produced only once. They require you to start from scratch.
Includes a specific subject line about the situation.
Provides brief contect and the report purpose up front.
Identifies criteria for comparing the info.
Uses a table to compare info easily.
States the recomendation and timeframe clearly.
organized presentation of information used to make decisions and solve problems.
Approach for collecting data
1. define the report purpose
2. Analyze the intended audience
3. Determine what data is needed to solve the problem or make the decision.
factoring your problem
breaking it down to determne what data you need to collect.
What is the nutritional content of our current menu options for kids?
What are the industry trents? How prevalent is the move toward healthier menus for kids?
Criteria for a business report?
Organized: the reader can locate info quickly. Content is in logical order
Well Supported: info can be trusted with facts and data. Subjected data presented ethically and based on info in the report for drawing conclusions and judgements.
Useful: uses reports to make decisions and solve problems that effect orgs success. Practical info that readers use to make decisions.
Types of data Secondary and Primary
Secondary data: (most widely used) is data collected by someone else for some other purpose (published or unpublished) internet, journal, mag, newspaper, books, brochures, company records, legal docs, personal files, medical reports.
Primary data: collected by the researcher to solve a specific problem. more control over its accuracy, completeness, objectivity and relevance. 3 methods: surveys, observation and experimentation.
40% of internet users don;t know the difference between compan paid internet sites and independent internet sites. People tend to evaluate the quality of the internet data based on the quality of the site. Not true.
Evaluating web sources
Authority: author organized, identifiable? About this site. experience, credentials, publications, press. other sites linking to the site. links lead to reputable sites? the domain extention.
Accuracy and Reliability: sources documented? spelling errors/grammer? background info be verified? how old is site?
Purpose/Objectivity: purpose or motive for site? clear distinction between opinion and fact? who is the intended audience
Coverage: does the site cover a time period? aspect of topic or indepth? info included? omitted? Under construction?
Currency: when was it last updated? how often? dead links?
Evaluating research studies: data that fails one of these five tests should probably not be used
What is the purpose of the study: People who have vested interest may take short cuts, however, people with a genuine interest in answering a question ae more likely to select their samples carefully.
How was the data collected: what procedures were used?
How was the data analyzed: how we analyze data depends on the type of data we collect
How consistent is the data with that from other studies: consisitency in data across studies is good.
How old is the data: May be true back then, not now.
is a written instrument with questions to obtain info is the most frequently used method in business research. Survey and questionaire are not the same. You conduct a survey by administering a questionaire
Dos and Don'ts in a questionaire
Ask only one question in each item.
Assure questionaire is anonymous, used broad catergories, include a list of options rather than fill in. Run a pilot test or at minimum ask a collegue.
Writing the cover letter or email?
Address and identify the audience
begins with an eager attn getter
catpures interest with something the sudience can relate to
includes a clear request and emphasizes that the survey is short
provides reasons to participate
explains the survey structure and how much time is required
expresses appreciation, makes the qa easy to acces through a link
includes the researchers names but no signature in an email.
Collecting raw data into INFORMATION
meaningful facts, stats, and conclusions. Analysis and interpretation turn data into information.
tables, charts, photographs or pther graphic material to add interest. tables are often the most economical way of presenting numerical data.
is ab orderly arrangement of fata into columns and rows. most basic form of statistical analysis because it shows a large amnt of data in a small space. provides more info than a chart does, although less visual impact. Trends are more obvious in graphs.
Arranging data tables
logical order, numerical or alphabetical. high to low. small catergories can be arranged into misc catergories. footnote to expain an entry of a catergory.
can improve reader comprehension, emphasize vertain data, create interest and save time and space. helps readers understand main points from large amnts of data. Charts recieve more attn than tables or narrative text. Use when the overal picture is more important thant the numbers. Research shows more confidence in tables than graphs.
Designing simple clear charts.
keep simple for imed comprehension. Display what you want to convey.
craming too much into a chart will confuse. Avoid to large, too garish and to complicated charts. Charts should explain data, and support case. May effect credibility.
Choosing an appropiate chart type.
line charts, bar charts and pie charts. label as figures, and assign them consectuive numbers seperate from tables. tables captioned at top, charts captioned at bottom possibly.
Line charts (highlight trends)
a graph based on a grid of uniformly spaced horizontal and vertical lines.
Vertical: values begins with zero
Bar charts (compares magnitude)
is a graph with horizontal or vertical bars representing values. most useful, simple and popular graphic technique. display magnitude and size. may be grouped to compare several variables over time. highlight percentage change to reader.
circle graph divided into component wedges. compares the relative parts that make up a whole. In an exploding pie, one wedge is pulled out for emphasis. 3 to 5 components. slice pie at the 12:0 position. move clockwise in descending size. differnt colors. Three dimensional graphs are chart junk and difficult to read.
Checklist for tables
- use tables to present large amnt of numenrical data in a small space and to permit easy comparisons of figures
- number tables consecutively and use concise but descriptive table titles and column headings.
-ensure that the table is understandable by itself, without reference to the accompanying narrative.
- arrange rows of the table in logical order, often descending
- combine smaller, less important cats into a misc cat and put it last
-use cross tabulation analysis to compare different subgroups
- use only as much detail as necessary. round figures to nearest whole
-use easily understood abbreviations and symbols as needed
-ensure that the units, (dollars percentages) are clearly identified.
Checklist for Charts
- use charts only when they will help the reader interpret the data better, never just to make the report look better
- label all charts as figures, and assign them consectutive numbers
- keep charts simples. Strive for a single imed, correct iterpretation and keep the readers attn on the data in the chart rather than on the chart itself.
- use the most appropriate type of chart to acchieve your objectives. Three of the most popular are line, bar and pie.
Checklist for Line Charts
- use line charts to show changes in data over period of time to emphasize the movement of the data, trends.
- use the vertical axis to represent amount and the horizontal axis to represent time.
- mark off both axes at equal intervals and clearly label them
- begin the vertical axis at zero; use slash marks to show a break in the interval
-if you plot more that one variable on the chart, clearly distinguish between the lines and label clearly.
Checklist for Bar Charts
- use bar charts to compare the magnitude or relative size of the items over a period of time
- make all bars the same width; vary the length to reflect the value of each item.
- arrange the bars in logical order and clearly label each
Checklist for Pie Charts
- use pie charts to compare the relative parts that make up a whole.
- begin slicing the pie at 12:00 moving in a logical order
-label each wedge of the pie, indicate its value and clearly differentiate the wedges
Interpreting data steps
1. Isolation: look at each piece of the data in isolation.
2. Context: kiij at each piece of data in combination with other bits.
3. synthesis: synthesize all the information you've collected. When facts and relationship are considered together, what does that mean for the business idea?
Making sense of the data
Don't just present tables and figures. Interpret important points for your reader. Determine the meaning of each finding by itself in conjunction with each other finding, and in conjunction with all other findings. Look for an overal response to the question.
Discuss cross tabulation data
trends, unexpected findings, data that reinforces or contradicts other data, extrem values, date that raises questions
everyone involved in the reporting situation has a responsibility to act in an ethical manner.