Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.14. Compare different representations to take a position on the issue

ryanrori February 3, 2021

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Step 5: Analyse and interpret the data 

Now it is time for you to use your intellect. You need to draw logical conclusions from the data you have organised and represented. This is also how you will answer your research question which you formulated in step 1. 

The following are examples of data collected in a hair salon:

Example 1:

Interpretation: 

In this sample there were 14 men and 16 women who had treatments done:

  • The men in the group mostly go to the hairstylist just for a trim
  • Women seem to have a trim and cut-and-blow-dry and many women also have highlight treatments 

Example 2:

Interpretation: 

A total of 30 people were served in the salon:

  • It is important to realise that there was not an even spread of age groups in the sample group – there were four people younger than 18yrs, nine aged 18-25yrs, six aged 26-35yrs, six 36-45yrs, two 46-55yrs and 3 older than 55yrs.
  • It seems that the people in the middle age ranges have more treatments done to their hair than the youngest or oldest groups, e.g. 5 out of 9 (56%) of the people in the 18-25yrs age category have highlights done.  
  • Perms do not seem to be very popular at the moment (only 13% of this group had a perm treatment).

Example 3:

Interpretation: 

The most frequently used shampoos in this sample group were Pantene and Body on Tap.  There were quite a few brands used by no-one in this survey

Usefulness of this information:

  • The salon owner can plan his/her marketing strategy based on the information gleaned from this information- s/he can either customise  her marketing towards the needs and preferences of the largest group of existing customers, or s/he can decide to try and attract more of a certain group of potential customers
  • The salon owner can also plan his/her inventory purchases, as s/he now has an accurate record of best sellers versus slow moving stock.
New questions that arise from the modelling of the data

We saw in 1.1 that research is cyclical. A researcher will plan, act, observe and reflect to solve a particular problem, but in this process s/he will uncover new problems and questions to be answered and these will form the basis of new research. The process of questioning and searching for solutions is therefore ongoing.