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EUB030L004A - Dissertation - University of Roehampton
Dissertation - Impacts of Digitalization and Data Analysis on Businesses
LO1: negotiate and re-define, if necessary, the purpose and scope of a research project;
LO2: undertake systematic search and review of relevant published theoretical and research-based literature relating to the research project;
LO3: identify, critically evaluate and adopt research methods and intervention strategies that are appropriate and relevant to a specific task or to a research problem;
LO4: establish the planning requirements of a project taking into consideration the management of ethical issues;
LO5: schedule and prepare detailed plans;
LO6: analyse data and relate those findings to the existing state of knowledge of the area studied;
LO7: write a complete, well-structured and clearly argued academic dissertation dealing with the purpose and rationale of the study; the state of existing knowledge; choice of methodology and use an appropriate research design; the findings and ways in which they add to knowledge; and the implications of those conclusions.
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1. Introduction and context
Digitalization involves the use of various digital technologies within the models of the business so that new opportunities for revenue and profit generation could be achieved easily. It involves the integration of digital technologies in the daily chores of the business for enhancing the reputation and productivity of the business.
Background context and research background
Increasing speed of digitalization, data privacy, improved reputation and improvement in the market research efficiency are acting as the players encompassing this research. These are making this research relevant and most needed for the hour (Zhang, 2018). Rampant development in communication technologies and digital touch in each and every business activities is paving a way for this research (Neubert, 2018).
Figure 1.1: Revenue Records in Retail companies of Germany
As per the revenue size in retails sectors, it has been seen that in Germany sales of 10 Million Euros is done by only 81.44 companies who use digitalized methods for data recording and analysis.
Keeping pace with the continuously changing technologies and remaining flexible in adopting new techniques requires complete knowledge of impacts that digitalization could keep on the business activities (Martin et al. 2017). This factor has made this research more important and researchable one.
The main aim of the research will be to investigate the impact of digitalization and data analysis on the activities of the business.
• To identify the concept of digitalization and data analysis in business activities
• To determine the impact of the data analysis and digitalization on different business types
• To identify the challenges faced while keeping pace with digitalization and changing data analysis methods
• To recommend innovative strategies for mitigating the challenges
• What is the concept of data analysis and digitalization in business?
• What are the impacts of data analysis and digitalization on business types?
• What are the challenges faced while keeping pace with the digitalization and data analysis methods?
• What innovative steps could be adapted for mitigating those aforesaid challenges?
Lack of data accuracy, lack of synchronization and proper management of larger databases, time taking manual or traditional methods used for data handling problems is making it necessary to understand the positive impact of digitalization and modern data analysis. These issues are directly affecting the productivity of the managers, employees, and customers of the business (Perera et al. 2015). Nonusage of digital methods is reducing the accuracy of the data records that are leading to customers' switches in Germany (Pybus et al. 2015).
Figure 1.2: Number showing Usage of digitalized advertising in companies
By the use of modern digitalization methods and by using modern data analytics the use of social media could get enhanced to 332.20 in 2021 (statista.com, 2018). Without switch from traditional methods to digitalized methods, customer reduction by 10% could be seen in the near future. In the competitive market when the customers are purchasing their products long queue for purchasing their products and payments are urging them to look for companies where digital methods are used (Hausken, 2017). For improving the reputation and for improving their productivity when gets accompanied by accuracy in data records could help the companies in retaining their customers easily.
Significance of the research
Data analysis helps in understanding the trends of the companies which is necessary for competitive analysis and a single touch of digitalization adds the taste for accuracy and transparency in this data analysis process. Global trends and reduction of the challenges for data hacking have acted as the main players reducing the efficiency and competitive advantage in the companies (Morabito, 2015). Cooperation and collaboration of the business analytics with the real-time information helps in locating the hidden pattern for large databases and there lies the importance and need for digitalization and data analysis research. Primary interview, survey and secondary methods will be used and interview of managers of a specific company will be the source for data in primary interview and survey of employees from the same company will also be done. Along with that secondary literature sources stating the success pinnacles achieved by the companies by using this technology will also act as the source for data analysis.
