Reflection -Power Pivot and Power BI Program
This activity is about taking an online course provided by the Udemy Learning platform (Contains videos and tests after each chapter) and presented by Robert Barcik. Robert Barcik is a Data Science graduate, university lecturer, well-known trainer, and the founder of educational platform (MeanThat) where Several universities use his videos in lecturing. Udemy is an expert-led course online learning platform aims to enable both workers and firms to achieve their purposes. The recommended courses are based on my interest and needed skills that were identified by a short survey I required to perform before I create my account. My role in this workshop was taking notes, performing exercises and tests during the online course in order to write down essential tips and concepts to go back over it when I start out my own dissertation.
This online course is about learning research methods for business students in a business context. This course contains 5 modules which are:
- Starting with Research
- Creating a Literature Review
- Formulating the Research Design
- Collecting Primary Data Through Observation
My feeling towards this activity is that I am so excited as I am expecting extraordinary learning experience from this unique learning platform, especially when I want to learn technical skills like learning Research Methods from an expert in the data analysis field. However, after I finished “Scientific Research Paper for
A High Impact Paper” workshop presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr.Sarminah Samad, I realized that I have to take in-depth practical experience in how to conduct a substantial research paper as a business student, which is precisely what this online course provides. The main objective behind taking this online course as POD is to understand and improve my research and analysis skills along with building a personal road map of my research paper. Learning research and analysis skills is critical for me as a student in the first place (in research generally), it will improve my essential way of thinking in general (personal development). The reason behind using Udemy learning platforms to learn this competency is to gain the learning outcomes from expert-led, trying new learning methods and gain unique experience in online courses.
Analysis of learning:
The learning outcome of this workshop was a valuable and high-quality learning experience. I have learned how to do researches step-by-step, starting with problem identification and then selecting the right research methodology to analyze the problem, including some writing tips such as how to find proper academic articles and how to reference them.
In the following, I have outlined the learning outcomes for each module:
Module one: this course starts with research fundamentals, such as defining the term “research” and what does that mean, what are research types (Basic and Applied). The research type where it can be conducted to solve current problems in the workplace and called applied research, while basic Research is the one that almost everyone familiar with where it has done in order to fill the knowledge gap in the literature.
Moreover, I have learned the fact that research has different natures, which are Exploratory, Descriptive, and Explanatory. After I understand research fundamentals, I have learned how I can come up with Research topics and ideas,
identify the rationale behind my research, and how I can describe my problem by learning how developing problem statements. After preparing and applying all that, now I can start writing my own Research Question and Objectives
Module two: under this module, I have learned how to construct a solid Literature Review. Which is, for me, the hardest part of the research process. I did not face any challenging in understanding the learning material, but I face some difficulties in applying what I have learned. Conducting literature review does not require that effort, but it requires a high level of critical thinking and evaluating.
Module three: in this section of the course, I have learned how to formulate my research design, where I have to know about research approaches (research onion) in order to find out which one I can apply. And the types of research design are Qualitative and Quantitative. Actually, I find out that I was more interested in qualitative research more than quantities since I majored in finance and I aim to have my capstone in this field. Besides, I have learned different types of research strategies (Experiment, Survey, Case Study, and action research) and how I can find which one is the best for my dissertation. Besides that, I learned how to distinguish between Cross-Sectional versus Longitudinal Studies.
Module four: I learned how to select samples for my Research and types of sampling techniques, according to (Parveen and Showkat, 2017) they define as:
- Probability Sampling Techniques: where the sample took a population using a method based on the theory of probability. For a participant to be considered as a probability sample, it must be selected using random sampling.
- Non-Probability Sampling Techniques: when the sampling technique process does not give all the individuals in the population equal chances of selection chance.
Module five: this module focusing on Primary Data collection by using Observation method (Participant Observation and Structured Observation), Questionnaires, and Interviews (Unstructured, Semi-Structured and Structured). However, there is little attention on how to use secondary data in research, which makes me disappointed since I plan to do my dissertation under accounting and finance studies, which often are exploratory studies, and they are basically qualitative research where historical data used commonly.
