Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
2. Make sure your project/results will be beneficial to a real set of people or company (i.e. Biggby Coffee, Sodexho, Gazelle Sports, Stryker, etc.)
3. Do not procrastinate.
4. Put in the extra effort; will your doing the 2 required regressions for your paper, throwing in two extra isn't that much more work. Doing more regressions, hypothesis testing, intervals, etc. can get you that A.
5. Do not procrastinate.
6. Send out wayyyyyyy more email surveys than you would like to get back. If you want 100, send 200. Also, if you want a list of all students, you can find it in your K-email: Go to "To" and on the left there should be a K-Student list (type in k07 in the search bar for just Juniors, k09 Sophomores, etc.).
7. You really, absolutely, can not, must not procrastinate.
I would advise against procrastinating in general.
That leads into my second piece of advice, which is to always go above and beyond the requirements. This will allow you to have better final results and also feel better about the end project than if you had just done the bare minimum.
Third piece of advice is that if you are wanting to go above and beyond then my advice is to start early. Though you have almost all quarter to do the project, it is not something you can finish in one night. It takes a lot of time if you want a thoroughly researched and polished project. Make sure you organize yourself and plan out when you are going to do certain tasks such as create the survey, pass out the survey etc. My final piece of advice for next years students of business statistics is to pick a topic you find interesting. That was something that helped me when I was getting tired of doing all the work. I was genuinely interested in the results of the topic I had chosen and that helped motivate me until the end. Good luck next year!
For any requirements given, try to do double. This advice isn't in order (primarily) to try and get a better grade, but if you follow my first piece of advice it will allow you to have more interesting/representative findings. The bare minimum can return neat results, but if you put more time into the project you'll feel like you come away with more as well.
While procrastination may work on your 10-15 page paper you'll do overnight, I cannot fathom doing this whole project at the last minute and I wouldn't recommend anyone being brave and trying to figure out if it's possible. Hammer out your survey questions, have a methodology in order to obtain your sample (at all costs, avoid email; however, it may prove to be the only reasonable option so try your best to send out as many emails as you possibly can stand), and begin inputting data right away. Some of the process is tedious, but it's very front-loaded so that once you're about to get fully aggravated, the interesting part (interpreting data and creating hypotheses) kicks in and it becomes an overall enjoyable experience.
Advice to future Business Statistics students- Make sure you have a specific subject that you want to statistically measure. Make sure the survey is short and concise. The survey should be something that the average person/student is able to answer in a couple of minutes. I would also highly recommend choosing a subject that you have a personal interest in- this gives incentive to stay on schedule and to give a more detailed interpretation of your findings.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I would also suggest testing your survey on several people before passing it out. We were required to test the survey on at least two people, but I think that testing it on closer to ten would be a better number. From there it is also important to consider the answers testers gave, not just questions they had. It is crucial to check that they’re giving the answers you want. They may answer a question in one way and not think there’s a problem with it when in fact there is. If you come across this problem you should ask them about it and try to figure out why they answered it the way they did. Assuming you know why they answered a question the way they did could end up making the survey even less reliable.
- Ask simple questions people know
- Make your survey as simple as possible because believe it or not people will screw up a questions such as gender
- Make sure you collect from enough people with no bias to get true results
- If doing something with school make sure you have whether student athletes or possy or other groups
- If doing outside of College students have where they are from
- If you are conducting a survey with a business, make sure you cover questions they want answered and try to have them provide an incentive for the participants
- Provide an incentive for students to have participants take the survey will provide better answers
Following some of these for your survey will provide better data and an easier process of interpreting the data you collected.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
First, we were surprised to find that only 56% of the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors that we surveyed had a TV in their room (or common room if they were living in a suite). Personally, I was expecting that number to be more like 80%. When asked about their lack of TV, many participants responded that they simply watched their favorite shows on the internet. This perhaps indicated a growing trend of abstaining from buying a TV in favor of watching shows on websites such as hulu.com. If true, this would be bearish news for companies whose bottom lines are dependent on TV sales, such as Sony, LG, Samsung, etc.
We found a few relationships that may or may not be surprising. We found that men are more likely to have a larger TV than women. We also found that the larger rooms with televisions, such as those in Chrissy and DeWaters, were more likely to use the TV for movies, as opposed to videogames and cable television. Finally, we found that the most popular brand for TV's were often the most expensive. As illustrated by the graph, Sony, a premium brand, was the most popular choice, followed closely by Samsung, another expensive brand.
