In both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, statistics are critical pieces of information that allow decision makers to steer the organization in directions that are in the organization’s best interest. Data is acquired from many sources, some within the organization, and some from outside the organization. The government tracks data on many different aspects of society (including industrial output). The following questions will guide your thinking about the uses of data and information.
Select any one of the following starter bullet point sections. Review the important themes within the sub-questions of each bullet point. The sub questions are designed to get you thinking about some of the important issues. Your response should provide a succinct synthesis of the key themes in a way that articulates a clear point, position, or conclusion supported by research. Select a different bullet point section than what your classmates have already posted so that we can engage several discussions on relevant topics. If all of the bullet points have been addressed, then you may begin to re-use the bullet points with the expectation that varied responses continue.
- In any business, the quality of decisions is often related to the quality of information. For instance, effective product marketing entails combining the right offering (keeping in mind that products are bundles of attributes and different bundles, or combinations of attributes, will appeal to different prospective buyers) with the right target buyer group. Knowing what constitutes the right offering and the right prospective buyer group usually involves data analysis. In general, using data to shape or guide business decisions entails a progression along the continuum of data → information → knowledge.
- Determine the difference between data, information, and knowledge. Define the point at which data become information and information becomes knowledge.
- Explain why meaningful and correct data analysis—statistics—is important in using the volumes of available business data. Support your discussion with relevant examples, research, and rationale.
- Assume you are a marketing analyst working for a manufacturer of ready-to-eat cereal. You are given detailed sales data for the past year and asked to create a report showing the differences between the four sales regions (north, south, east, and west) in terms of sales volume, profitability, and changes in sales volume and profitability; marketing expenditures and changes in marketing expenditures; and per capita sales and marketing expenditures.
- Evaluate which of the four types of data (nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio) is the sales data you are working on.
- Compare specific statistical techniques and charts you could use to depict differences, specifically addressing each of the categories constituting your report. Determine which techniques and charts you would use. Then explain why you believe that the techniques and charts you have chosen would be appropriate. Support your discussion with relevant examples, research, and rationale.
- You are analyzing the cross-store sales of a grocery store chain. As part of your analysis, you compute two measures of central tendency—mean and median. The mean sales are $358.4 million, and the median sales are $163.1 million (per store). To quantify the average sales per store, evaluate which of the two measures would you use and why. Support your discussion with relevant examples, research, and rationale.
The final paragraph (three or four sentences) of your initial post should summarize the one or two key points that you are making in your initial response.