Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Project Advise

I have two main points of advise:

First, I know this has been mentioned before, but DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Time favors the early and damns the late. This applies to all aspects of the project, especially the data collection, as that is the cornerstone for much of the project.

Secondly, choose a project that interests you and who's results you can use in your daily life. For example, choose something like food or drink prices at competing supermarkets. This way, you can actually USE the data that you collect, and it will thusly feel like less of an assignment.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Attention Procrastinators...

1. Do not procrastinate.
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.

Future Advice

I would tell them to start the research project early, to formulate a good idea and take any advice that Chuck gives to them about it. Most importantly though, makes sure that the topic is something you're interested in, so that the information could be useful to you later on in life. If you pick a good topic, the rest of the project isn't very tedious. Well good luck!

Research Project Advice

For the student who will be doing this research project next year:

1. Get a partner, this was A LOT of work for one person
2. Start gathering data early
3. Get a sample size of more than 100, it really helps your grade and is not too difficult to do.
4. Pick a subject that you are interested in
5. Put a lot of time into it, it is not an "easy A"

Good luck!

Project Advice

I would find out the optimal time to collect the data. What I mean by this is finding out the time when the majority of the people are in their room and willing to fill out the survey. The reason I am saying this is because we had to trade time for a 100% response rate.

I would advise against procrastinating in general.

Advice to Future Students of Business Statistics

My first piece of advice to future students would be to work with a partner. It can be tricky at times coordinating schedules, but the benefits of having someone to share the workload with is an enormous relief, and also allows you to broaden the scope of your project if you so wish.
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!

Advice to the Future

Pick a subject that you believe will provide interesting results (i.e., one you legitimately don't know what the outcome will be for at least a number of the questions) because this will give you an incentive to try your best in collecting data.

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.

Project Review and Advice!

Because of this project, I have become much more aware of how difficult it is to design and distribute surveys. The wording, design of the survey and the way you give them out are all very tedious processes that take a long time. Whenever I thought of surveys before actually designing my own, I thought them bothersome, but after seeing the results of our project I am more likely to do surveys if I have the time.

If I could do this project over, I would have started writing the paper much earlier. Our research was all completed in a timely manner, but when it came down to the last couple days, our 17 page paper seemed almost impossible to complete. I would have collected the data faster so we had more time to actually write out our results.

My advice to future students taking this class would be to give out way more surveys than you think you need because our response rate was about 12 percent. A lot of college students are too busy to be bothered by surveys so they ignore them.

Business Statistics Advice

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.

Future Student Advice

Making the statistics project not only manageable, but enjoyable is not too difficult if you make sure to take each step carefully and with an eye for the future. Begin by picking a topic you think you will enjoy. This will inevitably make your project more interesting and will provide motivation to go above and beyond future requirements. When forming your survey also spend a substantial amount of time thinking about the regressions you will have to complete. That not only includes what factors you want in the regression but also who will be answering those questions. My partner and I did a project regarding the K Plan and ended up with over 100 respondents; however very few of those were seniors. This made any regression dealing with Senior Individualized Projects next to impossible to complete with any significance.

As many have already mentioned, you will want to start handing out surveys early and inputing data as soon as you get it. Once that section is complete, begin doing the initial descriptive statistics right away. This work is fairly easy but doing it early will save time down the stretch. The last suggestion I have is to always try to double the recommended number of tests/regressions. Doing that should give you a more in-depth project and hopefully a better grade.

Sound Advice for Research Project

For those students enrolling in Business Statistics, I would mainly advise to put as much effort in as possible—as the project is graded according to the amount of effort. This includes both doing the initial assignments as thoroughly as possible as they will come in useful later on, and spreading out the workload with the allotted time. Those taking this class should always be working toward the next step of the project. Don’t take a break during the midterm week; it’s very difficult to catch up. And as I was told and you will be, try not to procrastinate. This is very important because adding as much detail and effort in as possible will positively affect your grade. I would also suggest choosing a large population for your project, and also I would advise to find appropriate sources, as they will come in useful toward the end of the project. Have fun, and work hard.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Future Student Advice

For those future students who will be taking this class, the best advice i can give is to not procrastinate doing the work. It is much more work than what it first appears, so make sure you plan out and break up the workload into multiple days or weeks to be able to thoroughly do every step of the project. Also, you will want to pick a subject that you are interested in. It makes motivating yourself to do the work for the project much easier when you like or are interested in the subject you are surveying.