Based on the about findings of our research, one might be able to conclude that companies that produce lower-end TV's will face headwinds in the coming years if this trend continues.
Other findings were that the average K student attends six parties in eight weeks; will spend an average of $11.42 a week on alcohol but only $5.35 at a typical house party.
One result which would have been interesting was how 57% of the people surveyed responded that they would be willing to pay more for higher quality alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately a hypothesis test was not carried out for this statistic and therefore one cannot say that there is a statistical significance between the two categories.
To conclude, the Kalamazoo College social life seems in need for a higher quality venue on the week ends.
This relationship is probably due to students with a higher GPA working less in order to be able to allocate plenty of time to do schoolwork. An alternate explanation might be that students who work more hours have less time for school, however I believe this is unlikely; all but one of the respondents indicated that they do not believe work interferes with their academic performance whatsoever.
My advice for future students is to give the project a lot of thought at the beginning of the quarter. The design of your survey will be much easier if you know exactly what you are looking for rather than asking a bunch of related questions and hoping to find a correlation. This will make writing the whole paper much easier as you will have very specific data to draw conclusions about. The more specific and precise your questions are, the easier data interpretation will be. However I do have one caveat with this advice, don’t be afraid of correlations that you didn’t expect. Sometimes you will find a correlation between a demographic like age and another question that you didn’t expect. This should be exciting and cool rather than upsetting so just roll with it.
Recent studies have put forth the question of whether or not college students are being over charged for their textbooks. The Kalamazoo College Bookstore is where most of the students at K College buy their books, and so that is where the focus of our study was. In response to the rising book prices students have begun to purchase their books elsewhere, the most common alternative place being from the internet, or else purchase used books. Another thing our study looked at was the buy-back, sell-back program. 80 percent of the students surveyed said that they regularly sold their books back to the school bookstore for a discounted price of around 37 percent of what they originally paid for the books. The amount of books purchased at the bookstore increases as the amount of books required increases, which is to be expected. Kalamazoo College students should be informed of the facts before they purchase or sell their books to and from the Kalamazoo College Bookstore.
For the statistical analysis project, my partner and I chose to survey the students around Kalamazoo College to find out who had televisions, how big the televisions were, how often they are used and for what purpose. The original idea was to structure the survey around average amount of electricity used within the dormitories (measured in Hertz/watts). We found a research paper online that helped us to structure our survey. However, when the survey was finished, we felt as though the survey was too lengthy and intricate to get enough results for an accurate measurement. So we narrowed down electronics to only include televisions.
For overall television usage, we found that the average time a television is used during the week is 5 hours; though the most hours spent using the television (32 and 20) were spent playing video games. This average is much lower than expected, but the sample we took of the students in dorms was a relatively small percentage of the population.
Before distributing the survey and collecting the data, we expected to find correlations between dorm size (we asked whether the student lived in a single, double or quad/suite) and television size, as well as television size and amount of time spent using it. Unfortunately, after the data was collected and we formed the regressions, we found that these correlations weren’t true. We did however, find other correlations between suite style and the way in which the television was used- dorms with bigger populations and room (i.e. suites) were more likely to use the television for movies rather than cable or videogames, and smaller dorms were more likely to be used for videogames. In addition, there was a correlation between gender and television size. If the tenants in the dorm are male, then they are much more likely to have a larger television.
Our findings show that only 8% of Kalamazoo students can name all four parts of the K Plan, which includes the liberal arts curriculum, internships/externships, study abroad, and the Senior Individualized Project. Astonishingly, approximately one-third of the student body does not know any parts of the K Plan. Thus, it seems the plan is not consciously utilized to guide the educational experience of students at the college as much as is advertised throughout the admissions process.
Interestingly, our research seems to indicate that it would benefit the school and its students to increase awareness regarding the K Plan. Beginning with those that knew only one part of the K Plan, the average satisfaction steadily rose for each group that could name an additional part. Those that could name all four parts rated their satisfaction with the K Plan at an average of 7.63 out of 10. In contrast, those that could name only one part rated it at 6.31 out of 10. The group that could not name any parts proved to be a bit of an anomaly (or evidence that, to an extent, ignorance is bliss) with the second highest satisfaction rating for the K plan at 7 out of 10.
A logical place to begin remedying this unawareness is in the offices of academic advisors. One might expect advisors to use the K Plan as a tool to help students understand and design their overall education at K. However, 71% of students reported that they did not talk to their advisors at all about the K Plan this year.
