12-2 Learning Objectives LO12.1 Explain how planning and conducting business research for reports impacts you credibility. LO12.2 Create research objectives that are specific and achievable. LO12.3 Explain principles of effective design for survey questions and choices. LO12.4 Develop charts and tables to concisely display data and accentuate key messages.
12-3 Learning Objectives (cont.) LO12.5 Evaluate the usefulness of data sources for business research. LO12.6 Conduct secondary research to address a business problem. LO12.7 Evaluate research data, charts, and tables for fairness and effectiveness.
12-4 Analyzing Your Audience for Business Reports The first step in developing research-based business reports is identifying what decision makers want to accomplish. You should spend time with your target audience of decision makers to carefully consider their primary business goals, research objectives, and expectations
12-5 Developing Your Ideas with Primary Research Primary research the analysis of data that you, people from your organization, or others under your direction have collected. Secondary research the analysis of data collected by others with no direction from you or members of your organization.
12-6 Developing Your Ideas with Primary Research Survey research is increasingly common because of the ease with which online surveys can be administered Survey research generally involves administering written questionnaires
12-7 Developing Your Ideas with Primary Research Closed questions restrict respondents to certain answers (rating scales, multiple choice, etc.). Open-ended questions allow respondents to answer in any way they choose.
12-9 Creating Surveys Surveys are particularly useful because you can quickly get the responses of dozens if not hundreds of colleagues, current or potential customers, or members of other groups of interest.
12-10 Creating Surveys Survey questions should be: a)simple to answer b)non-leading c)exhaustive and unambiguous d)limited to a single idea.
12-13 Creating Exhaustive and Unambiguous Survey Choices
12-14 Creating Survey Questions with a Single Idea
12-15 Analyzing Your Data Learn as much as you can about forecasting and other forms of statistical and quantitative analysis Learn as much as you can about spreadsheet, database, and statistical software
12-16 Analyzing Your Data Rely on others in your analysis Stay focused on your business problem and look for the big picture
12-17 Communicating with Charts and Tables After conducting survey research or other forms of business research, you typically have many statistics and figures that you could include in reports to decision makers Overloading your audience members with data is a sure way to guarantee they’ll forget almost everything you say
12-18 Designing Effective Charts Line charts useful for depicting events and trends over time Pie charts useful for illustrating the pieces within a whole Bar charts useful to compare amounts or quantities
12-19 Creating Effective Charts Title descriptiveness Focal points Information sufficiency Ease of processing Take-away message
12-20 Creating Effective Charts Title descriptiveness title should explain the primary point of the chart. Must be short enough for the reader to process quickly Focal points should support one main idea can be visually generated in many interesting ways
12-21 Creating Effective Charts Information sufficiency Charts should contain enough information for the reader to quickly and reasonably understand the ideas that are being displayed
12-22 Creating Effective Charts Ease of processing By selecting only the necessary information and placing labels and data at appropriate places, you enable your reader to process the information quickly and efficiently
12-23 Creating Effective Charts Takeaway message essence of your chart how the information, title, focal points, and other formatting combine to convey a lasting message.
12-24 Formatting Guidelines for Specific Chart Types
12-28 Evaluating Data Quality Reliability relates to how dependable the data is—how current and representative Relevance relates to how well the data apply to your specific business problem Adaptability relates to how well the research can be altered or revised to meet your specific business problem
12-29 Evaluating Data Quality Expertise relates to the skill and background of the researchers to address your business problem. Biases tendencies to see issues from particular perspectives
12-30 Strengths and Limitations of Data Quality for Primary and Secondary Research Sources
12-31 Evaluating Data Quality White papers reports or guides that generally describe research about solving a particular issue Industry publications written to cater to the specific interests of members in particular industries
12-32 Evaluating Data Quality Business periodicals provide stories, information, and advice about contemporary business issues Scholarly journals contain information that comes from carefully controlled scientific research processes and has been reviewed by experts in the field
12-33 Conducting Library Research Aside from a significant collection of books across a wide range of disciplines and topics, your library likely contains a wealth of digital resources You likely also have access to thousands of company and industry reports and scholarly journals
12-34 Documenting Your Research Decision makers expect excellent documentation of your information because this helps them evaluate the credibility of your report
12-35 Using Online Information for Business Research Always evaluate data quality Do more than just “Google it.” Go to reputable business and industry websites and conduct searches. Find online discussions and forums about your selected topic Search beyond text-based information Be persistent