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Read my experience with different products and technologies.

Category: Project Experience

Experiences I have gained from Project, Tour.

Scientific Research Process: what it is?

Scientific Research Process
(Source: flickr)

Many times traders used to tell their process of setting up the trade as scientific and blah blah blah. But to call something as scientific, every technique has to go through a proper scientific research process. It also has to stand its ground to rigorous review by a tough human being and also the process is subjected to tough acid bath of statistics. The scientific research process unlike an algorithm of computers is a linear one. Here is steps to follow in scientific research process.

Steps in Scientific Research Process:

  1. Problem Definition
  2. Review of previous works related to the problem.
  3. Setting up of research apparatus and Formulation of Hypothesis..
  4. Running the research and collecting the data.
  5. Analysis of Data collected and validation of hypothesis.
  6. Presentation of the result and expert review.

The above list is how a research happens. These steps can also be seen in different mythological context too. The 6 steps corresponds to What How and Why’s of a thing (Also read: what how and why framework here.).

Step 1: Problem Definition:

The first step in research is definition of the problem. The problem is nothing but an telling of whats really happening in the environment. Problem definition can be like “Why sales of sunfeast biscuits is so low in city of Dharwad?”. The problem can also be “how to measure oversoldness of a stock” etc. In short whatever the so call pundits call as scientific can be considered as problem definition. The key criteria of good problem definition is the problem should entirely based on subject and should not have any reference to statistics.

Step 2: Review of Previous Works:

The review of previous works sounds more odd as many feel that their works is unique and will not be covered by previous researches. When a review is done it sheds light on variables and the interplay between them which can also have bearings on your research. Also the review sheds light on biases that may creep in. If you haven’t read on efficient market hypothesis and started off with your research on trading techniques, its expected to be one sure fire biased work. Its the review works which can differentiate a good researcher from a bad one. Review also helps in understanding the subject properly, and help in forming hypothesis (its obtained by subdividing the problem statement into small measurable chunks).

Step 3: Setting Up and Hypothesis formulation:

In this phase we set up the research process apparatus i.e. deciding on things to measure, how to measure etc…

First step of it – the problem statement is subdivided into chunks called hypothesis. The hypothesis is a set of  2 statements which describe small set of problem . One of the hypothesis is called as Null Hypothesis and other one is called Alternate Hypothesis. Null hypothesis states that there is no relation between the variables, where as alternate states there is relation between the variables.  And every hypothesis is made of variables which are measured to know the validity of the which of the hypothesis holds true. The main feature of hypothesis is that only one of them can be true.

Apart from preparing hypothesis you are also supposed to identify the proper audience also called as sample. (sample is the set of people on whom the research is done, Sample is selected from population hence its subset of population.) The process of selecting sample is called sampling and is decided in this step itself.

You must also decide how go about collecting data without letting bias to creep in. You are segment sample to allow pure randomness, so that biases due to concentration doesn’t creep in while collecting data. Bias can also question the validity of research hence one needs to be careful about it. You can call this step of sampling, and prep work as preparation of statistical model, as it lays out model for data collection. Only after proper model is setup one can go about data collection.
(Know more on statistical hypothesis testing on wikipedia, it explains about model too)

Step 4: Data Collection:

Data collection is the smallest step of the research process. Here the research is conducted and data gathered. In case of research related humanities subject often times the questionnaire is submitted to people to answer. There are other types of experiments to collect data like focus groups, blind tests etc. for human participants. For non humanities subjects like physics etc, the research is ran on machines and data is captured. The machine on which experiment is conducted is part of experimental set up. The data collected from it is called as sample. The data analysis step follows the data collection.

Step 5: Data Analysis:

This is the step where acid bath of statistics happens. This is one of longest and important step of scientific research process. Here the statistical analysis of codified data happens. Based on the statistical analysis the results are published.

