The Analysis of Business Essay Example
Research is used in business for many different purposes. As an employee of the largest financial technology company in the world, I know my place of business must have researched many aspects of their business, for a variety of reasons, to have achieved this great position, and to hold onto it as well. The research may have been conducted through studies, business research, press releases by our competitors, client surveys, just to name a few. Internal employee research is also critical to keep the company functioning cohesively.
Achieving the number one status in an industry is a great achievement, but staying there is an even better one. I have watched our company continue to grow and prosper, acquiring companies to gain more strength, to broaden the scope of our offerings, and to ultimately increase our revenue. From what I can personally deduct, we use the tenets of the Scientific Method to conduct some of our research. We observe our competitors to see what new technology they are offering and we always try to stay one step ahead in certain areas, while trying to bridge the gap in other areas. When you take money out of an ATM, the process seems pretty straightforward; you push some buttons, follow the prompts on the screen and you received your money. But what if you first want to check your balance, or transfer money from one account to another? This takes numerous steps and can be quite cumbersome. My company took things to the next level, by allowing you to bring up your mobile application for your bank, handle your transfers or balance check quickly, indicate that you want to make a withdrawal and then use your camera to point at the ATM screen and "voila!", Your transaction is done. These advances in technology were a result of my company's research; answering the need for additional ease and security. We went through various testing and methods, first testing internally within the company to see if our new technology would indeed improve the customer experience for those that prefer to bank using their mobile phone. We had to survey those who were using this test technology and gather the data to determine if this was a viable offering and revise and correct based on those findings. We then expanded and tested the waters with one of our banking customers before expanding to other banks throughout the globe. All of these steps make up an extremely methodical process that we must follow to be successful.
Another area of the company where I have seen extensive research within my company is with our IT hardware and software vendors. We interact with the largest ones out there; IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Dell and so many more. Before we sign new agreements with these companies, there are numerous aspects that we study. For one, we use our vendor scorecard feature to survey our internal customers of these vendors to ensure they are getting what they expect out of the relationship. The internal customers are asked to rank our vendors each month on their responsiveness, their knowledge, the issues that have occurred, etc. We then use that data to not only manage the relationship but also to use in our contract negotiations. Additionally, when we are entering a contract renewal or negotiations, we typically engage a consulting company for a Reporting Study, which as described by Cooper & Schindler (2014), provides a summation of data, to achieve a deeper understanding or to generate statistics for comparison (p.21). This Reporting Study assists us with our research to ensure we are getting, at a minimum, as good of a deal as other companies our size. We also use this third party to bring forward ideas that similar companies are using to negotiate better agreements.
Most critical to our success though, outside of the product offerings and improving our technology, is ensuring the satisfaction of our employees. We have struggled for many years with employee morale, as well with retaining employees. This becomes a bigger issue when undergoing frequent acquisitions, as we focus so intently on integrating the companies and ignore the well-being of the employees. We started addressing the issue some years ago with an employee survey. The company used this survey as a Predictive Study, to provide an explanation of why employees were unhappy, and determine or predict future situations based on the employee responses (Cooper & Schneider, 2014). However, this survey was conducted by our HR Department, thus skewing the results as employees were not forthcoming with their true feelings and opinions as they did not feel there was anonymity. After numerous years of receiving lackluster responses, not only for continuing to issue from our HR department but also for again including questions that did not provide that anonymity. Although they did not ask for your name, they asked numerous questions pertaining to your location, your job role, your age range, as well as if you were a male or female. These questions reiterated the belief that they could figure out exactly who you were, based on that information. The company finally outsourced the survey which gave the employees some comfort that their responses could not be traced back and they could openly respond.
Another method HR used to assist in obtaining valuable information regarding improving employee morale was to hold focus group discussions throughout the globe. Employees were randomly selected and spent the day in the sessions, not only providing their open and honest feedback regarding the root causes to the poor morale but gaining comfort that they were indeed being listened to. To protect themselves from any ethical issues, the company provided the employees a clear description of the goal of the session, explained the employee’s rights within the study and received their consent to document the ideas on paper (although no names were associated with the feedback). According to Cooper and Schneider (2014), these steps are all directly in line with the ethical treatment of research study participants (p. 28). We now are beginning to see the results of the surveys and focus groups, with newly implemented programs and offerings introduced on a monthly basis. The company is showing that they are listening to the issues by taking action, which is very satisfying.
As we have reviewed, business research takes on numerous different aspects within an organization. The study may be about sales, product development, vendor relationships, as well as employee or client satisfaction. All categories are equally important to grow a successful business and require robust data to generate improvement. Using the appropriate type of research is critical to ensure success.