Application in Context
While I prepare my research proposal, I had the opportunity to apply (Walliman, 2017) advice in which I design my research question to be (Inferential) since my dissertations is (Testing research) and there are specific effects want to be measured such as timing of the study, location and the variables I want to test their relationship (X and Y). I have now allocated time to think strategically to build a plan for my dissertation, starts by examined the validity of the research
area, the framing of the research question, selection of research methodology, details of the data collection, sampling, and the research method. The chosen data collection method will be examined by evaluating its strengths and weaknesses, then describe how it was used to answer the research question. Finally, the findings will be reviewed to see if they are valid based on the research question and the methodology adopted. Despite this I was surprised by the intricacy of research prosses and the amount of work and time involved.
I have realized that research required a high level of critical thinking to be able to build informed and robust analysis of data and literature out there. Considering this, I will have to ensure I can adapt my plan as necessary to give myself enough time to evaluate the data set and analyze it in-depth and to deal with unexpected issues, I may face in feature during research prosses. (Thomas and Brubaker, 2008) agrees with this approach of planning, stating the designing stage establishes mainly where the methodological process is planned and set.
I then created an initial design and the methodology of the research and make sure it consistent with the research purpose. According to (Lindé, 2018) and based on what I learned from this course, I already planned and decided to avoid common mistakes in research papers. I already decide using quantitative data and linear analysis method; therefore, I have to state and justify my selection of research methodology in my research paper, the hypotheses have to be clearly stated and linked to the research question and aim and calibrate the limitation of the model used. Despite this, I was surprised by the amount of effort required to conduct a substantial research paper. I find out that research processes are systematic, and I have to examine the purpose of each component whether it achieves its goal or not. Considering this, I will have to ensure I can perform a
strong research proposal and adapt my plan as necessary to deal with any issue as they happen.
In my PDP I listed research and analysis: as a competency to develop in the short term. According to the European Union report (Providing researchers with the skills and competencies they need to practice open science) in 2017, to develop this competency, the practical skills are required and significant. Which covers finding and using resources efficiently. Which results in the ability to be familiar with information technology and library system.
Evaluate the experience
I was very impressed with just how much I learned about research methods including how to establish a substantial research question, set reliable objectives, research problem, and write a robust research rationale. Having applied the initial step outlined by (Thomas and Brubaker, 2008) discussed above, it became increasingly easier to implement the design, approach, and strategy of my research paper. That allowed me time to complete my work in my proposal and also adequately prepare for the dissertation itself. The method also enabled me to assign ‘down-time’ for myself, which has improved my overall levels of subjective well-being, as I have been able to strike a balance between work and my social life.
This online course gives me depth insight into how to conduct a research paper step by step, there are exercises and tests I did during the course, which provides me with an excellent practical experience. Also, it gives me the application and prosses of preparing robust research papers, both career and personal level.
thoroughly enjoyed the experience of online courses on Udemy Learning platform. The research methods for business students were broken down into steps, and each step represents a submodule that displayed above in description section of this reflection, which in return gives me the depth required to be applied in real world. Learning how to conduct literature review and designing research was particularly evident while was making proposal, but then the importance of strategic thinking and improving my critical thinking skills were unanticipated and equally important. This has changed my view of how I would conduct research the future within the same situation and are areas that I have identified for possible improvement. For example, I must learn about cognitive biases to be more aware of them especially when I outline my findings in the research paper. Before I put anything in my research paper, I will keen to take a moment to reflect, ask myself what cognitive bias that I may be falling into.
Action or Application
After I perform this activity, I put into practice the theories and concepts learned from this online course in many situations in both my personal (study) life and my workplace. As a master student, I have been required to do several research papers and research-based projects on weekly bases. And ensured that I created a high-quality research paper and also bulletproof Literature Review. On the other hand, as a trainee in product management, I have been required to solve problems by analyzing the data and set out strategies for a product several times and ensured that I make firm and rational decisions by incorporate critical and strategic thinking in doing so.
This has, for the most part, been effective; however, there is still occasion where I tend to do strategies based on marketing research (including proposing marketing strategy to the marketing team) quickly, not thinking of the feature
consequences. However, when I compare my current skills with my previous qualifications, I know I have come a long way and will improve with future practice. I have already received extremely positive feedback from my supervisor as I introduce some logical strategies to which I applied my newfound skills using tips and techniques that I have learned under this course.