One of the great benefits of working/studying in a large university like SFU is the increased potential for innovative ideas and approaches to spread between subjects. If you can take the time to step outside of your own department or faculty now and then — and out of the box of your discipline's usual perspective — you may learn something that allows you to see your own research area in a new way.
Take, for instance, GIS (Geographic Information Systems): this standard tool of the Geography Dept. has wide application in almost any subject. Visualizing, and thinking spatially about, a topic can unlock new insights obscured by standard data tables and dense text — regardless of whether you're analyzing supply chains, economic development, consumer behaviour, or housing prices.
Use Statistics Canada's growing suite of videos, podcasts, and other resources to quickly learn about current economic issues that are in the news and shaping our lives. From inflation to supply chain dynamics, if you need a fast and authoritative route to understanding core concepts, check out Statistics Canada!
To help you get started, here are a few of Statistics Canada's resources that caught my eye...
There's been growing interest in the topic of Indigenous tourism from students in many subject areas. We thought a post about research resources and search strategies might save everyone some time and effort, plus it's a chance for us to highlight some of our favourite databases and search tricks...
One of this fall's BUS 345 sections is going to be conducting some taste test experiments as they learn about primary market research. As is often the case, I see their assignment as an opportunity to highlight some powerful research resources available for all SFU researchers while also helping the BUS 345 students.
If you're in BUS 345 and doing a taste test assignment, start here for time-saving tips. If, on the other hand, you are doing any other sort of primary market research, still start here because there's a good chance these tips apply to your work as well!
Having a solid understanding of how both finance and investments work is useful for students in all areas of business & economics, not just those who pursue a finance concentration. Many SFU finance students opt to become Chartered Financial Analysts via the CFA Institute, but that's likely overkill for most non-finance students: becoming a CFA Charterholder involves completing (and paying for) a comprehensive series of exams on all aspects of the modern investment industry.
Fortunately, there's now an à la carte way to acquire some of the foundational CFA knowledge — with no cost to SFU people (but also no official certification at the end). We own ebook copies of many recent CFA books & workbooks, so you can read and practice what and when you want.
An increasing number of Beedie instructors are incorporating case studies from Sage Business Cases (SBC) into their courses. With a diverse collection of 5500+ cases covering all aspects of business, SBC has a case to fit almost every classroom need. And I truly do mean diverse — Sage's cases are published by partners around the world, and Sage fills in gaps by commissioning cases on undertreated perspectives and issues.
Much of that should be old news to many Buzz readers, but it's good background for another aspect of Sage's diversity that I want to talk about today: diversity of case depth and form. At first glance, all cases sort of look the same: a statement about learning outcomes, several pages of narrative text with videos or data tables embedded where relevant, then some probing discussion questions. However, some of the case types within SBC take a different approach. Let me illustrate with two very different examples: Express Cases and Yale Raw Cases...
Creating a survey sounds super easy at first: you just pepper your respondent with questions about the things you want to know... Do you like my product/recycling/the colour blue?
Sadly, as with so many things in research, the simple approach is, well, overly simplistic. You need to be certain all of your questions are unambiguous — likely to be interpreted accurately and consistently each time and by each respondent — and that they yield exactly the information you need. Coming up with a well-formed question takes more time and expertise than you'd expect!
Wouldn't it be great if there was a source listing hundreds of questions that have been asked in prior academic marketing studies? One where you could look up a subject and find questions that have been used in studies published in top marketing journals. And, since we're dreaming, wouldn't it be even better if the description of each question included comments on its reliability and validity, details on earlier studies that used versions of the same question, and a citation for a recent article in which the question is mentioned?
Well, welcome to the SFU Library, where (some) dreams come true!
I've mentioned in past posts that you can't really do much in business without paying attention to the news. The world is changing constantly, so in addition to researching what is already known, it's important to also seek answers to such forward-looking questions as...
"What's changing today that might affect industry X, market Y, and consumer-type Z?"
"Can I draw inferences about the effects of those changes on my organization, so I can prepare ahead of time (and perhaps ahead of others)?"
I truly believe there is no substitute for regularly reading general, business, and industry news to spot any clues that might help answer such questions. There are, however, shortcuts that can highlight "big picture" changes happening across society and help you understand their potential implications...