-box ratings for each employee in your data, you can get a good idea of the top performers by ranking employees by average (non-self) ratings and creating groups of employees based on those rankings.

Prepare a worksheet that ranks the employees by average non-self-rating from highest to lowest.

Assign each employee to a rankings group (top, middle, bottom) based one whether their rankings fall in the top, middle or bottom third of the rankings.

Analytics mindset

The 360

Part 2 (125 points)

Considering the potential for bias in the 360 at MCF

MCF has a diverse employee population and Alejandro is concerned about the possibility that certain groups of employees might be disadvantaged through the performance evaluation process due to their ethnicity, gender, age, etc. Alejandro has asked you to perform additional analyses to learn whether the data suggests rater biases may be impacting the results of the 360.

These concerns are especially important to Alejandro and to MCF because of the racial and social injustices that have come to the forefront of our attention in the US in recent years. MCF has updated its diversity, equity and inclusion policies to address racial justice and to explicitly disavow systemic racism, discrimination and injustice. Although the Executive Committee has taken these steps to make improvements for the future, the Executive Committee would like to understand how the company has performed in the past to see if and where additional action is necessary to create an inclusive and high-performing work environment for all of MCF’s employees.

To this end, Alejandro has asked you to examine the 360 data from last year to determine if there are any patterns that suggest a concern. Alejandro would like you to analyze the data you used in Part 1 and prepare a brief presentation for the Executive Committee. Your presentation will serve as a starting point for the Executive Committee to determine whether it needs to do additional work to investigate potential biases. This presentation should be easy to review and interpret quickly, so you’ll want to use a visualization software to perform your work.

Implicit bias

Implicit biases may impact performance evaluations, raises and promotions in organizations. There may be certain groups that could be disadvantaged in organizations due to implicit biases.

If you are interested in learning more about implicit biases, you may want to consider taking an Implicit Bias test at Project Implicit through Harvard University at

Required – Ask the right questions:

Now that you have thought about 360-degree performance evaluations and implicit bias, identify two questions per each member in your group that you would like to investigate to gain insights into whether the data suggests implicit biases are present at MCF. Analyze each question using Tableau. Convert your analysis into a tableau story, where each story page provides reference to the specific question, along with the insights you generate from the analysis. You can use multiple story pages for the same question.

You have already loaded the data into Tableau. However, as you complete your analysis, you may find it useful to group various measures together to create other distinctions among employees (e.g., minority vs. nonminority instead of discrete ethnic groups). Therefore, you may need to perform additional transformation activities as your complete your work. For simplicity, exclude null values from your analysis if they exist in fields you are analyzing.

Analytics mindset case studies – The 360 13

© 2021 Ernst & Young Foundation (US). All Rights Reserved.

SCORE no. 13390-211US_4

Analytics mindset case studies – The 360 1

© 2021 Ernst & Young Foundation (US). All Rights Reserved.

SCORE no. 13390-211US_4