Chapter Vignette:

Don 't Tell Me!

Basic Data Analysis


After studying this chapter, you should be able to:

1. Prepare qualitative data for interpretation or data analysis

2. Know what descriptive statistics are and why they are used

3. Create and interpret tabulation and cross-tabulation tables

4. Perform basic data transformations

5. Understand the basics of testing hypotheses using inferential statistics

6. Be able to use a p-value to make statistical inferences

7. Conduct a univariate t-test.

ost people think that the last thing businesses like to hear is a consumer complaint. However, a bigger problem may occur when consumers don't complain. Complaints can provide key

data that allow businesses to improve the way they deal with cus•

tomers. By improving service, the businesses keep more customers and become more profitable. Thus, when consumers truly have a problem, management should welcome complaints. From another perspective, a relatively large number of complaints indicates a potential problem with management. Thus, many businesses set specific targets for minimizing complaints. Realizing that some consumers are chronic complainers, most of these targets don't strive for perfection but settle on some reasonable number. For instance, a business may set a target of fewer than twenty-five complaints per week. Research is needed to help set the target

and then assess firm performance against that standard.

Who complains the most? A recent study examined the demographics of the "complainer." Among 162 complainers

in the sample (out of 237 consumers in total with 75 reporting no bad experiences in the last twelve months), the results reveal how many people in each group make up the "complainer":

Does this mean that older people are more likely to complain I

Does this mean that older consumers are better sources of

· :··-,d25 /:' · · 26-39


marketing information or just chronic complainers that the firm may be better off without? Perhaps part of the answer lies in







drawing meaning from basic statistics like these.1

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