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RDI/EDEXCEL Level 5 BTEC Higher Nationals Programme: Management Module: Business Decision Making Assignment

Date for Submission: 20th May 2013 Prepared by: P Byrne

Learning outcomes
To achieve a Pass unit a learner must: 1 Be able to use a variety of sources for the collection of data, both primary and secondary [LO1] 2 Understand a range of techniques to analyze data effectively for business purposes [LO2] 3 Be able to produce information in appropriate formats for decision making in an organizational context [LO3] 4 Be able to use software-generated information to make decisions in an organization. [LO4]

Essential requirements It is essential that learners have access to computers and the internet and specialist packages for statistical analysis, network planning and presentations. Context This module is entitled Business Decision Making therefore students should not only endeavour to achieve correct calculations but to interpret the calculated results in terms of what decisions managers should make based on the results. The assignment is task based and each task should be attempted in the correct order with the task number as a heading. Sub-sections in each task should carry the appropriate letter in brackets. Guidance There will be no formative assignment for this module. However, you may send a draft of your assignment, for feedback, as an attachment to an email to pbyrne@rdi.co.uk on or after 1st May 2013. Drafts sent before this date will only be replied to after the 1st May 2013 Task 1 Your senior managers are keen to find out how satisfied your organisations customers are with the service they receive. They have asked you to prepare a short plan showing how you might collect this data. This plan should comprise: (a) A brief description of the service/products you provide and the type(s) of customer you supply. (b) A questionnaire to collect primary data. (c) How you will decide on the sample of customers to survey.

(d) Discuss what secondary sources of data/information with which you might compare your findings. E.g. competitors, trade associations, industry statistics, government statistics etc. (e) Summarise the above [a, b, c, d] in four (4) presentation slides using e.g. PowerPoint or similar presentation software. [AC 1.1] [AC 1.2] [AC 1.3] [AC 3.3] [AC4.1]

Task 2 A firm is comparing the age structure of its labour force in the current year with that of seven years ago, as shown in the table below.
Age group (years) 7 years ago Number in group Current year Number in group

25<30 30<35 35<40 40<45 45<50 50<55 55<60 60<65

3 7 9 14 16 36 13 10

6 11 14 29 22 13 9 4

(a) Calculate the mean age and standard deviation of ages seven years ago and currently. You may use manual or automated methods of calculation. (b) Compare the results in (a) saying why you think the means and standard deviations may have changed. (c) Construct a bar chart that will illustrate the changes in the labour force age structure over the seven year period. [AC 2.1] [AC 2.2] [AC2.3] [AC3.1] [AC4.1]

Task 3 The following datasets show advertising expenditure and sales revenue over a period of eight (8) months.
Month Advertising expenditure Sales revenue

1 2 3 4 5

17,000 33,000 34,000 42,000 19,000

180,000 270,000 320,000 350,000 240,000

6 7 8

41,000 26,000 27,000

300,000 320,000 230,000

(a) Using a spreadsheet select an appropriate graphical format to display this data. Justify why you selected the particular format. (b) Also using a spreadsheet construct a scatter diagram and line of best fit. (c) The advertising budget for month 9 is 37,000 what sales might be predicted? (d) To reach a budgeted 10 month total sales target 380,000 of sales will be required. What should the month 10 advertising budget be set at? [AC2.2][AC3.1][AC3.2][AC4.1] Task 4 (a) Burwash Engineering Co. Ltd. Wish to launch a new product. The activities to be carried out to complete the feasibility of the new product are given below.
Activity Description Preliminary design Market research Obtain engineering quotes Construct prototype Prepare marketing material Costing Product testing Pilot survey Pricing estimates Final report Immediate predecessors Expected time (weeks)

A
B C D E F G H I J

A A A C D B,E H F,G,I

5 3 2 5 3 2 4 6 2 6

Draw a network of the scheme of activities, set out above and determine its critical path. (b) The investment in the new product will require an investment of 100,000, the expected cash flows would be as follows:
Year ,000

1 2 3 4

14 50 60 10

Using the following discount factors of 10% and 15% calculate the net present value after four (4) years.

