The impact of data warehouse
I take this opportunity to thank my research supervisor Dr. Uma Mohan for her valuable suggestions to complete this dissertation. I warmly appreciate her advice, support and encouragements during my dissertation period. She is the one who introduced me into the beauty of doing research in data warehousing. Her insights and expertise made my work much easier and her enthusiasm towards research kept challenging me to seek the best quality of research. I also appreciate her understanding, patience and expertise added considerably helps me to accomplish my goals.
Also, I would like to thank my three friends Mr. Habibul Azam, Mr. Asim Bapari, Mr. Sagar Singha for their valuable suggestions and their valuable contribution for collecting primary data from the organisation Grammenphone(GP) as well as from the GP customers. I will never forget their contribution in rest of my life.
Finally, I thank my colleagues and my family for their love and support. I thank my sisters for continuous support through my entire life, really without their love and encouragement I would not have finished this dissertation.
Technology has become a part of our life. We cannot think the corporate world without having the touch of technology. And data warehouse is the finest gift of technological evolutionary for the modern corporate world. Today, in such a competitive market, analyze the customer information is very much essential for any organisation. Data warehouse application help to analyze the customer data for an organisation. The dissertation focuses on the impact of data warehouse application of an organisation on the competitive advantage gained in terms of cost reduction, time saving, imposed efficiency and coordination.
This dissertation proposal consists of six main chapters- the first one provides introduction to the study with full details of overall aims and objective of the research, the second comes literature review, the third explains the research methodology used and last one lists the references.
There is no doubt that Decision support system (DSS) is the main key in the current corporate world to achieve the best benefits or advantage in the competitive market. Data warehouse said to be a major part of the DSS of a company. Data warehouse is very essential for a corporation now a days, where the decision makers can use it to analyse the data. To retain the best service for the customer, an organisation must need to analyze the data which are collected from different sources. So, a data warehouse is a one kind database that is responsible for collecting and storing the information of a particular organisation for further analysis purpose.
In today's fast driven economy, information is seen as a key business resource to gain competitive advantage (Haag et al. 2005). Here the word "competitive advantage" implies in terms of customer satisfaction, cost reduction, time saving, imposed efficiency and coordination. Today, in such a competitive and turbulent market, it is very essential for businesses to find out from market research about what exactly people want rather than what they need. The growth of information technology specially in competitive business field in last three decades makes data become a vital weapon for any organisation. Data storing, analyzing and data transferring help any organisation's decision makers to make strategic and sound decisions. With wide availability and reducing cost of computers, telecommunications technologies, and the easy access of internet makes most of the organisation has becoming data rich though they remain information poor (Gray et al.1998). All gathered data are not important, the valuable information from the data gets lost in the shuffle and many organisation struggle to get the right information from the data at the right time. Analyze the vast amount of data from the operational database as well as from other reliable data sources is essential to decision makers to make right decision but obviously at the right time to solve business problems. This is exactly where data warehousing comes into the picture. With the competition advantage most of the organisations have recognized that the data warehouse is a strategic weapon that helps to recognize what exactly customers want and also understand the market competition.
The impact of data warehouse in an organisation is a lot. According to Kimbal(1996) "data warehouse is a copy of transaction data specifically structured for query and analysis". Data warehouse helps a company to make strategic decisions. If a company uses data warehouse for sales department and if they analyze the data , then they can easily find out the product which is more popular in a particular region in a particular time, and also can easily find out the person who is the best customer for a particular product.
Here in this dissertation the topic uses on a case study of Grammenphone(GP), one of the leading telecommunication service provider in Bangladesh.This dissertation investigates their data warehousing policy and also how data warehouse make deep impact on GP to gain a competitive advantage in Bangladesh.
1.2: Aims and Objective of the Study:
The main aims of this dissertation to determine if there is significant difference in the competitive advantage for GP by using data warehouse application. The main objectives of this dissertation are given below:
- To understand the benefits of data warehouse application in an organisation.
- To study the problems faced by GP before data warehouse application.
- To understand and analyse benefits in GP after data warehouse application.
- Hence compare the difference condition between before and after data warehouse application in GP.
1.3: Research Question:
This dissertation focuses on the following research question:
Key question: Is there any significant difference in the competitive advantage by using the data warehouse application?
This has been studied on the organisation- Grammenphone.
