Scientific Program > Topic 8 > Session 8E >
Presentation 8E2. Final-year Business Students Experiences of Data Analysis in Projects

Loi Soh Loi (Singapore)


Presentation Abstract
The Applied Research Project (ARP) in the final year of the degree programme of Business/Accountancy has been conducted at the Business School, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, for many years. The main objective of the ARP is to develop students' research skills. Students select a research topic of their interest. The ARP can be a case study, empirical research, literature review or working on real problems for business or industrial organization. Each project is undertaken by a group of two or three final year undergraduates who have about six months to work on the ARP. Each project is supervised by an academic staff member. Although the projects are not necessarily statistical projects, many of these ARPs involve collecting, summarizing and analyzing data using some statistics or statistical techniques. Hence, the use of statistics has become a substantial part of these projects. However, most students have only done one statistics course as the core subject in the first year.

The purpose of this research was to determine the nature and scope of statistical challenges faced by the students while completing the ARP. A survey of final year students upon completion of the ARP project was conducted. Respondents were asked about data analyses conducted, statistical techniques used, difficulties encountered, problem resolution, and what they liked most and least in the data analysis process. Additional comments on the statistics courses in the School and suggestions for improvement were requested.

Conclusions are drawn from the research in terms of the positive and negative experiences of the students in data analyses of the ARP. Results of the survey identified the strengths and weaknesses of the statistics course in the School, ways to improve the statistics curriculum and assist students in the application of statistical data analysis in the future.


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