Once the data is collated from questionnaire, it needs to cleaned and be made machine ready. For example if questionnaire had rating scales then the answer would be like strongly agree to strongly disagree. These kind of likert scale answers  cannot be fed into machines directly hence they need to codified like strongly agree = 5 and strongly disagree = 1. (One has to note that the coding strategy is pre-decided in research set up phase, here only its implemented based on it.)

After the coding and data entry is over Software like Matlab, SPSS, SAS are are used by researchers to run the various statistical analysis on the data. Things regression testing, factor analysis are done in this phase to validate hypothesis. The analysis is called as hypothesis testing, since these analyses are done to validate which hypothesis is true. Based the result spewed out by the software which hypothesis is valid is determined.

Step 6: Results & Review:

The final step is of publishing the results and its subsequent review by an expert. Based on the experiment conducted the valid hypothesis is collated and result is published. If one can recall, the data collection of gravity waves ended way back in September of 2015 still it took a lot of time to run the analysis and publish the results. Once the results are published it has to go through a panel which vets whether the research was done in unbiased way, once its fairly confident of absence of biases then the research is published.

There are some caveats in this scientific research process. In the above mentioned scientific research process, the researcher does the experiment to confirm his gut feeling. For example the discovery of gravitational waves was to confirm whether the gravitational waves exist or not.This kind of confirmation of gut feeling is called as confirmation research. There also another branch of research called as exploratory research, it follows a different scientific research process but instead of hypothesis testing it just measures the variables and tries to build relation ship between the variables. This research falls under the realm of big data.

Conclusion:

The above said steps describe the scientific research process. All the statisticians in a company follow the above mentioned steps when they do their market research or other kinds of R&D works in a company. To know more the above mentioned scientific research process in depth you can read a book by Thomas Davenport called as “Keeping Up With Quants”.
Here is amazon links to its hardcover and kindle editions.

If you are trader then remember that trading is art, its not science. Its so because the first rule of trading is “Be Flexible” and science is never flexible. Since the above steps are very laborious, dont call every one of your gut feeling as scientific, you can call your project in MBA as scientific though. ;).

 

My journey into Nifty Alpha 50

Nifty 50 logo

While browsing my Google Now feed I came across an article by pattu sir for Index funds. The indices mentioned there captured my attention and It sparked off curiosity in knowing more about those indices. I searched about those indices in various places places like a boy searches for a girl. The search throw up more interesting results about the index with its mind blowing outperformance of Nifty 50. The more I dug deeper more interesting it began to get. Read on my 2 month  journey into Nifty Alpha 50.

Khoj of Nifty Alpha 50

Though the spirit was kindred by Pattu sir, the official journey began with a google search on CNX alpha stocks (now its known as Nifty Alpha 50). The search landed on Nifty’s Strategy Indices page, I immediately downloaded the list of stocks, methodology and fact-sheet of that index. In this phase I was in data gathering mode. I collected all that info I could.

After it, I tried to understand the methodology of preparing the Nifty Alpha 50 index, The fact-sheet of that Nifty Alpha 50 index. Initially it all sounded Greek to me. I started off asking questions in AIFW if I didn’t understand. Questions were technical like how Beta gets calculated?, what is R^2? etc.

Once I had a firm grip on the subject I jumped in with smaller purchases. I kept a close eye on all the announcements of NSE, I still visit NSE’s Press Releases section even now. The keen focus on press releases helped me to know the stocks that would get booted out of index bit early(Ex: The October month press release stated Gujrat Pipav Port, Motherson Sumi and 8 other would be booted out of index by 25 Oct and I could prepare for that to be done in my tracker too).Once I got comfortable with Index I started off with smaller purchases. Even though the the index had bigger stocks like MRF, Page & Eicher, I didn’t backed off I moved on. My initial plan was purchase 1 shares of all the constituents first and then start balancing it.