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2. Literature review
Digitalization and data analysis
Digitalization means an action of becoming digital by converting the analog data into the digitalized version. According to Loebbecke & Picot (2015), it involves the adoption of computerized technology for solving the daily problem arising in business activities. Revolving around the social media for news regarding business trends and media infrastructures will help in reducing the extra time needed for data recording. Data analysis involves comparing the trends with the nearest competitors. Modern data analysis is done by computers so the time needed for recording complex data could be diverted to main activities of the business
Impacts of digitalization and data analysis on business activities
According to the news report the companies are facing information crisis as they are becoming unable to trust, govern and value the information of the company. Difficulty in getting real-time data and effective management of the data quality became a daunting task. This lead to the introduction of digitalization and data analysis techniques and 57% of the companies using these techniques has stated that digitalization has increased the satisfaction rate of their customers and has provided high-quality business data (resources.boaweb.com, 2018). The positive impacts of data analysis and digitalization are as follows:
Better decision making and reputation development
Modern data analysis techniques used by retail companies involves EHS performance checking. EHS involves assessment of environmental, health and safety measures existing in the companies. As these areas are most necessary for the companies so accurate data gathering is a must in this. Data visualization techniques involve the accurate gathering of data that further when analyzed could give better or rater accurate results (Michael, 2014). Suppose, for example, the managers got to know that customer's safety and privacy while maintaining data records are getting loose so through data visualization techniques how the competitors record their customer's data will be analyzed. This data analysis will lead to accurate decision making and later help them to determine which could be the best method for them. This further could help in regaining their trust and reputation in the business.
Figure 2.1: Impacts of Digitalization on business activities
Data accuracy and simplicity
A simplified version of data sets could be streamlined by the help of digitalization methods. A huge number of data sets could be recorded by the use of a computerized system. The scrutiny of data sets and computerized recording of those data sets in right order enhances the simplicity. In the words of Shepherd et al. (2015), in addition to that as the data are recorded in computers so the chance for inaccuracy or misplacement could be reduced easily. For example, the retail companies require recording customer feedbacks related data accurately and in this case, if the data is recorded through big data then actionable insights and improvement in customer experience could be maintained easily.
Transitioning the sustainable world
Digital initiatives and its introduction in the retail business world could help in delivering 26 Billion tones net avoided CO2 emissions within 2016-2025 (cleanenergywire.org, 2016). Use of computers for data recording and reduction in papers could reduce the amount of carbon footprint that in turn improves the productivity of the retail business in a whole. In Germany, the government has targeted to reduce carbon footprint by 40% and in this, the step for digitalization will be accepted by 86% of companies within 2020 (cleanenergywire.org, 2016).
Different theoretical pillars help in forming a clear understanding of the needs for digitalization and data analysis in business. Competitive advantage through innovation and customer satisfaction related theories will be most effective in this research process.
Competitive advantage through innovation theory
In this theory, different innovative methods are first checked and after forming clear and elaborative ideas of the same implementation are done. In this theory at first, the digitalization and data analysis methods will be checked and based on their benefits and impacts will be used in the research. According to Noe et al. (2017), benefits, risks, and challenges associated with the innovative technology will also be checked so that full proof plan could be made beforehand. Therefore, this theory will be more effective in this research as practical and theoretical aspects righteously match with this research.
Figure 2.2: Theoretical Foundations
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) theory
In this theory, all the benchmarks that are needed for meeting the satisfaction level of the customers are achieved. In the words of Harmeling et al. (2017), at first, the expectation and needs of the customers are jotted down and then based on their important rankings the solutions in the form of improved strategic implementation is done. In this research, at first, the needs of the customers like proper maintenance of data and flexibility in product purchase will be maintained by the use of digitalization and data analysis methods. Therefore, this theory will be most appropriate and would aid in the process of customer satisfaction process.
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Challenges faced in recording data through digitalized methods
Although digitalization brings efficiency it also involves various challenges that reduce the efficiency and perfectness of these systems. The challenges faced by the retailer while implementing this digitized data recording techniques are as follows:
Only technical persons could handle this software so technical staffs needs to be hired for this purpose. In the words of Harmeling et al. (2017), Hiring of technical experts enhances the cost of the companies that further reduces the productivity of the existing staffs. The employees who are not used to with this digitalization software feel less motivated and could not respond well to the training that is given to them for making them tech efficient. Therefore, the productivity of all the employees gets reduced due to this and this directly poses a challenge to business operations.
Figure 2.3: Challenges Faced in the Digitalization process
Data in this digitalized software are recorded by the help of computers so the data frauds and data hacking can come up as a major challenge in this case. West et al. (2015) say that larger data sets, as well as complex data sets, gets recorded by the help of big data or cloud storage software's and the chance for hacking remains, which directly reduces the trust and reputations of the customers. Cyber security gets hampered in this system and proper anti-privacy system needs to be installed in this digitalized software so that all-around protection of data records could be kept.
Technical problems and non efficiency in handling big data
The companies who are using bid data for performing data analysis are facing many problems in their daily chores. In the opinion of Perera et al. (2015), it is further seen that during the use of big data for data recording as well as for data analysis the retailers are often faced technical problems that are taking much time for recovery. This, in turn, is halting the business process and affecting the decision-making process of those companies. Apart from that, the companies are not ready to handle big data and more technical proficiency is required for fully accepting this technology.
