Business and Management

In a three- page paper (not including the title and reference pages), include the following:
A revised version of your introduction, research question, background research, hypothesis, research design, and sampling plan. These revisions must be based on your instructor’s feedback if your instructor provided additional comments about these sections in week two.
A discussion of the types of secondary data you could use to test your hypothesis, and why this data would be useful. If secondary data would not be appropriate, please explain why.
The possible measurement and measurement scales you could use in a survey for testing your hypothesis. If a survey with measurement scales would not be appropriate, please explain why.
An APA-formatted reference list.
Week Three Lecture

Business Research Methods and Tools

Week 3: Survey research and secondary data analysis research


Surveys can be an effective way to gather opinions and reactions from stakeholders such as your customers. Surveys work best when you want small amounts of information from relatively large numbers of people. People don’t finish long surveys very frequently; they might give you 5 minutes of their time, but maybe not 15 minutes. Some researchers like to use open-ended questions in a survey such as “Do you like Pepsi or Coke better?” but these questions can be difficult for people to answer without prompts or assistance from another person. It might be easier for them to answer a question such as, “On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning you hate it and 5 meaning you love it, what do you think about Pepsi?”

Surveys require caution precisely because they (typically) involve people sharing their thoughts, ideas, beliefs, behaviors, and so on. People are not always honest when they talk about themselves, and they present bias in their own presentations for many reasons. For example, the survey is about opinions involving Pepsi and Coke, people may not want to admit that they really like either one, because they know they should be more health-conscious, and therefore might feel guilty about liking either one of them too much.

Surveys can be conducted in many ways: in person, through the mail, over the phone, or online. The popularity of online surveys has expanded significantly in recent years. Often, when you buy something at a store or a restaurant, the receipt provides a website address for an online survey to fill out. The invitation will typically include an incentive, such as a chance to win a $1000 gift card at the store, if you complete the survey. Incentives can be useful, but they can also damage your results, because people might fill out the survey without providing thoughtful answers just so they can receive the incentive.

Secondary data analysis

Secondary data analysis can be a very effective method of research. Secondary data is data that somebody else has already collected. In secondary analysis, you look at that previously collected data and do your own analysis on it. For example, let us imagine that you want to open a pizza chain franchise, and you are trying to decide where to put it. In this case, surveying potential customers might not be the most efficient option. You might consider analyzing secondary data instead, such as customers’ addresses from other franchises in the chain or census data that would tell you where recent population increases have taken place. Other people have already collected and analyzed this data, and you are not collecting it again, but you are analyzing it to answer your own research questions.

When performing secondary data analysis, it is important to make sure that the data you are using is appropriate for your question. You would not want to examine state-level census data when thinking about your new pizza restaurant; you would want more specific data, such as city-level or even neighborhood-level data. It’s also important to get permission to use data if necessary. United States Census data is freely available to use because it’s government information. However, market research data that’s been collected by a company or a third party might not be available for use without a fee or permission from company officials. If you worked for Pepsico, it wouldn’t be ethical to analyze market research data about Coke sales without permission, because it likely belongs to your competitor.

For viewing:

Stevens, D. (2012, February 18). Survey research design [Video file]. Retrieved from

Bonfim, R. (2011, February 11). Using secondary data [Video file]. Retrieved from

Forbes School of Business Faculty

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