This study also includes the following sub questions:
- What is competitive advantage?
- Why the data warehouse is important for GP?
- How does GP achieve benefits by using data warehouse application?
- Has GP gained more customer satisfaction?
- Has the competitive advantage of GP imposed significantly?
2: Literature Review:
The literature review shows the depth of the study. It give details related information about the choose subject. As, I, choose data warehouse for my dissertation subject through a case study on Grammenphone(GP), so in literature review clears the idea about details of the data warehouse background, the environment of the data warehouse, the impact of the data warehouse in an organisation to gain competitive advantage, full details of advantage and disadvantage of the data warehouse and the project background which explore the history of the organisation-GP.
2.1: Background of Data Warehouse:
The hieroglyphics in Egypt gives an idea about storing accountancy information such as how much grain is owed by Pharaoh. Civil engineers were laid out in some of the streets in Rome more than 2,000 years ago. But it's hardly to believe that the processing of information system started only since the early 1960s(Inmon 2005).
The data warehouse background starts with conflict of the idea and details in the initial state of information processing. If we have the clear idea then we can start any task but if we know the details of the task then the task can be complete with precise way. And sometimes details do not necessarily equate success. But if we think a task in a broader context that time details are very much important. With the concept of details for the information processing, the data warehouse come to the picture.
The history of data warehouse starts with the evolution of information and decision support systems(DSS). The origins of data warehouse and DSS processing starts very early days of computers and information systems. And the evolution continues today. In the early 1060's the computation world consisted of creating individual applications and that were run using only master files. And those application was built usually in early language such as Fortran or COBOL. That time two media was very popular punched card and paper tape. The master files usually housed on magnetic tape. The magnetic tapes were very good for storing large amount of data very cheaply but the main drawback was that they had to be accessed only sequentially, that means 100% of the records have to accessed where typically only 5% or fewer of the records are actually needed and also additionally to accessing the entire tape file may take 30 minutes depending on the data of the file. The problem was become large around in 1960's when the growth of master files and magnetic tape had been exploded and it caused large amount of redundant data(Inmon 2005).
The scenario was changed in 1970's when a new technology Direct Access Storage Device (DASD) evolved for the storage and access of the data. The main benefit of DASD was that could access data directly rather than go for records 1,2,3....n to get n+1 record. DASD comes up with new system software known as database management system (DBMS) that helps the programmers to store and access the data on a DASD. In 1970's online transaction processing (OLTP) evolved that helps even faster data access(Inmon, 2005). OLTP is one kind of information repository that basically integrates basic data from various sources, arranges data formats properly and most important makes data available for analysis and evaluation that helps planning and decision making processes (Lechtenbrger,2001).
In 1980's fourth-generation language (4GL) comes up with the features of directly controlling data and systems. 4GLs creates history about faster data access that actually helps an organisation to faster data processing. 4GLs not helps only the well programmers but also the programmers who are not trained properly to develop applications, in particular for querying databases and generating reports that help online transaction processing faster (Daintith, 2004).
The blessed of fourth-generation language (4GL) also includes the evolution of DSS from the implementation of Management Information System (MIS). In an IT system a DSS is a set of computer based tools that are used by a manager to aid decision making or choose among different alternatives(Power, 2002). Typically DSS is a model- based management system that connected to a knowledge engine to interactive with the graphical user interface(Sprague et al., 1982). The major benefits of DSS are:
- Increase efficiency that helps faster calculations and lesser errors.
- Improve problem solving ability.
- Improve consistency in decision making.
- Facilitates better communication.
- Increase organisation control.
To make DSS more efficient and reliable the data warehouse came to the picture in 1990s. The data warehouse helps DSS a wide range of facilities to analyze the data to make strategic decisions. Data warehouse not only make DSS reliable but also helps the organisations to overcome those problems create by naturally evolving architecture, such as:
1. Lack of data credibility: Lack of credibility occurs because of the following reason:
- No time basis of data
- The algorithmic differential of data
- The level of extraction
- The problem of external data
- No common source of data from the beginning.
That affect the reports from the different departments of an organisation is conflicts and the management had has forced to make decisions based on politics and personalities because none of the source is credible(Inmon,2005).
2. Problems with productivity: A Productivity problem occurs when data need to be analyzing across the organisation. If the organisation is large and they has large amount data and if management wants to produce a corporate report using the collection of files and data that are kept for many years, then its problem for designer to do the task. Because designer needs to consider the following things to produce the corporate report.