Advice For Research Project

The best piece of advice I believe I can give to future students is to sit down, whether you are doing the project on your own or with a partner, and really take some time early on in the quarter to devise a good topic. If you do this, I think the whole project just goes so much smoother when you have a great idea right of the bat, because you know what you want to do early on. My partner and I had a little trouble thinking of a topic, so we kind of just thought of one of the top of our heads, when in reality we should have taken more time. It caused problems because a week or two after we chose the topic, we realized we weren't going to be able to work with it. Once we really sat down and thought about what we should do, we came up with a great idea and our project went without really any bumps in the road from there on. I would also recommend to future students that they get started on their data collection as early as possible. The last thing you want to do is have to collect your data with only a week until the project is due, because you will have so much work to do in a little span of time, which could cause mistakes with your calculations, therefore potentially misrepresenting your subjects. The key is to really plan each step of your project out, so you don't feel rushed or pressured to get it done, which will likely minimize your mistakes, and make your project that much better.

Advice for Future Researchers

The Business Stats research project IS as much work as Chuck says it is. When he says you will be working on it for 40-50 hours, he means you will be working on it for 40-50 hours. You are probably used to spending a lot less time studying or working on a project than your teacher says you need to, but simply completing the project takes a very long time. Making it matter and look good take even more time. Massive chunks of time aren't always around when you need them, especially not towards the end of the quarter. You should start early, and if you finish early, you will feel awesome. My partner and I finished a lot of our work in the final few days preceding the due date, and it was hellish.

Once your survey is fully completed, and Chuck gives you the go-ahead, I would suggest handing them out. Getting the data back early would have made our project go a lot more smoothly. There is practically no work you can do without having your data, and getting it is one of the more tedious aspects of the project.

Some Advice for the Future

The research project is not, by any means, an easy assignment. The first bit of advice I have for future students, is to understand that finding a malleable topic is a difficult task and before you jump right in to collecting your data you should be able to clearly define what exactly it is you are looking for. This assignment is also very time consuming, so instead of waiting till the last few days to compile all of your research you should start doing it as soon as you can. That goes for conducting your survey as well, the sooner you are able to pass out and collect data the better off you will be. It might also be a good idea to to conduct a survey with plenty of comparable data online, it is easier to build off of a prior and similar study than to try and stumble through on your own. Keeping your information organized is also very important, you are going to have a lot of data to collect and interpret and will no doubt make mistakes.

Advice for the Future

The best advice I can give students who are going to be doing this research project is to always give yourself more time than you think when doing each of the individual sections of the project and too much time for the paper at the end. Doing each step of the project a day or two before it was due definitely added stress to the project. The second thing is to choose a medium sample size. Small is not as credible and large is a substantial amount of tedious work when entering data into Excel. It was hard, but doable, for my partner and I to keep everything in order with so many surveys. Lastly, pick a topic with ample research available online. This was the hardest part for us, trying to find previous studies on our proposal, which took time scavenging through Google looking for anything that resembled our study. Following those three things will help ease the stress of the project as a whole.


The best advice I can give is to start the project early. By getting started the day the assignment is given out spares you hours and days of stress and confusion. If you start early you can go in and see Dr. Stull sooner rather than later. It is important but not crucial to pick a partner who you can collaborate nicely with and still get along. This project is a lot of work and the earlier you start the better. Also remember to stay as organized as possible because you will be making a lot of changes along the way and if you are aware of where everything is it makes it a lot easier. When handing out your survey plan on a lot longer time than you think it will take. You will probably have to go back at least one more time. Writing everything down is important because you never know when you will need what information. Overall this project is a lot of work and do not underestimate the time and effort that it takes.

