The Aim of this unit is to give learners the opportunity to develop techniques for data gathering and storage, an understanding of the tools available to create and present useful information, in order to make business decisions.
In business, good decision making requires the effective use of information. This unit gives learners the opportunity to examine a variety of sources and develop techniques in relation to four aspects of information: data gathering, data storage, and the tools available to create and present useful information.
ICT is used in business to carry out much of this work and an appreciation and use of appropriate ICT software is central to completion of this unit. Specifically, learners will use spreadsheets and other software for data analysis and the preparation of information. The use of spreadsheets to manipulate numbers, and understanding how to apply the results, are seen as more important than the mathematical derivation of formulae used.
Learners will gain an appreciation of information systems currently used at all levels in an organization as aids to decision making.
Learning outcomes and assessment criteria
In order to pass this unit, the assignment that you present for assessment needs to demonstrate that you can meet all the learning outcomes listed below.
The assessment criteria is a sequence of steps you will follow to help you achieve the unit assignment.
Learning Outcomes ( LO)
Assessment Criteria ( AC)
1. Be able to use a variety of sources for the collection of data, both primary and secondary
1.1 Create a plan for the collection of primary and secondary data for a given business problem.
1.2 Present the survey methodology and sampling frame used
1.3 Design a Questionnaire for a given business problem
2. Understand a range of techniques to analyse data effectively for business purposes
2.1 Create information for decision making by summarising data using representative values
2.2 Analyse the results to draw valid conclusions in a business context
2.3 Analyse data using measures of dispersion to inform a given business scenario
2.4 Explain how quartiles, percentiles and correlation coefficient are used to draw useful conclusions in a business context
3. Be able to produce information in appropriate formats for decision in an organisational context
3.1 Produce graphs using spreadsheets and draw valid conclusions based on information derived
3.2 Create trend lines in spreadsheet graphs to assist in forecasting for specified business information
3.3 Prepare a business presentation using suitable software and techniques to disseminate information effectively
3.4 Produce a formal business report
4. Be able to use software generated information to make decisions/interpretations in an organisation
4.1 Use appropriate information processing tools
4.2 Prepare a project plan for an activity and determine the critical path
4.3 Use financial tools for decision makin
Before you get started please read the following information very carefully.
Produce an informal report that addresses all the tasks in the assignment brief. You are encouraged to use diagrams or tables to illustrate and reinforce your findings. Any references to academic theory should be correctly cited and referenced in a bibliography at the end of the report. (please do not copy and paste information)
ü Fully completed assignment cover page
ü Title page
ü Table of contents
ü Main body of the report clearly identifying the separate outcomes and assessment criteria
ü Conclusion and recommendations
ü References and bibliography
ü Appendices only if relevant and necessary
The assignment brief includes headings relevant to the unit outcomes, read and follow the tasks listed under each heading and this will make certain that you cover all the outcomes and assessment criteria to achieve the unit.
Assessment and Grading
Read the assessment grading criteria before attempting the assignment tasks, as it contains important information about how you should approach your assignment and how grading is applied in order for you to achieve a pass, merit or distinction.
All assignments must be submitted by the agreed date, via MOODLE. Assignments submitted late, but with permission, will be marked as a pass only. Assignments submitted late, without permission, will not be marked until the end of the year, or the next time the unit is scheduled.
Please ensure that your assignment is attached to the assignment submission receipt and that you read and sign the statement confirming authenticity. Check that all relevant fields are completed fully before submission.
Once the assessor has marked your assignment, you will receive written feedback, either confirming that you have met the required standard and grade awarded, or that you have not yet met the standard and what you need to do to make the necessary improvements. Please note that achieved and confirmation of grades is provisional until signed off by the Internal Verifier.
Student Guide to Writing an Assignment
This is an assignment guide to help support you while completing your BTEC Assignments.
· Assignment writing guidance
· Referencing guidance
A reading list will be given to you at the first session unit session.
You should also read a good quality newspaper and/or use relevant internet sites regularly and identify key influences and recent and relevant research with regard to your subject area. You should read topical case studies and read about national campaigns and government initiatives in your area of interest.
Assessment and Grading Criteria ( a session on the grading criteria and how to grade up from a pass will be delivered in week 1)
The grading of Edexcel BTEC Higher National Qualifications is at the unit and the qualification level. Each successfully completed unit will be graded as a pass, merit or distinction.
Learners will be awarded a merit or distinction grade by the aggregation of points gained through the successful achievement of individual units. The points will be calculated based on the unit credit size, the points available for each credit is: pass = 0 merit =1 distinction= 2. To achieve a merit grade overall you will need to accumulate a minimum of 75 points and for a distinction a minimum of 150 points.