- Locate the data for analyzing to produce the report.
- Compile the data to produce the report.
- Find the programmer to accomplish the above tasks.
Locating the files is very much critical for programmers because lots of data needs to be analyzed specially for a large organisation. Some files use the Virtual Storage Access Method(VSAM), some files use the Information Management System(IMS), some use the Integrated Database Management System(IDMS). So it's very much difficult in order to access data across the organisation. More complication can be added with this such as two or three files might have an element called BALANCE, but these two elements are completely different in nature in their parent files. So it's very much tedious job to locate files because it's need to be check each and every elements of the files carefully, not only the file name but by definition and by calculation too. After locating the files it's time for compile it to produce the report. If the first report is adequate for the organisation then it's ok but the report is not satisfied by the organisation then the whole process should be repeated again to produce the second report(Inmon,2005).
3. Inability to transform data into information: The third major problem of naturally evolving architecture. If the DSS analyst trying to produce a request for information from the existing systems then the problem occurs with lots of non-integrated applications. But integration is not only the problem to produce a report, the second most important thing is do not have enough historical data in that applications to meet the DSS request.
Data warehouse really help the organisations to overcome those problems and make DSS richer to make decisions. From 1990s the data warehouse systems have been managing the data back-ends of DSSs. It helps DSS to retrieve essential and useful information from a large scale of data that actually stored on heterogeneous platforms (Golfarelli et al.,2009). The data warehouse comes up with wide range of integrated architecture environment. There are fundamentally two kinds of data in architected environment- primitive (operational data) and derived (DSS data). Operational data is for basically daily transaction purpose and it's always overwritten with new data where as DSS data refers to the data warehouse. Data warehouse always kept the historical data. Data warehouse works as miracle for information processing community with large scale of data integration facility. Data warehouse made a miracle change to data analyzing for an organisation, and it's become a major part of Decision Support Systems (DSS).
2.2: Data Warehouse Environment:
The data warehouse is called the major part or heart of the architected environment. Basically, the job of the DSS analyst in the data warehouse is very much easier then the job of the analyst of classical legacy environment. Because in the classical legacy environment, DSS analyst needs to be analyze so many non-integrated data elements to produce a single report. On the contrary in data warehouse environment, the DSS analyst works in a single integrated source of data which helps faster access of data, reusability of data and reconciliation of data(Inmon, 2005).
The most important aspect of data warehouse is its characteristics. Consider an organisation using data warehouse and that organisation has lots of historical data for all the departments. The DSS analyst of that organisation may need any department data at any moment of time to make strategic decisions. That time data warehouse helps the DSS analyst to get that information at any time where he needs it. As a result, DSS analyst can solve dynamic organizational problems or make important decisions. There will be no more frustration with the inability of any departments to respond quickly to diverse needs for information(Warigon, 1998). Basically, a data warehouse contains five types of data: older detail data, current detail data, highly summarized data, lightly summarized data and metadata(Gray et al., 1998).This five types of data can easily handle in data warehouse environment by using its characteristics. In the data warehouse environment, the main 4 characteristics of data warehouse are(Inmon, 2005):
1. Subject-oriented: The data in the data warehouse is organized so that all the data elements relating to the same real world event or object and linked together. In other words data stored in the data warehouse are according to the subject. In the data warehouse data is stored in an enterprise consolidated view such as subjects, universal naming conventions, measurements, classifications etc, even if the source systems are not consistent(Jucan, 2001). If an organisation has several departments then each department's data stored in the data warehouse separately by department's name. For example: To learn more about the company's sales data, the company can build a warehouse that concentrates only on sales.
2. Integrated: Integrated is the second characteristics of data warehouse. And all of the aspects, integration is the most important. Integration is closely related to the subject-oriented. Data is fed from different sources into the data warehouse in a consistent format. As the data is fed, it is obviously converted, reformatted, resequenced and summarized(Inmon, 2005). They must resolve such problems as naming conflicts and inconsistencies among units of measure. When they achieve this, they are said to be integrated.
