November 2012 Archives

Technology Services Survey

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I recently contacted the University of Minnesota Technology Services regarding troubles with registration for spring semester. After speaking with a representative about the issue I was emailed with this survey.

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Since we have been spending time writing surveys questions of our own, I was critical of this survey. This survey is only 2 question, which may allow a participant to be more inclined to take the survey because it is short. However, I do not think the choice of questions is effective for the length of the survey. The technology services department should include questions such as:

How long were you on hold waiting for assistance?

Was the problem fixed after receiving assistance?

How could we better serve your needs?

I think these questions would be beneficial replacements to the current ones because they ask more specific questions. With more specific questions, the technology services team will have a better understanding of how people receive their services and its effectiveness.

"New Research Findings on HIV/AIDS Focus on Youth"

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Last January, the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) released findings that could benefit youth infected with HIV or AIDS.

According to NIH, large doses of vitamin D can counteract bone loss that occurs as a side effect of an HIV treatment medication. Researchers said children are twice as likely to have a language impairment when exposed to HIV in the womb. Furthermore, the they reported that children receiving little or no treatment were three times more likely to have language impairment than those who receive treatment.

Another finding by World Health Organization and World Bank estimates that 5 million youth are living with HIV.

Even if these findings and predictions are accurate, the article fails to support these claims. The only study mentioned reads: "a longer-term study is being launched to determine if continued doses would eliminate bone loss...". This is the only actual study mentioned and it is not even complete. In order to make these claims, the article should provide support on how the researchers reached these conclusions. Simply stating the institute or organization that conducted the research is not enough credibility for the reader.

"Research Methods for Qualitative Research"

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The slideshow posted on Slideshare provides numerous methods on qualitative research. It provides details on how to choose the appropriate methods (new and old) based on the desired type of research.

Some of these methods include:
-Online focus groups
-Webcam focus groups
-Online journaling
-Video diaries
-Online communities/social networks

There are numerous slides dedicated on how to begin the decision process to choose a method. The process begins with a series of questions for what the researcher preferences in the study. Near the end of the decision process, it provides a narrowed list of preferred methods.

This is a unique approach to choosing a method and allows the research to weigh the pros and cons of various options.

"Market Research in the Mobile World"

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This article provides the top 5 takeaways from a conference on marketing research in the mobile world. An attendee of the conference highlighted what she considered the most important information from the conference.

1. Big data is not having a big impact on marketing yet
-Results from a Columbia University study show that there is a big gap in the use of data to drive marketing decisions.
-91% of senior marketers believe that successful brand use customer data drives marketing decisions. However, 39% say their own company's data is collected too infrequently.
-Biggest issue: marketers rely on historical data vs. understand performance to drive budgets.

2. The mobile research potential is not just online surveys on your mobile phone.
-Facebook adopted the consumer experience for mobile; research should do the same.

3. Making reseach fun gets you better results.

4. It's not about the data it's about the story
-37% of executives agree their market research groups are strategic.
-Research must translate to into actionable business direction.

5. Data accuracy of social media sentiments is mixed, so plan for it.
-It's hard to measure sentiment consistently given spam, grammar and language issues.

I found this article to be very interesting. The writer who attended the conference learned of the current flaws in market research and how companies can improve research accuracy. If used correctly, mobile research can be an thorough and accurate technique to reach participants. Companies must translate their research results into a strategic business action.

Health News Daily reported a study that suggests that women who take common antidepressants during pregnancy have a high risk for their unborn babies developing birth defects. The study specifically names medications such as Zoloft, Celexa and Paxil as brands to avoid. The birth defect risks include premature birth and autism.

The findings indicate that as many as 13% of pregnant women currently take antidepressants. Many women have also had infertility treatments which usually is linked to depression.

The article claims there is a high risk but fails to even address the participants in the study. The reader is unaware of how the data was quantified and if the women were taking any other medications at the same time. Also, it is unclear exactly what a defect entails and how to label a defect. This is all necessary information for the study and its claim to be credible.

After the article provides the opposing viewpoint, it states: ...every woman who presents to a clinician has to undergo a case-by-case analysis of the benefits and risks of antidepressant therapy.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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