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Business Research Analysis

BM0421

Week 1 – Introduction, Terminology,


Data Types and Sampling

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Overall Aims
• To provide a grounding in the theory and process of
quantitative data analysis;
• To provide the necessary skills to code and analyse
business research data from a range of sources and
interpret the results obtained from this process;
• To present research findings appropriately;
• To use relevant IT software in the analysis and
presentation of business research data.

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Outline of Teaching Schedule
• Week 1 – Introduction
• Week 2 – Questionnaire Design
• Weeks 3-4 – Data presentation and summary
• Weeks 5-9 – Statistical Inference and hypothesis
testing
• Weeks 10-11 – Correlation and Regression
• Week 12 - Revision

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Structure
Lecture to outline key points of techniques,
followed by practical workshop based exercises.
Students undertake recommended reading and
other directed study to deepen understanding.
Recommended text: Robson, Pemberton &
McGrane (2012) Business Research Analysis,
Pearson Custom Publishing.

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Assessment
There is one piece of summative assessment – an
assignment.
This consists of two sections; the design and critical
evaluation of a questionnaire and the analysis of some
survey data.
This is to be written up in the form of an individual
report.
The assessment brief and data will be posted to the
eLP (Blackboard).

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Week 1: Learning Outcomes
• Understand the main types of data that may be collected
by a business researcher or business manager;
• Understand the difference between primary and
secondary data;
• Define the terms population, census, sample and survey;
• Recognise the relationship between a population and
census and between a sample and survey;
• Understand the strengths and limitations of the most
popular methods of sample selection.

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The research process using
quantitative methods: an overview
Begin with an idea:
refine it and Develop
Develop research hypotheses
determine to use question(s)/aims
quantitative – ideas to
methods be tested
Design data
collection Positivist approach
Pilot TESTING ideas
study methods – e.g.
Can you test what
questionnaire
you need to?
Analyze Write up
Gather data data conclusions

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Types of Data

A quality
Data A value
which a which a
piece of Qualitative Quantitative piece of
data has data has

Discrete
Nominal
(e.g. number of
(e.g. gender) people)
Ordinal Continuous
(e.g. position on a list) (e.g. height)

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Sources of Information
Primary data
- collected for a specific project, not from an
existing source;
- up-to-date, tailored to the needs of the
researcher;
- BUT expensive, time consuming to collect ....

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Sources of Information
Secondary data
- originally collected for a different purpose;
- widely available, cheaper;
- BUT maybe unsuitable, inaccurate, out of date.

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Terminology
All items of interest are referred to as the
POPULATION.
If data are collected from the population, a CENSUS
is undertaken.
More commonly, a SAMPLE of the population is
used.
The sample are a carefully chosen, representative
group. Data collection from a sample is referred to
as a SURVEY.

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Choosing the Sample
Recognised ways of choosing the sample from the
population include:
• simple random sampling;
• stratified random sampling;
• systematic sampling;
• cluster sampling;
• multistage sampling;
• quota sampling;
• convenience sampling;
• purposive sampling;
• self-selection sampling.

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How to choose
• Practicalities – e.g. access to participants,
sample size;
• Nature of participants – any special
circumstances?
• Nature of sample – is it particularly important
to include some groups?
• Possibility of contaminated/distorted answers;
• Type and number of questions needed.

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Directed Study
• Start work on the ‘Basic Excel Skills’ section of
the textbook (pages 3-24);
• Prepare for workshop 1 by reading the case
study on the eLP – the ‘ManCo’ case study.

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