Discount factors 10% 15%

0.9091 0.8246 0.7513 0.6830

0.8696 0.7561 0.6575 0.5718

Should the company proceed with the new product? [AC 4.1] AC 4.2] [AC4.3]

Student Guidelines
1. You should write this assignment by answering each task in turn just using the task number as a heading. 2. You should use diagrams and tables of figures where appropriate ensuring to reference their source. 3. You should include a bibliography using the Harvard referencing system. 4. It is advised that you write your report within approximately 3500/4000 words in order for your research and summarizing skills to be developed, and for effective time management. However, you are required to ensure that the assignment meets all of the learning outcomes and there is no penalty for being over the suggested word count. Excessive word counts (e.g. 4000 + words) may be asked to be reduced before marking. 5. You should produce the assignment as a MS Word document (.doc or .docx) and copy and paste any Excel or PowerPoint documents into the Word document. Resources Curwen J and & Slater R Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions 6th Ed. Thomson Learning London 2008 ISBN 978-1-84480-574-7 Wisniewski M Quantitative Methods for Decision Makers 4th Ed. Pearson Education Harlow 2006 ISBN 978-0-273-68789 -4 Business Decision Making 2nd Ed.BPP Learning Media London 2010 ISBN 978-0-7517-6832-9 Excel for Dummies specific for the version year e.g. 2003, 2007, 2010

Websites www.thomsonlearning.co.uk/curwin6 www.mindtools.com

Outcomes and assessment criteria Business Decision Making


Learning outcomes Assessment criteria for pass On successful completion of Thelearner can: this unit a learner will: L01 Be able to use a variety of 1.1 create a plan for the collection of primary and secondary sources for the collection of data for a given business problem data, both primary and 1.2 present the survey methodology and sampling frame secondary L02 Understand a range of techniques to analyze data effectively for business purposes used 1.3 design a questionnaire for a given business problem 2.1 create information for decision making by summarizing data using representative values 2.2 analyze the results to draw valid conclusions in a

business context 2.3 analyze data using measures of dispersion to inform a given business scenario 2.4 explain how quartiles, percentiles and the correlation coefficient are used to draw useful conclusions in a business context L03 Be able to produce 3.1 produce graphs using spreadsheets and draw valid information in appropriate conclusions based on the information derived formats for decision making 3.2 create trend lines in spreadsheet graphs to assist in in an organizational context 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 L04 Be able to use softwaregenerated information to make decisions 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 making.

Grading Criteria - Module 05 Business Decision Making


To achieve a PASS GRADE the evidence must show that the learner is able to meet all of the learning outcomes: To achieve a MERIT GRADE the evidence must show that the learner is able to:

To achieve a DISTINCTION GRADE the evidence m Show that the learner is able to:

LO 1: Be able to use a variety of sources for the collection of data both primary and secondary Create a plan for the collection of primary and secondary data for a given business problem Present the survey methodology and sampling frame used Design a questionnaire for a given business problem LO 2: Understand a range of techniques to analyse data effectively for business purposes Create information for decision making by summarising data using representative values Analyse the results to draw valid conclusions in a business context Analyse data using measures of dispersion to inform a given business scenario Explain how quartiles, percentiles and the correlation coefficient are used to draw useful conclusions in a business context LO 3: Be able to produce information in appropriate formats for decision making in an organisational context Produce graphs using spreadsheets and draw valid conclusions based on the information derived Create trend lines in spreadsheet graphs to assist in forecasting for specified business information Prepare a business presentation using suitable software and techniques to disseminate information effectively Produce a formal business report LO 4: be able to use software generated information to make decisions in an organisation Use appropriate information processing tools Prepare a project plan for an activity and determine the critical path Use financial tools for decision making

M1- Identify and apply strategies to find appropriate solutions Relevant theories and techniques have been applied in terms of analyzing the problems set problems with more than one variable have been explored in an effective approach to making management decisions problems with more than one variable have been explored in an effective approach to making management decisions M2 Select design and apply appropriate methods/techniques complex information/data have been synthesized and processed in terms of producing results which then form the basis for decision making M3 Present and Communicate Findings appropriate structure and approach has been used in terms of presenting the results a range of methods of presentation has been used to present information to aid decision making information is appropriate for familiar and unfamiliar audiences in terms of the nature of management decision making

D1 - Use critical reflection to evaluate your own work & justify valid conclusions synthesis has been used to generate and justif valid conclusion to the complexity of managem decision making evaluation of management information has tak place using defined criteria D2 take responsibility for managing and organizing activities. autonomy/independence has been demonstrat throughout the complete assessment understanding results of numerical data processed with statistical and financial tools, to business decision D3 demonstrate convergent, lateral & creative thinking. ideas generated and decisions taken management decision problems have been solved integrate and interpret the behaviour of variable