Keeping Your Survey Reliable

For future students who will be doing this project my biggest piece of advice would be to overestimate everything. Overestimate how much time it will take to get the surveys back, how many surveys you will need to get out, and how long it will take to count the numbers. I would suggest doubling all estimates. If you think it will take a week to collect all your data, plan on two weeks. If you think you need to pass out 100 surveys to get a reasonable amount of numbers to work with, pass out 200.

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.

Research advise

My advice to future students would be to collect responses earlier. Also figuring out variables that will give a good correlation because our variables were weak. Also seniors may have been a difficult group to collect responses because they are not in campus all the time and most live outside of campus, so maybe a different group may help and make it easier. Finding statistics for alcohol consumption online for only seniors was difficult to find because different ages of students drink in college and it shows a lot of statistics. One of the biggest problems was the kind of questions to put on the survey. Starting to figure out questions earlier may have help to focus on the main topic than having tons of questions.

Advice for Students

Future business statistics students, don't be fooled. The research project is difficult, time consuming, and tedious. The biggest advice I would give is to start early, way early. Go see Professor Stull often with questions, do what you can when you can. Also pick a good partner. Luckily I had a good partner so there was no trouble for me, but I know of other pairs that did not go well together. I spent 10.5 hours working on this project the day before it was due, and it was really awful. Finding people to survey is difficult too. You must understand that in general people are jerks, they don't want to help you even if it would only take a few minutes out of their day. If there is no accountability people will just ignore you. This makes choosing a purely random sample very difficult. So it might just be better to choose a not so random sample like a whole floor of a dorm so you can talk to people face to face. However if you want to go above and beyond by choosing a really random sample start contacting people early, and be persistent. They will eventually do what you want. I wish any future students doing this project good luck, because their going to need it.

Advice for Future Students

The best advice I would have to give to future students would be to start early; that is, start earlier than you think. As soon as you get your parter, immediately make moves towards asking questions about any ideas for research that pop up in your head. My main problem involved having a quick idea, which I thought would be good and easy enough, which actually turned out to be too confusing and too comprehensive to try and do in 8 weeks. Ask questions about your topic, about your survey, and about your methodology. Also, it may be beneficial to conduct a trial run of maybe 10 surveys to find out the holes in your survey before you give out a bulk number of surveys and its too late.

Project Advice

There are a few things that I would suggest to future students when doing this project. First off, make sure you manage your time well and get things done as early as possible. For example, don’t wait around trying to figure out what you want to put on your survey and then wait until the last week to actually start conducting research. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it’s a bit stressful. Also, try to find a larger sample size. The results look better and more credible when there are more people involved in your survey. It’s also good to make sure that you have a partner that you can work well with and who you can trust to get work done on the project, because it is definitely a two person job.

Research survey for dummies

When considering what subject or information you want to perform a research survey about, choose something that really interests you. If you don't have an interest in the results or about what you are surveying it will be a lot harder to form questions for and to find motivation to collect the data. Some other things to consider are:
- 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

TV usage in Kalamazoo College Dormitories

Our research project was attempting to find information about the usage of TV's in Kalamazoo College dorms. We did research about the size and type of TV, as well as main purpose and number of regular users. Our results had a few surprises, as well as a few expected results.

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.

Is your drink served with a smile?

K-College Students will drink anything if it comes with a smile – Biggby drinks that is. According to a survey study done by two students of Dr. Charles Stull’s Business Statistics class, the amount of money spent and frequency of purchasing coffee at Biggby Coffee are most directly related to the customer’s feeling of friendliness from the Biggby staff. In other words, if their drink isn’t served with a smile, it might be safe to say that the student will not return for another beverage.

Even though the survey only found the average number of times a student visits Biggby per week to be approximately 2, and the average weekly spending to be approximately $5, other analytical tools show statistical significance that friendliness has a powerful effect on these variables.
So if you work in the food service industry, make sure you're serving your product with a smile, that may be all it takes for good fortune to come your way.

