Statistics simplified

Statistics simplified

How to decide the methodology for your study?

A complex mix of primary research, some literature and presentation skills make up the Analysis chapter. It lists the main findings of the experiments and tests done in a descriptive/ inferential form. It is only after the analysis that you come to a conclusion on the study and provide your recommendations.

Your study is either qualitative or quantitative. In some complex studies, students opt for dual method, with qualitative as well as quantitative analysis where they can generate a more accurate conclusion.

Your study is either inferential or descriptive. This means, the analysis is focused on either a bunch of interviewees or a range of respondents. To decide whether you must adopt the survey or interview form of data collection, you must first assess your needs:

  1. Inferential Analysis: 
    • Suitable for studies focusing on a large number of audiences. For instance, if your dissertation is on Employee Satisfaction in the Retail industry, you will need to study at least 5 different retail companies in order to know the employee satisfaction rate, then arrive at the industry average. It is easier to frame a common questionnaire and distribute it among all companies.
    • Statistical representation. For some, statistical, graphical and tabular representation of data scores way above literature-like answers. This is possible if your sample size is at least 30.
    • Some universities require a sample size of minimum 30 respondents. In this case, you have to opt for inferential analysis.
    • If your dissertation requires hypothesis testing. It is best expressed in the form of statistical calculations
  2. Descriptive Analysis:
    • Descriptive analysis is best suited if you want to explore a single dimension of any topic; for instance, A study on Employee Retention strategies in McDonalds UK. Such studies which focus on only one company/ establishment demands an in-depth research on only 3-4 interviewees. In most cases, interviewees are managers or senior associates of the respective department.
    • You do require minimum or no statistical representation of your data. .
    • There is nothing you must prove in your study. You are simply exploring a particular aspect of the situation and the results are not anticipated.
  3. Mixed Approach:
    • Some students opt for a mixed approach i.e. descriptive as well as inferential analysis. A mixed approach is required when the topic is multi-dimensional. for example, A study on Marketing Strategies of Pizza Hut and its impact on Brand Awareness in USA will need focus on the company’s managers (to understand the marketing strategies) as well as customers (to understand how aware they are of the brand).
    • Word count. If the university requires a dissertation of minimum 20,000 words, you may consider a dual approach to research methodology.

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