Growing Me alongside Nifty Alpha 50

The nifty alpha 50 is the fastest growing index among the NSE Indices. Being the fastest growing index I had to challenge myself to increase my knowledge along side this index. I set myself on the knowledge growth by going through each concept about the index and trying to understand what it was, how it was done and to some extent why it was done the way it was done(You can also check out what? how? why? framework I use).

Returns of Nifty Alpha 50 and other NSE indices.

I started off to learn the various concepts like free float market cap, R^2, Beta on the old trusted guard investopedia. I did asked questions on statistical analysis in AIFW too. The other source where I learned things was NSE’s Index Concepts section. I did learn some things practically too  specially the concept of Bid Ask Spread when trying to trade.

The practical learning of Bid Ask Spread was revealing as it shed light on costs I would incur for bigger purchases of stocks like MRF, Page and Eicher.  Trading costs estimates of this index was higher and I decided to hop onto  discount broker. This decision cooled of my costs significantly. If I had pay 0.5% of 40,000 as brokerage, it would come to a whopping brokerage of 200 rupees. So the cost cooling did gave a huge benefit for me. Apart from costs the price of acquisition also played vital role.

To further optimize my entry into stock I started off with technical analysis.I learned the technical analysis on investopedia. The core reason why I resorted to technical analysis was to get the entry into a stock correct. I learned out various charting and oscillators like RSI. This focus on technicals helped me immensely in not paying too high price for a stock.

These various connections of technical analysis, managing costs, understanding of markets increased my mental connections. This interlinking of concepts is like drawing a rangoli in my mind. By learning new things the rangoli expands from 3 x 3 into 4 x 4 and higher. Also my focus on this index is not shutting off my investments in  Mutual Funds at all.The SIP will run their due course. To me this tracking Nifty Alpha 50 is like journey, when I reach the same point as I started, I will be much wiser from the experience. Even though the sum total of this exercise is zero.

My experience with Market Research Project

What is “Sunfeast”?

Sunfeast is a biscuit brand promoted by Indian Tobacco Company Ltd (ITC Ltd). ITC Launched Sunfeast Biscuits in 2003. During launch the Brand Encompassed only 3 categories of biscuits namely Marie, Glucose, Cream. Within span of 6 years the company has entered into almost all categories of biscuits. If we analyse how it was successfully able to enter all the categories the answer would be: “A Proper Market Research”. From the research ITC conducted, it was able to analyse trends in biscuit industry. ITC During launch of its biscuits, ITC captured the minds of its customer with its shiny new mascot sunny and King Khan Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador.

How ITC gained quick success with its Sunfeast Range of Biscuits? What is the thing which scripted the success story of ITC?

What is Marketing Research?

Before we jump into marketing research it is important to understand what marketing intelligence is.

Market intelligence (MI) is “the process of acquiring and analysing information in order to understand the market (both existing and potential customers); to determine the current and future needs and preferences, attitudes and behaviour of the market; and to assess changes in the business environment that may affect the size and nature of market in future.”

The Definition of Marketing Research offered by American Marketing Association is:

Market Research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information-information used to identify and define, marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyses, and communicates the findings and their implications.

The Process:

The research process was done as per the process illustrated in the book “Marketing Research” written by D Aaker, V Kumar, and G Day. The process can also be segregated into 3 phases namely
  1. Analysis
  2. Design
  3. Implement
In analysis phase we get to know why we need to do the  market research and the cost estimates associated with it. This is very important part of  market research and the part which commands more time also. In this phase we analyse the market problems and issues. The Market Situation was illustrated with a table. The different situational components were arranged in tree structure. The Marketing Problem was considered as preamble to the research process. From the marketing Problem 5 research Problems are formulated. Each research problem gives rise to a set of research objectives. Based on the research objectives the Hypotheses are generated. These hypotheses are pillars of Market Research.
In design phase the decision on rules for coding the response sheet, the methodology of research, the respondent to be interviewed is prepared. The different data gathering methods are decided in this phase itself. This phase can explained as process of building the structure of research by addition of different parts of research. It’s in this phase the success of research can be measured. An ill-conceived research will be suffering more in this phase which will be transferred to next phase magnified. The design can also be considered as planning phase. This takes just 20% of time required but deliverers 80% of result.
In implementation phase – collection of data and processing happens. The statistical analysis of hypothesis happens in this phase. Based on statistical validity of the hypothesis the conclusion is derived. The SPSS is popular tool used for the statistical analysis. This phase ends with preparation of report and presenting it.


