The sampling and data collection plan serves as the skeleton of our learning team’s project. As the owners of the learning team’s company “The Clear as Mudd Drinking Water Company”, the focus of the research question and hypothesis was switched to an environmentally conscious approach to determine if that was a potential reason behind slipping profits. As a team, we reviewed each member’s individual sampling and data collection plan, noting each plans strengths and weaknesses. Team discussions of the data analysis continued and the decision was made to again change the research question and hypothesis. The elements that comprise this decision, along with the strengths and weaknesses of the individual plans will be revealed along with the final determination in the upcoming pages. Strengths
Reviewing the individual business research papers, the thought processes are all very well presented. The learning team’s papers strengths centered on the sampling and survey methods. The methods varied in procedure, but the underlying premises are “spot on”. Observations
One idea is to obtain observations within members of the company. This input can be beneficial sampling element for research. Intra-company observations can reveal problems and solutions that the public may not be conscious of. These surveys are also an excellent way to gauge perceptions and feeling about the company. While these may not be directly applicable to the current survey, these can reveal other areas of opportunities. Survey Methods
The method of survey for the research project generally depends on what will be surveyed. Conducting a consumer preference survey provides vital information for product acceptance and well as potential product improvements. The water bottling company has very specific product and a direct consumer survey can return specific information vs a company with a wide breadth of products. Another survey method (which is used in this project) is data mining. Data mining is researching and gathering data (information) through a database or other data warehouse. The idea of using the data we already have on hand to determine if the water bottling process could be a potential problem was a key strength. The data is easily available, at little to no relative cost to obtain. This will provide the answers we are looking for without having to enlist human evaluations, which would increase the cost of the survey process exponentially. Improvements
Reviewing our team’s project, there are a few areas that improvements could be made. These correct areas and subjects were covered in the reports, but as a group some of the estimations needed some adjustment. Sample Size/Population
Cooper & Schindler (2014) has referred that using an adequate sample size from a population is critical in performing a correct analysis. In the reports analyzed for this project, the sample size is under what it should be. Limiting the sample size is more cost effective, but in doing so valuable information is left out to determine if the sample size properly represents the population. In addition, specific population targeting (i.e. age) can provide details for that group, but if too much focus is lost on what is perceived as the target population, it is likely that (at least) secondary or possible the new primary population could be overlooked.
Data Security Measures
In the current technology age, data security has never been more important. Though the learning team’s plans included security measures, there were some comments made for improvements. Conducting a survey through the use of a portable device (such as an iPad) could pose security issues from theft of the data file or theft of the actual device. If the survey contained private and potential confidential information, there would be legal ramifications. Improving the original data encryption system in this type of device would be of paramount importance. An additional area for improved data security is the sharing of confidential results, especially when it comes to hard copy distribution. Hard copy distribution can occur, but tight controls need to be in place. Much like electronic controls, hard copies can just as easily fall into the wrong hands. Keeping in mind these improvements and strengths, the initial research questions and hypotheses needs to be reexamined and much like in week 3, refocused to better suit the teams needs. Modified Research Question
The original research question was stated as: Is there a correlation in the quantity of product bottled (DV) and sales decrease (IV)? Through additional research, the research question was restated as: Will revenue increase as the amount of plastic used in bottle production is reduced? The revised research question made sense, but through further examination and the week 4 research the revised question was nebulous. With that, our team simplified the research question and returned more towards the initial thoughts. The research question has been modified to: Can we conclude that the mean amount per bottle is different from 16 ounces? With decreasing revenue, if the amount in the water bottles is not the advertised 16 ounces, our bottling plant equipment may need to be repaired or replaced. In addition, if the water levels are lower than expected, customers likely will not be purchasing the product. Our modified hypothesis statements are: H0: Amount of water in the bottles = 16 ounces.
H1: Amount of water in the bottles ≠ 16 ounces.
The learning team focus on each other’s papers proved to be beneficial in that we have determined certain strengths and areas of improvements. Observations and survey methods revealed that our team has a good direction. With added focus, our team is on the way to a successful project. The areas of improvement pointed out where we need to concentrate on and keep on task, such as sample size and population focus. Through this analysis and review, our research question was also restated into a much more direct question. Using this research question and the clarity of the hypotheses, our learning team is anxious to further pursue the business research project.
McClave, J., Benson, G., & Sincich, T. (2011). Statistics for Business and Economics [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, QNT/561 – Applied Business Research and Statistics. Cooper, D., & Schindler, P. (2014). Business Research Methods [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, QNT/561 –
Applied Business Research and Statistics. University of Phoenix. (2014). Week Four Supplement: Business Research Project Part 3: Sampling and Data Collection Plan. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, QNT/561 – Applied Business Research and Statistics.