3. Non-volatile: Non-volatile means that, once data entered into the data warehouse, the data should not be change. Data is stable in the data warehouse, more data will be included with the existing data but previous data is never removed(Inmon, 1995). Data that are stored in the data warehouse is never deleted and that data is used for read-only purpose. Actually data warehouse always hold the historical data of any organisation and that cannot be deleted because those data always use for analyzing purpose to make decisions. Express in other words data in the data warehouse is never over-written once committed. The data in the data warehouse is static, read-only and retains for future analyzing purpose(Golfarelli et al.,2009).
4. Time-variant: The data in the data warehouse are tracked and recorded through times. In other words data in the data warehouse is accurate as of some moment of time so that the reports can be produced showing changes over time. Different environments have different time horizons. A time horizons is the length of time data is presented in an environment. Data warehouse time horizons are significantly longer than that of the operational systems. In an operational systems a 60 to 90 day time horizons is normal but a 5-to-10 years time horizons is normal for data warehouse(Inmon, 2005). A data warehouse focus on change over time is what it meant by the term time-variant.
2.3: Advantage and Disadvantage of Data Warehouse:
The data warehouse is very much popular in today's corporate world. Most of the organisations adopting data warehouse to make DSS more reliable and accurate now a day. However, data warehouse is not applicable for all the systems. Organisations owner should research carefully about advantage and disadvantage of the data warehouse before adopting it. The main advantage and disadvantage of the data warehouse are given below:
- The organizations using data warehouse enjoy better end-user access to business information that is very much important in a today's highly competitive world, the ability to analyze end-user information carefully is key to the organisation's overall success or failure(ERPwire, 2009).
- Data warehouse help reduction of multiple decision support platforms.
- By using time saving formula of data warehouse an IT personnel can easily download the required data, writing queries for the users, locating the data and analyze the required information in a very less amount of time(Watson et al., 2004).
- Data warehouse help users to analyze the data in new ways to get the required information that previously not exist(Watson et al., 2004).
- Data warehouse helps an organisation to make faster decision making
- Data warehouse gives users the ability to identify correct problems with business processes.
It is easier to create reports of all types like financial statements, which is highly recommended now a day to day-to-day transactions as well as yearly accounting by business departments with the use of data warehousing technology. The data warehousing technology in accounting offers astounding benefit (ERPwire, 2009).
- The major disadvantage of the data warehouse is that it becomes a problem if the warehouse is underutilized. It means that the managers have illusive expectations about what is the output they will get from having a data warehouse(Power, 2000).
- Data warehouse needs large scale of disk storage, high quality processor and highly power network for its operation. So, it's very costly for a small organisation.
- Data warehouse needs data administration software along with Extraction, Transformation and Loading tools(ETL) can merge heterogeneous schemata to load source data into the data warehouse(Jarke et al., 2000) and also end-user data access tools, those are very costly.
- To maintain a data warehouse an organisation required high qualified IT staff such as: database administration, data modellers etc.
- According to Winograd et al. (1986), "Once a computer system has been installed it is difficult to avoid the assumption that the things it can deal with are the most relevant things for the manager's concern." The main critical problem is that once data warehouse technology become common in organizations, that managers will use them inappropriately and accurate training is the only way to avoid this potential problem.
2.4: Competitive Advantage of Data Warehouse:
The impact of data warehouse on an organisation is vital. To despite the fact, competitive empirical issues for data warehouse are intently essential for an organisation as in advantage of usability. Data warehouse help to analyze the data to make effective decisions for an organisation from the initial state of its revolution in 1990s. For any organisation analyzing the data is important because from that it's easy to find out the actual condition of their products in the market. If there need to be any change of the existing products, locate the best selling area of some special products, also locate the area where the products went failure, etc can be easily find out by analyzing the data by an organisation. Today, data warehouse helps an organisation to gain the competitive advantage.
In a critical point of view, an organisation gained competitive advantage in terms of cost reduction, time saving, more customer satisfaction, imposed efficiency and coordination. Today, all the company hold the key to get the success in this competitive world. And data warehouse is the main key to get the success. The main goal of data warehouse is to have an efficient way of managing information. Basically, a company deals with several kinds of data and that can be consist of raw data or formatted data and that data can be included with various types of topic such as: sales, salaries, operational data, reports data, human resource data, inventory data etc. And data warehouse can easily handle those kinds of data to provide further simulations and analysis to make strategic decisions. By using data warehouse, an organisation can improve customer satisfaction which is essential now a day, can gain efficient internal operations which make an organisation to run smoother and helps to build a strong relationships with business partners(Parzinger, 2001).