Regardless of what Kalamazoo College decides to do, it looks as though the addition of some institutional education would be a helpful addition to the curriculum.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Munchie Mart: “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” A recent statistical study, conducted by none other than aspiring economists Jake Hansen and Scott Beal,
A recent statistical study, conducted by none other than aspiring economists Jake Hansen and Scott Beal, has found a general disdain among K-College students for the services offered by Munchie Mart. The avid knowledge-seekers found statistically significant evidence that K-College students, on average; spent more at Munchie Mart than other convenience store shoppers in the U.S.; were more satisfied with product pricing than other convenience store shoppers in the U.S.; and, in contrast with the previous statement, were less satisfied with Munchie Mart, in general, than other shoppers.
Eighty percent of the sample population answered that the service they receive from Munchie Mart is worse than what is expected from a convenience store. However, many of these same people gave high answers in rating many aspects of the store, including its products, and its customer service. The juxtaposition of these two findings is very surprising, further research might be necessary to find out why people gave apparently opposing answers.
The average amount of money spent in the last month at Munchie Mart was found to be $32.10, while the average amount of money spent at convenience stores (found in a similar study) was $15.00. Out of 60 people, a shocking 48 stated that Munchie Mart’s service was worse than expected. These two statistics, when compared, suggest that even though they are dissatisfied, K-College students are willing to drastically lower their expectations in favor of convenience of location.
Age was found to be a large factor in both the amount of times a person shopped at Munchie Mart and the amount of money that they spent. The greater the age of the person, the less they visited and the less they spent.
The most significant finding was that, while generally unsatisfied with Munchie Mart’s services, K-College students seem to value convenience over anything else; they are willing to ignore their dissatisfaction in exchange for beer, liquor, and candy without transportation necessary.
Evidence seeming to support retail business over internet shopping was found in many areas. On a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being very important, the average rating for the importance of trying on shoes before buying was an astonishing 4.5. Another surprising figure was produced from the data on the importance of a Goal Club (soccer.com’s membership benefits program) or similar programs. Again on a 1 to 5 scale, the average importance of Goal Club was just 2.29. The high importance for trying on shoes coupled with the low importance of Goal Club appears to oppose the numbers generated by Gazelle.
At the same time, other numbers contradicted the ideas behind those previously noted. The importance of price, often considered to be the determining factor between shopping retail (the more expensive option) and buying online, was given a high average rating of 3.58. A high rating in this area would predict that buyers prefer lower cost, online shopping. One-on-one service was given a neutral rating of 2.98 on average. This lack of importance given to personalized service again estimates that customers are less likely to choose retail stores that rely heavily on one-on-one service.
Along with these contradictory numbers, survey results showed that players were shockingly torn between buying online and shopping at retail stores. Of the forty-eight participants in the survey, just twenty-two said they preferred shopping online to retail shopping. As three participants did not provide an answer to this question, it was nearly a 50-50 split between online and retail shopping.
From these numbers it is difficult to determine why Gazelle’s soccer business has fallen so far over the last twenty years. Though research results cannot support this finding, it can be predicted that soccer players are simply unwilling to take the time to drive to retail stores to make their purchases. The answer to Gazelle’s struggles may lie in the fact that customers can easily make their purchases online without leaving the comforts of their home. If this is true, it seems that there is little that Gazelle can do to boost their current numbers in the soccer sector.
Males Dominate Anderson Weight Room, But Both Men and Women Show Dissatisfaction with Current Facilities
With a recent study taken by students of Kalamazoo College, there is statistical evidence suggesting the dissatisfaction of users of the Anderson weight room, and also a dominance of males present in the facilities. Through random sample surveying, using systematic methodology students of K College found with statistical significance that men occupy the weight room more then women. Most will find this unsurprising with conceptions of male dominated fitness facilities and gyms throughout campuses, and especially with programs that allow Kalamazoo women who would prefer to use the facilities with a women-only environment. “Women in the Weight Room” is a woman-centered approach to physical fitness and physical health… By providing a women-only workout environment and information tailored to the specific needs of women’s bodies…” In this particular survey, the students found that out those who took the survey 64% were male, and 36% were female.
Also, with the survey, students found that there was statistical evidence of dissatisfaction with those who used the weight room in Anderson, and there was no indication of gender differences either. As new plans for renovation are still in the air, it’s not surprising that these students found dissatisfaction, as the plans call for new equipment, new location, and other specifics. The study showed with 90% confidence, that users are not satisfied with the current fitness facilities in Anderson. So, with these new plans for facilities, this finding comes at no surprise.