BUSI 275 Fall 2011 Term Project


The objective of this course is not only that you understand the theory (math) behind statistical analyses, but also that you demonstrate how to apply them appropriately to practical situations in business. As such, the term project is a vital component of the course and should represent the pinnacle of your work in this course (more so even than the final exam).
For the term project, you will In the business world you will often (nearly always) need to work in teams, and so in this project you will be expected to work in teams of 2-4 students. Everyone in your group will get the same mark for the project, and once the project proposal is submitted, the team cannot be disbanded -- so choose your teammates wisely! Learning how to work in a team is one of the main objectives of this project; it is not easy, but it is important and worth the effort. Giving up on working together is giving up on one of the primary objectives; it is your responsibility to make it work! If you are having difficulty with your teammates, I can offer suggestions on conflict resolution, but I will not be your mediator; you must learn to be peacemakers.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2-3, NIV)


Choose one of the following options, or come up with your own idea of similar scope and depth:

Dataset Description (due 4 Oct)

Find an existing dataset or describe in detail how you are going to collect your own data. Existing data can be from public sources (e.g., StatCan, U.S. Census, etc.) or from private sources (in which case you need to make sure you have permission to use it, as well as possible REB approval). If you plan to gather your own data, you will need to detail your sampling strategy (e.g., friends+family via word-of-mouth, stand on campus/street corner, work with a local retailer, etc.) as well as your data collection strategy (e.g., online questionnaire, oral interview). If you plan on offering participants an incentive (e.g., chance to win a gift card), you need to make that clear (because it does affect your sampling).


REB Forms (due 11 Oct)

By law, any research involving human subjects must be done according to standards of research ethics. If you are gathering your own data (e.g., questionnaires) or using existing non-public data that involves human subjects, you will need to submit a form to TWU's Research Ethics Board (REB) for approval. You are not permitted to begin recruiting subjects or gathering data until you have received REB approval! Allow 3 weeks for this to happen. If you are using public data (e.g., StatCan or US Census), then you generally will not require REB approval -- however, for class purposes, you will still need to complete a REB form. For more on why research ethics is important and what the REB will be looking for, see the Tri-Council Course on Research Ethics (CORE). If the REB rejects your application with major revisions, you may be required to complete this online tutorial. See TWU's REB page for more details; the forms you need are at the bottom of the page: either "Request for Ethical Review" (if you are gathering new data) or "Analysis of Existing Data" (if you are using data that was originally gathered for another REB-approved study). On the form, list the instructor as your project's supervisor. Your project's principal investigator ("PI") should be one from your team; you may select one student arbitrarily.


Project Proposal (due 25 Oct)

Write a short summary (one-half to one page) describing the work your team proposes to do:


Presentation (in-class, 29 Nov and 1 Dec)

Deliver a 15-min, in-class presentation on your project. If your analysis is not yet complete by the time you do your presentation, that is okay, but you should have some preliminary results to present.


Paper (due Wed 7 Dec)

Your paper must be a complete, well-written exposition of the topic you have chosen, the analysis you performed, and your results and conclusions. You will need to do background research and cite reliable sources. As appropriate, include select tables or figures in the body of the paper to illustrate the points made in your paper. Further tables or charts can go in an appendix. As with the presentation, your target audience is someone like your CEO or board of directors -- they are giving you a chance to communicate your results, but you need to convince them of the relevance and validity of your work in a way that they can understand. Do not assume they are familiar with statistical methods. There is no length limitation on the paper! However, your paper must satisfy all the requirements given, following the outline below. Typically, BUSI275 papers that meet these requirements have averaged around 4000 words. But there is no minimum length; if you can write a clear, concise paper that meets all the requirements in less than 4000 words, so much the better! Your paper should be in proper, professional English. Avoid colloquialisms. As appropriate, prefer the active voice ("We performed linear regression on the data") over the passive ("linear regression was performed on the data"). Actions have agents, so indicate who they are: if you were the one who performed a step, then the use of the pronoun "We" (or "I") is appropriate ("We performed..."). If you are citing someone else's analysis, then indicate who did it: "McDermott et al. performed a similar analysis...". I will not be strict on formatting, as long as your paper is clear and readable. A suggested format is the MLA style: Purdue OWL has a helpful guide. I highly recommend that you submit a rough draft early on to get feedback. This paper constitutes a major portion of your final grade, and you don't want to be surprised that you were heading down the wrong path!



Dataset Description:8%
REB (if needed):4%