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Running head: DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS Data Gathering and Analysis Koyel Dutta Capella University Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited. 1 DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS 2 Case Study Kalvino is a reputed brand for leather products in the United States. It sells its leather products across multiple stores in the United States. The owner of the brand has entrusted Damon, a market researcher, to address the cause of decline in the sales of its leather products and make recommendations to the organization’s leaders addressing the various reasons causing the decline in sales (see Appendix, for the scenario). The research method that can be used to analyze the decline in sales is qualitative research. It is primarily an exploratory research method and used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations of the various respondents in a study. Damon can use the qualitative research method to analyze the reasons causing the decline in the sales of leather products. This research method will give him insight regarding the various decisions and choices made by the customers that might have an impact on the sales of Kalvino’s products (Leavy, Saldana, Beretvas, & Natasha, 2011). Research Question Hierarchy for the Management Dilemma A research question hierarchy is a six-step hierarchy of questions that helps management to find a solution to a problem through a step-by-step order of questions (Cooper & Schindler, 2006). The following steps describe the research question hierarchy that can be used by Damon to help the management of Kalvino solve their management dilemma. Management dilemma: In a competitive and fluctuating market environment, decline of sales is a major problem that many companies face in the leather industry, including Kalvino. There is also a rise in the number of competitors in this industry, which would affect Kalvino. Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited. DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS 3 Management questions: In order to find out a solution to the decline in sales, it is essential to understand the major factors behind this problem and try to capitalize on opportunities to increase sales. Some of the questions that the management should address are—why is there a decline in sales? How can there be an increase in the sales of the company’s product? Is the cost of product affecting the sales? Is the quality of the product poor in comparison to the competitors? Are the salespeople dissatisfied with their jobs? Should the cost of leather products be reduced? What kinds of opportunities are available to increase sales? Research questions: Based on the questions mentioned above, the management needs to decide what course of action should be taken to reach a solution. The questions that can be helpful for deciding the course of action could be —should the quality of leather products be improved? What measures can be undertaken to reduce cost without affecting quality? Should there be an increase in the incentives of salespeople? Should there be a change in the distribution system and methods? Should the market price of the products be reduced to pull in more customers? Investigative questions: A further analysis of the questions would help the management find the most suitable solution to the problem. It requires considering certain questions— can Kalvino’s customers afford the products or services? Will the incentives satisfy the salespeople? Will a change in distribution incur more cost to the company? Will the improvement in product quality lead to an increase in the cost of production? Measurement questions: A proper answer to the above questions can be gained by collecting relevant information, which requires collecting data from the concerned people—do the products or services fulfil the demands of the customers? Are the customers willing to pay more for better quality? Will salespeople be satisfied with a Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited.
DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS 4 changed incentive system? How did you find our pricing of the products in comparison to other service providers? Management decision: According to the research conducted by Damon, the authorities of Kalvino should decide—whether they should improve the quality of the product? Whether there should be a reduction in the cost of the product? Should they go ahead and change the incentives structure for the salespeople? Based on the information from these questions, the company should pick up the best method that would help it achieve a substantial improvement in the sales of the leather products. Methods for Qualitative Data Collection A successful implementation of the research question hierarchy is possible by using the most suitable method of data collection depending on the situation. Some of the most common sources of data collection in qualitative research are interviews, focus groups, and observations. The methods for data collection that can be used by Damon in this scenario are interviews and focus groups. Interviews: An interview is the most common source of data in qualitative studies. It is a verbal interchange between an interviewer and an interviewee. Damon can conduct interviews through face-to-face interactions or telephonic calls, and he can include closeended and open-ended questions in interviews, having fixed answers or varying answers respectively. Some of the questions that Damon can ask the interviewees are—how happy are you with your purchase? How did you find our pricing of the products in comparison to other service providers? What other services should we offer? What kind of incentives would you prefer? Focus groups: The focus group is a type of qualitative research technique in which interviews are held with a small group of people on specific topics. Damon can use this Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited. Comment [JK1]: Very good with the identification and detail development of the elements of the research question hierarchy Comment [JK2]: Very good describing several data collection methods to include focus groups, interviews and others.Data Gathering and Analysis
DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS 5 technique as he can gather information about several people in one session. This will allow him to find the perceptions, needs, and underlying reasons behind various decisions made by customers, which would help him, decide the cause behind the decline in the sales of Kalvino’s products (Strickland, 2010). Sampling frame: The sampling frame is a list of members of the total population of interest from which a sample for study can be drawn. In this scenario, Damon can consider the customers and salespeople of Kalvino as the population. He can select a few customers and salespeople of Kalvino as the sample. There are two types of sampling observations that Damon can use to conduct his research—time sampling and event sampling. By using time sampling, he can observe the behavior of customers and salespeople for several days, weeks, or months. By using event sampling, Damon can record the reasons behind the decline in sales of Kalvino products real time. Some of the questions that Damon can ask the sampled customers are as follows—how happy are you with your purchase? What persuaded you to purchase from Kalvino? What is the one feature that differentiates Kalvino from other service providers? The question that Damon can ask the salespeople is as follows—what kind of incentives and benefits do they prefer? The data collected through qualitative methods is a direct reflection of the skills and competencies of the researcher. Damon should employ sophisticated interpersonal skills to interpret and respond accurately to the behavior of the customers and salespeople in various settings. Methods of Data Analysis in Qualitative Research A proper analysis of the data collected would help in finding the right solution to a problem. Recorded words and sentences provide rich data about the personalities, thoughts, and attitudes of respondents. Content analysis is a data analysis strategy used to access the Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited. Comment [JK3]: Very good discussing several sampling issues Comment [JK4]: Good with the descriptio of some qualitative data analyses methods. DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS 6 gathered information in a more systematic and objective manner to identify concepts and themes in the collected data. In content analysis, coding is the process of combining the data for themes, ideas, and categories where similar passages of text are marked with a code label so that they can easily be retrieved at a later stage for further comparison and analysis. Coding the data makes it easier to search the data, to make comparisons, and to identify any patterns that require further investigation. Damon can start the analysis by coding sections of text or by making separate notes about the data collection. By coding, he can gradually convert raw data into usable data by identifying themes, concepts, or ideas that are connected to each other. He can give meaningful names to words, phrases, or pieces of text that exemplify what the participants are saying, which is called as “theming.” Damon should carefully document the various iterations of “coding trees,” which help in understanding how and why raw data are converted into a theme and what rules he has to use to decide on the inclusion or exclusion of specific data within or from a theme. At the end of the theming process, the customers’ narratives can be illustrated by quotations from the transcripts (Austin & Sutton, 2014). During the collection and analysis of qualitative data, a researcher might face various ethical issues, which need to be addressed. Ethical Issues Involved in the Collection of Qualitative Data In the qualitative research procedure, a researcher will face ethical challenges in all the stages of the study, from designing to reporting which includes anonymity, confidentiality, informed consent, and researchers’ potential impact on the participants. Protection of customers through the informed consent process favors formalized interaction between researcher and customer. Customers should understand the risks they face and the benefits they gain as a result of participating in the research. The researcher must be Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited. Comment [JK5]: Very good describing several ethical issues in the context of the problem.Data Gathering and Analysis
DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS 7 conscious that his own views and opinions should not affect the research process. Damon should attempt to keep the data anonymous. However, this can be sometimes difficult as the participants are recognizable at times because of their stories (Austin & Sutton, 2014). Damon, like any other researcher, needs to consider these ethical challenges for obtaining accurate results during his research. Recommendations for the Management of Kalvino The sale of leather products in Kalvino is declining. Damon should suggest ways to the authorities to increase the sales. If one of the causes for decline in sales is high price, then a way to overcome the high price is by using raw materials efficiently, which will minimize wastage and maximize productivity of the products. If the cost of production is reduced, then the sales of products will increase gradually. Another cause for decline in sales is quality of the product. High-quality products like bags have edges that have been polished by hand. The quality of these can be improved if the craftsmen put more attention into the products. The dissatisfaction of the salespeople also affects the sales. If the salespeople are offered more incentives and benefits, this problem can be resolved. This can help the business to increase the sales of the products. Based on Damon’s research and recommendations, the management of Kalvino should take appropriate measures to increase the sale of its products. Conclusion Qualitative research may not provide definitive answers, but it can yield a better understanding for the focused work. Damon should use the qualitative research method to find reasons for the decline in the sales of Kalvino’s products, which might be high price, degrading quality, and dissatisfaction of the salespeople in Kalvino. Based on his research and analysis, Damon can advise the management of Kalvino to take appropriate steps to increase the sales of its products. Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited.
DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS 8 References Austin, Z., & Sutton, J. (2014).Data Gathering and Analysis
Qualitative research: Getting started. The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 67(6), 436–440. https://ncbi-nlm-nihgov.library.capella.edu/pmc/articles/PMC4275140/. Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P.S. (2006). Clarifying the research question through secondary data and exploration. Marketing research (pp. 110 –118) Retrieved from https://books.google.co.in/books?id=Cf1D0DvWXI8C&pg=PA110&lpg=PA110&dq
=cooper+research+hierarchy+question&source=bl&ots=ldRHPx1_yw&sig=dE14a2l K313Ubjzq7XJJgfU58cc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihvPLcpdDQAhUKNI8KHb 7aCzcQ6AEIOzAF#v=onepage&q=cooper%20research%20hierarchy%20question&f =false Leavy, Saldana, P., Beretvas, J., & Natasha (2011). Fundamentals of Qualitative Research Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/lib/capella/reader.action?docID= 665394 Strickland, O. L., Waltz C. F., & Lenz E. R. (2010). Measurement in Nursing and Health Research. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/lib/capella/reader.action?docID= 515306 Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited. DATA GATHERING AND ANALYSIS 9 Appendix Kalvino is a reputed brand for leather products in the United States. It sells its leather products across multiple stores in the United States. The owner of the brand has entrusted Damon, a market researcher, to address the cause of decline in the sales of its leather products and make recommendations to the organization’s leaders addressing the various causes for the decline in sales. Copyright © 2016 Capella University. Copy and distribution of this document is prohibited. …