Data warehouse sometimes said to be a strategic weapon of an organisation to gaining competitive advantage. Today's the main key drivers to gain the competitive advantage are knowledge, sufficiency and related intangibles. The main key sources of wealth for an organisation are exploitation of technological equipment, intellectual property, and commercialization of new products, successful development and services. The data warehousing of an organisation increase the company's competitive advantage by providing important data and information which are necessary for developing knowledge to make strategic decisions aimed at to improve customer satisfaction, gain efficient internal operations and better relationships with business partners(Parzinger, 2001).
Databases is the main key for an organisation for storing data and information and databases transform this information into knowledge, so that all the enterprise can share this knowledge. While databases support business operations, the data warehouse increase the decision making technique for an organisation. Data warehouse does this by collecting and storing the important data and information from the organisation as well as from outside the organisation that is very useful to know about weakness, abilities, strengths and opportunities of the company. The data warehouse also help to reducing the gap between manager's perception and organizational environment by analyzing the data and information which are held in data warehouse. If the desired data is available then manager can survey the market to acquire knowledge and most important that knowledge is source of gaining competitive advantage (Parzinger, 2001).
To create the competitive advantage of the current business the ultimate use of the information is essential. A better decision can only be produce by analyzing the information and that information includes historic, today and tomorrow's information. With better decisions and increase efficiency is the key to gaining competitive advantage. Information is said to be main competitive resource for business environment today. Data and information are not same; information is always made up from data. Information is one kind of computer data that has been organized and presented is a systematic fashion to clarify the underline meaning. Information is always consisting of past, present and future.
Past information could be including details of the yesterday. Normally the historical information holds the data that is not part of the current period. Past information is heavily summarized and always kept in granulate format. The size of the historic data to be kept it depends on the business type. Like banks are always kept all the historic information for their customers to produce strategic decisions(Giblett, 2009).
Present information could be any information about current period time. Such as, current day, week, month, quarter etc. It is become essential that data warehouse stored the current information as soon as the project starts collecting and processing data from the source systems. The present information stored in the data warehouse is subject to change during the continuing business day if the current data stores accurately in the data warehouse(Giblett, 2009).
If the data warehouse is built and filled with historic and present information then data warehouse is use for forecasting the future information. So, the information taking an important role for an organisation to gain competitive advantage from the data warehouse.
Each and every company's has a long term goal of increasing efficiency in the corporate world. Now a day, every pay negotiations specially focus on increasing productivity but measuring productivity was much difficult in the past. Data from the data warehouse provides opportunity to measure organisational activities more effectively and accurately. Data warehouse is a key point for increasing efficiency on the basis of measured facts. Corporate efficiency can apply in some following area(Giblett, 2009):
- Corporate efficiency use to responding budgetary constraints.
- It is useful for international corporations to enter local market by increase import pressure.
- By productivity improvement corporate efficiency can increase market competition.
- It creates effects of privatisation on public sectors.
Cost reduction is one of the main benefits of competitive advantage by data warehouse application. In such a competitive market who does not want to save money without effect on quality. In corporate world it is essential for an organisation to reduce the costs of their products to get more customer satisfaction. At the same time it is necessary to reduce the initial production cost to reduce the overall project expenditure. Decision Support Systems(DSS) is an organisation which is responsible for making strategic decisions. Companies spending too much money for analyzing the collect information from customers and DSS in the organisation are responsible for that. DSS needs manpower to analyze the customer data as well as needs more technical system requirement to help analyzing. So it is costly for a small and medium size organisation to maintain DSS and also additional system equipments. So it is essential to reduce the DSS cost to reduce the overall expenditure of the company to create pressure on the competitors in the corporate world in today's competitive market. Now a day, many organisations using data warehouse to get the best benefits of competitive advantage. Data warehouse really helps an organisation to reduce the DSS cost of the company so, that money can be utilize in other sectors. Data warehouse provides a unique technique for data analyzing which make DSS more reliable and effective.
