After the data are collected and before program evaluators meet with management, the data must be analyzed to ensure that it will provide the right type of information for the evaluation. Of vital importance is ensuring that the data fit the indicators identified for analysis. Then, it must be decided how the data and results will be presented. It is important to present the information in ways that make it easy to understand, demonstrate relationships to other data, and allow the information to be used to support decision-making processes. In this assignment, you will write about the methods of analyzing and reporting the study data.
Based on the data-collection procedures chosen in the Module 5 assignment, write a paper of 1,000-1,250 words explaining how you would analyze and report the data collected. Use language that can be understood by someone without training in statistics and research methods. The adequacy of your response depends on its technical correctness and its appropriateness to the intended audience. Do the following in your paper:
- Specify and describe the statistical analysis techniques that will be used to compile and summarize the data gathered to determine how the program is operating and whether the program is fulfilling its goals and objectives.
- Explain how the qualitative data would be analyzed in order to identify trends and patterns in the qualitative responses collected.
- Explain the benefits of the analysis type selected for the evaluation.
Module 5 Assignement:
The paper explores on data collection techniques that can be used in program evaluation of Verizon Communications Company. It utilizes both quantitative and qualitative techniques in this endeavor. The quantitative method chosen for use is checklist while the qualitative approach chosen is observation. The basis for selection of the techniques is the strengths that they hold. Combination of the two approaches was is a bid to reinforce weaknesses of individual approach (Posavac, 2015).
The checklist is applicable in this case because it entails the order of tasks that the project sought to engage in its onset. Available outputs can be market on as present while the unavailable ones are absent. The basis of selection of the checklist approach is its viability in the collection of data. It is simple in administering and goes straight to the point. Availability of the list of items captured in the planning stage serves as the best basis for evaluating effectiveness of the program (Posavac, 2015). This basis on that what has been achieved can be compared with what has not been achieved. In the case of Verizon Communications, data from the planning stage is used as the basis of analyzing what the company has achieved or not.
The available outputs in the company are ticked against the corresponding items in the list and the deficit thereof noted. For example, the number of mobile phones in respective brands made by the company can be marketed against their corresponding values in the plan that informed their engagement. This way, extending of implementation of the plan by the company is established and its effectiveness known. The company therefore makes corrective measures if necessary for future use in the implementation of programs. On the part of qualitative technique, observation aids in this regard. Behavior of implementation staff is analyzed to gauge adherence top laid down procedures in the project. Factor for selection of the technique is easy of implementation as well as accuracy that it brings on board. It is able to attain accuracy in that behavior of personnel in the company is gauged against laid down procedures thereby establishing their adherence (Voit, Balkovich, Goodman, Gadre, White & Young, 2011).
Rational for the selection of the checklist as the quantitative technique is based on the nature of Verizon Company. Goals set by the company in the planning stage serve as the basis against which its achievements are gauged. What is accomplished is clearly identified thereby establishing effectiveness and efficiency of the company. Suitability of procedures used as well as the resources employed in the achievement of respective output is easy with the use of checklists. It is a reliable technique in that it uses what is capture in the plan against what has been achieved by the project. Among the weaknesses of the techniques is undermining the influence of confounder variables. Outcomes of the programs are attributed directly to the inputs made in the implementation stage. Other factors such as inflation and fluctuation of currency that determines cost of raw materials as well as viability of approaches used by the company are overlooked by the technique. Consumer mannerism that immensely influences mobile phone companies is a factor that is not captured by the technique. These factors may not be captured in the planning phase of the project thereby assumed by the use of checklist (Voit, et al., 2011).
The rationale for the selection of observation as the qualitative technique to be used in the case of Verizon Company is merits that it holds. It offers the best gauge of adherence of behavior prescribed in the workplace for employees. Behavior of employees is essential in that it determines achievement of set goals. It is on this point that observation reinforces checklist technique used as the quantitative technique. Quality of products produced by the company depends on level of professionalism that respective employees in the organization have. Adherence to behavior prescribed at the workplace becomes essentials as it determines professionalism with which the employees conduct themselves. It therefore becomes possible for trends in production to be attributed to behavior exhibited by employees at work. For example, low quality of production can be attributed to failure of adherence to procedures. Such errors can be rectified in future thereby achieving desired outcome. Fundamental weaknesses in observation are that employees when under observation can induce behavior. It therefore makes it hard to establish conditions that led to production of a given output. For example, employees are more likely to stick to procedures when under direct supervision than when observation is not taking place. This way, the wrong inferences are made because data collected never represented the real issues at hand. The technique is also susceptible to biasness in that subjectivity can occur during interpretation of data. What a certain behavior implies to an individual can differ with the situation at hand leading to wrong inferences (Posavac, 2015).
Validity of quantitative data can be maintained by checking the influence of the extraneous variable. For example, the amount of output in the company is proportional to input thereof. Destruction of inputs therefore put impacts on the outputs made by the company. For example, spillage of chemicals represents a decline in the inputs used in product and therefore this change needs to be captured in the study. Failure to capture it leads to wrong attribution of amount of inputs that led to production of a given quantity of output. Other factors that need to be considered to ensure validity of checklist technique is influence of confounder variables. Effects of inflation and fluctuation of currency value impacts on cost of inputs used in production. Set out fund in the planning stage need to factor influence of such factored as they determine amount of raw materials thereof. Use of observation as a complementary technique is another factor that helps to ensure validity of checklist technique. Aspects of products that are not captured by the checklist are captured by observation. Simple nature of checklist makes it focus primarily on what was set out to be completed and what was actually completed. It is in this token that use of a secondary technique become apparent. For example, a checklist does not capture occurrence of a blackout to disrupt the rate of production but it can be captured by observation. These endeavors therefore serve to ensure that data provided by checklist is representative of all aspects of products that affects output (Chaleunvong, 2013).
Problems encountered in the process can be solved in a number of ways. They include use of alternative data collection technique in areas where a given data collection technique faces a challenge. For example, inability of checklist to factor changes not factored in the original plan makes observation technique more relevant in that endeavor. Changes captures by observation can be incorporated in the inference step. Difficulty in interpreting behavior of employees at the workplace can be solved by analyzing the code of conduct to guard against subjectivity. Effects of inflation and fluctuation of currency on the company can be addressed by engaging different changes as factored by currency market at respective time. It however needs to be done throughout the course of production because volatility of currency is a continuous phenomenon.
In conclusion, the use of both checklist and observation represents the best data collection techniques for analyzing Verizon Company. Among the basis of their selection is their ability to complement each other. The techniques are easy to administer and makes, making of inferences easy. The strength of a checklist as a quantitative technique is its sharp focus on what was intended and was achieved. Observation on its parts serves to capture what checklist cannot. Validity of checklist can be ensured by use of observation technique in places where it faces challenges. Problems face in the study can be surmounted by considering confounder and extraneous variables. The ability of a checklist and observation to complement each other makes them the ideal techniques to use in engaging Verizon Company (Auberlet, Bhaskar, Ciuffo, Farah, Hoogendoorn & Leonhardt, 2014).