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Milestone 3: Proposal
Benjamin Xie & Gregory L. Nelson
Your final project is your opportunity to explore a data-driven decision making environment of your choice, and create a resource for supporting decisions.
For example, your end product might communicate your analysis and insights to people who are in a position to make a decision.
As a team, you'll decide what context, dataset(s) you want to explore, and what type of resource you want to build.
An important step in any analysis is outlining what you're trying to accomplish, which is what you'll do in this assignment.
The more effort you put into this step, the more time you'll save later.
For this step, you will create a written document (~1000 - 2000 words total) with 3 sections:
- project description,
- technical description, and
Section 1: Project Description
This is a written, non-technical description of your project.
This section should give anyone reading this document an idea of what question you are trying to answer how this will inform a decision.
Depending on the specifics of your project, you should outline the answers to these (and perhaps other) questions:
What decision-making context will you support? What are some decisions in that context you might support?
When defining your decision- Consider the questions from Homework 2: Analyzing a Data Science Case Study
Also consider the following questions:
What is the decision you want to inform?
Who is making the decision you want to inform?
Why does this decision matter to them?
What data will you work with? Please include background on who collected the data, where you accessed it, and any additional information we should know about how this data came to be.
Who is affected by those decisions? Depending on the domain of your data, there may be a variety of audiences interested in using your analysis. You should hone in on one of these audiences.
How will your project support decisions? List out at least one decision your project will support for your audience. Please also list at least 3 questions ("sub-goals") you will answer towards that goal.
Section 2: Technical Description
This section of your proposal is an opportunity to think through the specific analytical steps you'll need to complete throughout the project.
- What will be the format of your final product (Shiny app, HTML page or slideshow compiled with KnitR, etc.)?
- Do you anticipate any specific data collection / data management challenges?
- What new technical skills will need to learn in order to complete your project?
- How will you conduct your analysis? Please include a detailed description of your intended modeling approach. More specifically:
- What will inputs to your model(s) be?
- What will outputs to your model(s) be?
- What relationship between different factors may you find?
- What are potential/expected results and how do they connect to your decision context?
- What major challenges do you anticipate?
Section 3: Logistics
Remember that almost anything will turn out to be harder and more time-consuming than you expect.
Try to arrange your project so that there are intermediate milestones that can serve as alternative finishing points,
in case you don't get to the end. It will be much better to turn in a polished version of a small-scale project than to find yourself at the end of the term with a three-quarters implemented system of great depth and scope.
- Include a plan with at least 4 steps, and indicate your internal deadlines for each of those steps.
- Define the division of responsibility between group members.
- Identify 1-3 "risks" to your project and how you plan to mitigate them. That is, what things do you think might turn out to be more difficult than planned? And how will you mitigate these risks?
This assignment is out of 4 points and you will submit it by updating the wiki of your team's GitHub repository:
Your shared GitHub space will be graded on its clarity and feasibility on the following scale:
- 1 point: Project Description connects project to a larger social and decision context. Potential impact of project is clear.
- 1 point: Technical Description is detailed, coherent, and comprehensive.
- 1 point: Logistics are thought-out and reasonable.
- 1 point: Feasibility, novelty, and importance of project.