Project Reflection & Advice

I would advise all future students doing this project to obtain a very, very large sample size. I thought that my survey was not very hard to complete, with only ten questions taking a total of 3 minutes, at most. However, my response rate was only 20% (14 out of 70), and it was very difficult to derive any conclusions from such a small amount of data. Besides that, I found it was very helpful to sort my data by different categories and then look for patterns. With the data in a random order it is much more difficult to observe trends and possible relationships that might be obviously apparent when sorted.

Project Review & Advice

Some advice I would give to future students doing this project is do not wait to the last minute to do your project. From my experience even if you think you are ahead on the project and not waiting to the last minute, there are certain parts of the project that take longer than expected. Also it is a beneficial plus to make sure you and your partner are communicating and dividing up the work, it makes things easier and go by faster. Another piece of advice is to communicate with the professor to make sure that you are on the right track for what he is expecting from the project. Overall this project will be time consuming, but if you plan accordingly you should be successful on this project.

Party Habits at K differ between Genders

The purpose of this project was to see if Kalamazoo College students would be interested in a discotheque. The survey investigated consumer demands for beverages, ambiance and the willingness to buy quality goods. What was found was that the attractions at a typical house party were different between males and females. The data that was collected showed that the majority of females go to parties to socialize where as the most popular category males selected was to drink. Further analysis proved that there was statistical significance between females and males attending parties to socialize. Figure 1 is a graph that represents the partying habits.

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.

How Kalamazoo College Students Work

Kalamazoo College students are known for their busy schedules and academically-geared attitude, but how does this affect their work habits? The findings of this study reveal that, indeed, Kalamazoo students are much more focused on academics and less on working than the average American college student, working an average of only 8.2 hours per week as opposed to the 30 hours per week national average. However, this does not necessarily mean that Kalamazoo students are not as hard-working. On the contrary, a majority of students work while enrolled: 64.3%, a number that isn't significantly different than the national average. Personally, I believe the choice to work only a handful of hours per week is a beneficial one, especially for Kalamazoo students; many studies have shown that working more than 10 or 15 hours per week is likely to be detrimental to academic performance. Another important finding is that as GPA increases, the average number of hours worked per week decreases, with only one notable exception: a very high-achieving student who works 12.5 hours per week and maintains a 4.0 GPA.

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.

Kalamazoo College, Party Central?

Kalamazoo College has this stigma, both from K students and students who know about K, that it is a boring, studying obsessed, no party zone. Our study aimed to see if this was true, and whether or not Kalamazoo College is more of a social college than people think. Essentially we aimed to see how social current on campus students viewed themselves and the rest of the college, as well as how much they partied over a quarter. We discovered that Kalamazoo College students party an average of 6 times a quarter, and that Kalamazoo College students are a lot more social than they think. On average Kalamazoo College students view themselves 2.7 points more social (on a ten point scale) then the rest of the college. This means that the average Kalamazoo College student believes that they are more social than the rest of the college (It's statistically significant too!) Now one important thing to notice here, is that when surveyed, it turns out that there is a very strong connection between how social you think you are and how much you party, at least at K that is true.

So that means, since we think that we are more social, we party more. Not only that, K students spend the same amount on beer as the national average for beer spending. To me, all of this means that K students, party as much, are actually more social than we think, and drink just as much as any other college out there. So Kalamazoo College might actually be less nerdy than people think.

Part 2: Advice for Future Students

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.