Time saving is another major benefit of competitive advantage. Now in such a competitive world, where each and every second is important who does not want to save time, and I think nobody wants to waste time to make perfect decisions at the right time. In today's corporate world if u loose time means u loose to your competitors. Every product mostly all of them made with same technology and common functions to operate gets quickly popular in the market depending on the exploring time in the market place. The products coming first in the market gets most popularity. At the same time the products should be easy accessible to the customers. To do this DSS with data warehousing policy plays an important role for any corporation. Data warehouse holds the collected information in such a way that all the information is ready at any time for analyze. Data warehouse provides the information at the right time to DSS to make strategic decisions without wasting time.
Coordination is essential for an organisation if the organisation spread globally or within a region with huge size. There may be several departments for an organisation and all this departments are responsible to provide reports to origin departments from where actually the decisions being taken. All the data and information from several branches or departments needs to be analyze in such a way that the reports should be ready at any moment of time whenever decision makers needs them. And data warehouse plays an important role to help make effective coordination from an organisation. It produces the information to decisions makers by analyzing the data from different branches and departments in such a way that it seems to be a single report to the decision makers table. It pretty much looks entire organisation's data in one hand.
Basically, gaining a competitive advantage depends on the knowledge earning from the data warehouse. So, improvement of the competitive advantage must be maintained for any organisation to gain efficient and unique competitive advantage by using the data warehouse.
2.5 Organizational Background- (Grameenphone):
Since last decade, mobile phone becomes a part of our daily routine life. There is hardly to find someone who does not want to use this device. In other words, mobile phone becomes the source of communication media in our daily life. This technology spread rapidly from cities to cities even in the rural village also having a touch of this technology. For the result, mobile telecommunication service providers are stronger than ever now a day. This dissertation discuss a case study of the organisation Grameenphone which is widely known as GP. GP is one of the leading mobile telecommunication service provider in Bangladesh.
Grameenphone was founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Mohammad Yunus under the Grameen group. The inception was started in 28 November, 1996 when Grameenphone got the cellular licence in Bangladesh by the ministry of posts and telecommunications. 28 November, 1996 the historic day of Bangladesh for mobile telecommunications service because Grameenphone was the first private mobile network service provider in Bangladesh who got the licence. March 26, 1997 the independence day of Bangladesh, Grameenphone first launched its service. Grameenphone is a joint venture enterprise between Telenor, the leading telecommunication service provider in Norway which operating its mobile services to 12 other countries and Grameen Telecom Corporation. At the beginning Telenor fetch 55.8% of the share and Grameen Telecom corporation fetch 34.2% of the total share. The other 10% fetch by general retail and institutional investors in Bangladesh. GP was no doubt the first company in Bangladesh to introduce GSM technology when it launched its services in March, 1997. Telenor helps a lot to GP to setting up international standard mobile phone services in Bangladesh as it being a pioneers for developing GSM services in Europe. At the beginning GP started its service only for the Dhaka customers, the capital of Bangladesh. Then slowly spread its coverage area to Chittagong, Barisal, Khulna, Rajshahi and Sylhet, others 5 big cities in Bangladesh(Grameenphone, 2006).
GP is also known as a pioneer for encouraging village women to know mobile technology for its Village Phone Program(VPP). VPP is also launched by GP in 1997, specially for the rural village women. This program opens the door for more than 210,000 village women by providing a good income earning opportunity in rural areas. The VPP in Bangladesh has known a unique initiative program which provides universal access to telecommunications service to the rural areas. It helps the rural village people who cannot afford to buy a mobile phone to use the service while VPP operators got an opportunity to earn a living. In February 2000, at the global GSM congress which is held in France VPP of Grameenphone beg the "GSM in the Community" award for its pioneers move. Grameenphone was also beg the GSM Association's Global Mobile Award for "Best use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development" at the 3GSM World Congress which is held in Singapore, October 2006( Grameenphone, 2006).
Grameenphone was the first mobile network service provider of Bangladesh to introduce pre-paid services in 1999. It introduced the first 24- hour Call Center in Bangladesh. It also introduced some value-added services like Short Messaging Service(SMS), Voice Mail Service(VMS), fax, data transmission services, international roaming services, Wireless Access Protocol(WAP), personal ring back tone and many other services(Grameenphone, 2006).
Since its inception in 1997, GP become very much popular in both urban and rural areas. Now a day, 98% of the Bangladesh population is under its coverage area. The total GP network zone is divided by 6 zones according to the divisional borders: Dhaka zones, Chittagong zones, Rajshahi Zone, Khulna Zone, Barisal Zone and Sylhet Zone. In each zone a subscriber is registered with GP and that subscriber said to be its home zone and other zones are remote zones. The main strongest side of GP is that its customer service and its very much strong relationship with customers. GP gained success in each and every zone because of their great customer service plan and left behind GP's main competitors in Bangladesh: City Cell, Aktel, Sheba and Warid Telecom.