To achieve a Pass
· A pass grade is achievable by meeting all the requirements defined in the assessment criteria for pass for each unit.
To achieve a Merit a learner must:
· The learners evidence shows, for example:
Identify and apply strategies to find appropriate solutions
· Effective judgments have been made
· Complex problems with more than one variable have been explored
· An effective approach to study and research has been applied
Select/design and apply appropriate methods and techniques
· Relevant theories and techniques have been applied
· A range of methods and techniques have been applied
· A range of sources of information has been used
· The selection of methods and techniques/sources has been justified
· The design of methods/techniques has been justified
· Complex information/data has been synthesized and processed.
· Appropriate learning methods/techniques have been applied.
Present and communicate appropriate findings
· The appropriate structure and approach has been used
· Coherent, logical development of principles/concepts for the intended audience
· A range of methods of presentation have been used and technical language has been accurately used.
· Communication has taken place in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
· The communication is appropriate for familiar and unfamiliar audiences and appropriate media have been used.
To achieve a distinction a leaner must:
· The learners evidence shows, for example:
Use critical reflection to evaluate own work and justify valid conclusions
· Conclusions have been arrived at through synthesis of ideas and have been justified.
· The validity of results has been evaluated using defined criteria.
· Self-criticism of approach has taken place
· Realistic improvements have been proposed against defined characteristics for success.
Take responsibility for managing and organising activities.
·Autonomy/independence has been demonstrated
· Substantial activities, projects or investigations have been planned, managed and organized.
· Activities have been managed
· The unforeseen has been accommodated
· The importance of interdependence has been recognised and achieved.
Demonstrate convergent/lateral/creative thinking
· Ideas have been generated and decisions taken
· Self-evaluation has taken place
· Convergent and lateral thinking have been applied
· Receptiveness to new ideas is evident
· Effective thinking has taken place in unfamiliar contexts
You will choose a company or organisation you are familiar with, one you know, or use a case study supplied as the basis for your report. The formal report will outline your plan for gathering primary and secondary data, an evaluation of this data and the communication of this to the client company. You will have to define the issues you are examining.
Please use the headings shown below when writing up your report
Research for a company you know, is familiar to you or a case study.
Briefly describe your organisation and what it does.
Planning is an important aspect of business. Based on the company or case study you have chosen, you will create a plan to outline how you will collect secondary and primary data based on a defined issue.
Once a plan is formed you will then decide the most appropriate methodology to use in the collection of this data, including the rationale for this. Part of the methodology will outline the sampling framework. This information will be presented in the formal report and in a later presentation.
A questionnaire is one method of gathering primary data. For the company or case study you have chosen you will design a short questionnaire to help gather information based on the defined issue.
Understand a range of techniques to analyse data effectively for business purposes (learning outcome 2)
You have already decided on the company or case study, the plan for collecting data, the sampling method, and have designed a questionnaire. This questionnaire will gather the data necessary. This data will then be analysed to help inform the business decision to be made.
You will create this information by summarising data using representative values.
with the data on hand, you will analyse the data and draw valid business conclusion in your defined business context.
As part of the analyses you will examine the data using measure of dispersion to inform the business scenario.
With your company or case study in mind, and the data gathered, explain how quartiles, percentiles and the correlation coefficient are used to draw useful conclusions in a business context
Be able to produce information in appropriate formats for decision making in an organisation (learning outcome 3)
A visual representation of data can be important in communicating your findings. Based on your chosen company or case study, use aids to help communicate your data. You will produce graphs using spreadsheets and draw valid conclusions based on the information derived.
With the data gathered and being looked at, you will create trend lines in spreadsheets graphs to assist in forecasting for the specified business issues as defined by you.
With all the data gathered and examined, you will prepare a presentation using suitable software and techniques to disseminate the information effectively, based on the issues defined for the company or case study you have chosen.
With all the information gathered and examined for the company or case study you have chosen, you will compile your plan, your method, your analyses and your findings and decisions in a formal business report.
Be able to use software generated information to make decisions in an organisation (learning outcome 4)
This section will allow you to look at different software generated information and your assignment will be presented in a separate, short formal report. This can incorporate aspects from companies and case studies.
Management information systems are a part of everyday working life. We use computers and information processing tools for operational, tactical and strategic levels in the organisation. You will get to use appropriate information processing tools. Some of these may have been used in the preparation of your report.
Project Management is an important aspect in business. You will chose an activity of your choice and prepare a project plan and determine the critical path.
As we have seen in case studies, financial information is necessary in informing and making a business decision. You will demonstrate use a number of financial tools that are used for decision making purposes:
Net present value
Discounted cash flow
Internal rates of return