Note: Post was reblogged from Harsha’s Tech Space – Management.

You are reading an Article by Harsha Ankola, originally posted on Harsha’s Tech Space. If you have enjoyed this post, be sure to follow Harsha on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Marketing Project Experience and My learning

Project Experience:

It was long windy start for our project. As we had planned to start we hit the first road block. We didn’t had a “proper problem statement” in place to define what has to be done and what not. After wasting time on irrelevant work we came to know that the main aim of this project was to “experience the marketing” not do it for the sake of marks stuff.
This project needed us to work us with clear goal of experiencing marketing with Proper planning – which we lacked miserably. Improper planning literally set us to work till 2pm in night – which could have been eliminated completely with proper control mechanism and proper planning. This taught us the biggest lesson of our life “The costliest thing in this world not diamond but chaos”.
We somehow completed project and submitted the report. I was feeling paranoid about what would  happen to us as we had defaulted miserably on planning and execution. Some how we pulled it together by kicking our weaknesses apart putting our strengths at one place.
Here is summary of what we have learnt.
  1. Keep off all the elements which weakens us by  hook or crook.
  2. Planning helps us to fend off the future troubles. but it has its own time constraints.
  3. The costliest thing in world is chaos not the diamond.
  4. The management book hold loads of data to improve our efficiency hence they are always “must read” categories not “read during exam” categories.
  5. We can’t achieve big things by working as group. Great things can be accomplished by working as a “Team”.

Note: This post was reblogged from Harsha’s Tech Space – Management

    You are reading an Article by Harsha Ankola, originally posted on Harsha’s Tech Space. If you have enjoyed this post, be sure to follow Harsha on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

    My visit to Tiwac factory and learning from it

    Older post: Reblogged here from Harsha’s Tech Space – Marketing.
    On 16th September 2010 we visited Walchandnagar Industries Ltd., TIWAC Division. The purpose of visit to make us aware of OD Process in TIWAC once sick unit nearing closure now running good.

    What is organization development?

    Organization Development(OD) is a planned, organization-wide effort to increase an organization’s effectiveness and viability.

    Organization Development at TIWAC

    TIWAC was once very sick unit. Right from its beginning itself the unit ran into trouble. The first thing we notice about TIWAC is the determination of its employees and founders to keep the unit running despite of adversities. The major learning from the visit are
    1. Quality is important. Customers and people admire you, only if you produce quality products.
    2. If you are honest, Even a militant trade union can’t break you.
    3. OD happens if all people in organization are willing to change.
    4. Its important to train all employees of an organization to “change”.
    5. Solution to organization problems lies in boundary of the problem.
    6. TIWAC was able to turnaround because in its innate ability to reverse engineer the products
    7. Technology is to aid workers in doing the things better not for retrenching them.
    8. TIWAC Quickly changed its production to Pressure and Temperature Gauges when it saw demand for those things over Mechanical Alarm Clocks.
    9. The director of TIWAC Discussed industry trends with his competitors, hence they were able to fight adverse impact of change.
    10. TIWAC always exceeded the quality standards set by industry hence customers were always in good terms with them.
    11. TIWAC made sure that industry never felt sick, hence it helped other sick units to turnaround.

    You are reading an Article by Harsha Ankola, originally posted on Harsha’s Tech Space. If you have enjoyed this post, be sure to follow Harsha on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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