Figure 2.4: Conceptual Framework
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3. Investigative methods and approach
The problem faced by the employees as well as customers due to traditional methods of data entry will form the base for data gathering. In the words of Eriksson & Kovalainen (2015), in this segment, the use of positivism philosophy will be most appropriate as along with problems related data prior assessment of the impacts of the digitalization methods will also require complete evaluation. Therefore, by the use of positivism philosophy problems as well as positive impacts of data analysis and digitalization will be gathered as data for further analysis. In the words of Eriksson & Kovalainen (2015), close analysis of the impacts of the digitalized methods and need for data analysis would act as a catalyst for performance enhancement in retail companies.
As the research is based on the implementation of new technology and involves an assessment of the impacts of those modern techniques on the business, the descriptive design will be more appropriate. By the help of descriptive design, the theoretical, as well as practical implications of digitalization will be accessed through interviews (Silverman, 2018). Here primary qualitative, quantitative and secondary qualitative data analysis will be done so that unbiased data could be gathered. Primary qualitative and quantitative analysis through close-ended and open-ended data analysis will be done so that the views of the managers and employees could be gathered. In this data collection process need for new or rather digitalized technologies would be accessed elaborately.
Data collection tools
The deductive approach relates to the theoretical and practical merger in the research. In this research also the appropriate merger of both these two aspects is seen. Therefore, by the use of deductive approach, the merger of the theoretical aspects and practical aspects could be combined easily and this could help in understanding the impacts of digitalized domains on the activities of the business effectively (Silverman, 2018). Interviews of the managers of Schwarz Retail Company will act as the source of data. Furthermore, the survey of employees working in Schwarz Retail Company will also act as the source for data collection. In the opinion of Schabenberger & Gotway, (2017), in addition to that secondary article reviews stating the benefits already achieved by other sectors due to digitalization methods will be highlighted.
In this research, the interview of the managers will help in understanding what are the problems faced by the managers due to the use of traditional and manual methods for data analysis and data recording. Apart from that, the employees will help in stating the problems that are seen among the customers who are leading to their switchovers to other companies (Schabenberger & Gotway, 2017). Secondary article analysis will involve records or rather the positive impacts of the digitalized data records on the business activities adopted by different sectors. Therefore, data analysis could be done nicely by these methods.
Systematic random sampling will be used here for conducting the process of research. In this research, 71 employees of the Schwarz retail company will be used for the survey process. Through an online survey, the ranking and option wise ranking given by the employees on the problems for customer switches will be accessed comprehensively in this research.
Data collection techniques
Interview questionnaire for face to face interview of the mangers of the said company will be arranged. In the interview, the questions that relate to the problems faced by them and the reasons for failure to retain customers will be asked. In the opinion of Schabenberger & Gotway, (2017), this could help in understanding the need for digital methods for data analysis more easily In the survey the feedbacks that are received by the employees from the customers due to traditional methods used by the retail company will be gathered. In secondary articles, the process used by other companies for mitigating the risks will be understood.
Justification of the choices
In this research mainly interview, survey and secondary article review analysis will be done as the problems faced by the employees and managers will help in improvising the solutions more easily. The managers think about the business operations and objectives and employees are in direct touch with the customers so eradication of the problem could be done from the root. Apart from that, the secondary articles will help in understanding the techniques that could be applied for mitigating the risk associated with the digitalization and data analysis.
Social research philosophy involves the creation of dimension so that relationship and problem analysis could be done. In this research also establishment of a direct relationship with the business productivity and digitalization will be time-consuming and this can be considered an issue here. Apart from that how manual data recording and analysis are affecting and which areas of business are getting affected due to this will make this research complex and time taking. However, prior planning and accurate data analysis will help in making the research easier and less complicated.
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4. Ethical issues
Ethics refers to the rules that govern the behaviors of the participants of the research. While conducting vital research important ethical factors needs to be considered for maintaining research effectiveness. Firstly protecting the participants and making them feel comfortable for giving unbiased data. Mental, physical or loss of data involved in the research process needs to be seen and improved effectively (Moon, 2015).
Figure 4.1: Ethical considerations
Willful consent from the participants is needed for understanding the needs for digitalization could further ensure data. Apart from that complete protection of the needs of the participants and groups needs to be maintained. In the third aspect examination risk issues, informed consent and confidentiality of the data given by the participants need to be checked out by the help of the Data Protection Act 1988 (Carey, 2018).
5. Time plan and resources
Gantt chart containing the activities involved in the research will be created for clarifying the time needed for each activity involved in the research project. Furthermore, apart from the Gantt chart, the resources that are needed for simplifying the research process includes the following details:
• Recording device's rent
• Mobile phone and headset purchase rent cost
• Printing and market research related to cost
• Digital resources
The project is feasible and an interview done to the managers will make the research process more accurate and stable in the long run (Kerzner & Kerzner, 2017). Proper planning of the activities needed in this research is helping in managing any problem that will be arising in the research efficiently.
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