Kalamazoo, MI - For years, it has been assumed that a friendly welcome from employees and fair prices are main factors in deciding whether or not a customer is satisfied with her or her shopping experience. In my recent study, I set out to find that which truly captivates one's satisfaction. In an effort to relate this topic of consumer satisfaction, I chose to study student customer's of the local convenience store chain, Munchie Mart. This small convenience store which sits right off Kalamazoo College's campus serves as a main source of food, drinks, and other daily essentials to a majority of students here at Kalamazoo College, especially those who have a limited level of transportation. With the word 'convenience' so often labeled to various shops and stores, one must wonder, what makes this store convenient to me? to others?
With my survey, I set to compare the overall satisfaction of each year of students (qualitative data) with the general aspects of the individuals in question (quantitative data). This way, I could attempt to make connections between a person's characteristics and their satisfaction with their local convenience store. As discovered by the study, there was statistically significant evidence which showed Kalamazoo College students to be more satisfied with pricing than a large number of other consumers which were studied in a related research project. Also, it was shown that K students spend more money at Munchie Mart than the average amount spent at other convenience stores that was measured in a study by MarketReserach.com.
With all of these statistics considered, one would definitely assume that Munchie Mart is a well-received store by the Kalamazoo College general student population. However, it was shown in the data collected in our survey that Munchie Mart is generally unsatisfying to our students, in comparison to a similar convenience store, Walgreen's. In order to find out this satisfaction of Munchie Mart, my partner, Scott Beal, and I created a comprehensive 10 question test which was based on a 1-10 scale. The average of all answers given by students was 6.06, which shows a generally mutual level of satisfaction. A similar scale is used by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which shows a score as such to be a low level of consumer satisfaction. So, we are left with the conflicting statistics that even though K students are satisfied with pricing and spend more money at Munchie Mart on average than other convenience stores, they are still left unsatisfied. In order to explore more into this relationship, a particularly interesting question was entered into the survey: "Is the service given to you at Munchie Mart that which you would expect from a convenience store?" Although the students were shown to be generally unsatisfied with Munchie Mart, 80% of the students surveyed answered "Yes" to this question. So, 80% of the unsatisfied students expected to be unsatisfied. This leaves us to believe that Munchie Mart runs on a locational monopoly, as students with a low level of transportation are left with no other choice than to buy their goods from a generally unsatisfying store. So what is left to be convenient about to "convenience" store? Well, one is only left with that which student's answered an average of 8.17 out of 10 on our survey: Convenience of location.
After considering the conflicting ideas of my survey, I am left to conclude that Munchie Mart, or any business for that matter, has the ability to operate and excel by factors other than having spritely staff and great pricing. A business must work to their advantages, and more importantly, work towards profits in any way possible. Munchie Mart excels at this aspect of business-making through their location, and little else.

Kalamazoo College Students Paying Too Much For Textbooks

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.

Television Use on Campus

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.

K Students Lack Knowledge of Their Own Education

Although Kalamazoo College students are generally known as being among the brightest collegiate minds in the state, there is one pop quiz that most at “K” would fail. Ask the average student to name the parts of the K Plan, and you are likely to receive only a blank stare or wry grin in reply.

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.

The Kalamazoo College Bookstore Leaves Students Unsatisfied and Wanting More.

The Kalamazoo College Bookstore provides students with easy access to the literature they need for classes. However this convenience comes with a price. In a recent survey of Kalamazoo College students the average rating of the bookstores price fairness is about a 2 out of 5. The main purpose of the bookstore is providing books for classes, so you would expect that the selection of books would satisfy the students fairly well because they are going to the bookstore only for class books. However the selection satisfaction from the survey was about 3.5 out of 5. Most Kalamazoo College students are thrifty, they appreciate saving their money, possible because tuition is so high. Considering this other avenues to acquire books have been taken by students. 77% of students have bought students online and many others have bought books from friends or other stores. Kalamazoo College students are succeeding in saving money. The average college students in American spends about $900 on textbooks in a year. Kalamazoo College students spend on average $435. Also many books are needed each quarter for only three classes. On average six books are required for each quarter. Thats about two books for every class. However females require about 2 more books per quarter than male students do. Textbooks costs have increased greatly also. Over the last 18 years textbook prices have rose 186%. Some students have spent up to $250 on a single textbook. These are tough times for everyone, but the prices of books are just one more difficulty for college students.

Gazelle's Mystery Comparable to That of Bermuda Triangle- Still Unsolved

The mystery of why soccer Gazelle Sports has seen a steady decrease in its soccer sales remains unsolved after extensive research. According to Tim Martin of Gazelle’s, “our soccer business has fallen from 30% of our business to just 3% of our business over the last twenty years.” In hopes of finding why this pattern has developed, local high school and college soccer players were surveyed on their purchasing habits.
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…”[1] 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.