Grameenphone has already built the largest mobile network service provider in Bangladesh. In 1997 it starts with 18,000 subscribers in Bangladesh which reach 30,000 subscribers by the end of 1998. In 1999 GP got 60,000 subscribers and that figure goes 193,000 in 2000. The subscribers figure goes 471,000 in 2001 and that increased 775,000 in 2002. In 2003 GP make history of having 1.16 million customers and that figure increased to 2.4 million in 2004. In 2005 GP got 5.5 million of customers and in 2006 the figure goes double 11.3 million and got 16.5 million customers by the end of the year 2007. Now after 2009, GP running with more than 23 million of customers in Bangladesh. GP has 10,000 base stations in more than 5,700 locations in Bangladesh. To covering nearly all upazilas of 61 districts GP provides 600 service desks across the country. For better customer service GP provides 72 Grameenphone centers in all 6 divisions of Bangladesh and they open from 8am-7pm every day(Grameenphone, 2006).
Grameenphone is one of the highest tax payer in Bangladesh now a day. The company has so far invested USD 1.6 billion which is approximately Bangladesh Taka(BDT) 10,700 crore to established the largest network infrastructure in Bangladesh. GP has invested USD 310 million in 2006 and USD 450 million in 2007. GP has contribute BDT 7000 crore to the Government of Bangladesh by direct and indirect taxes over the years(Grameenphone, 2006).
One of the latest conferences of economy forum in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that "Grameenphone make Bangladesh proud and the way it's shaping it will be one of the best companies to contribute developing the Bangladesh economy". Really, GP make history in Bangladesh economy, in one hand it's providing telecommunication revolution from unknown rural village people to big cities and other hand it helps to improve the economy of Bangladesh.
3.1: Research Methodology:
//Research is the procedure to increase of knowledge for the greater understanding of the subject to study in details and systematic way//. In other words, it is a systematic approach to find the solution of the research question. There are many methods available to do the research. The main research methods are given below(Coolican, 1999):
- Qualitative analysis of data
- Quantitative analysis
- Interpretations of interviews, case studies and observations
- Content analysis
- Data presentation and statistical tests
- Issues of experimental and ecological validity
- Writing up a practical
1) Qualitative analysis of data:
In qualitative research the obtained information from participants in not expressed in numerical form. This research methodology emphasis on the stated experiences of the participants and on the stated meanings the participants attach to themselves to their environment. As qualitative method put the light on motivations and values of individuals many investigators can use interviews, case studies or observations to make qualitative method more powerful. The main principles of qualitative research are: The investigators should divide the collected information into categories depending on the participants. Collecting information is not so simple, during the collection of the information investigators should clearly observe the participants movement like: when participants stop talking, when he or she emphasis a word, when his or her voice rise, when voice slow down etc to understand the participant's communication. The next step is to arrange the items of information into different groups and put the information to the relevant groups. If an item relevance to several groups then included that item in all of them. The final step is to form categories based on the information obtained from the previous step. However, investigator can change the categories if any additional information comes to light. Qualitative research is not only express the number of items falling to each category it also describes the variety of meanings, attitudes and interpretations founds in each category. The main limitation of the qualitative method is that the reported findings are unreliable and hard to replicate because the qualitative analysis is subjective so the ways in which the information is categories and interpreted often differ from one investigation to another. There are many ways to show the findings from the qualitative method are reliable. The most satisfactory approach is to see whether the findings from the qualitative analysis can be replicable and this can be done by comparing the findings from the interview study with observational study. In other way, two qualitative researchers can conduct the independent analysis with the same qualitative data and then compare the findings(Coolican, 1994).
2) Quantitative analysis:
It is essential to know the difference between qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. Quantitative research expresses the data in numerical form. The growth of using qualitative analysis is rapidly increased since mid-1980s because of the increased dissatisfaction of the quantitative method. The dissatisfaction can be easily find out from (Coolican, 1994) discussion from the quotation of (Reason et al.,1981) about quantitative analysis: "There is too much measurement going on. Some things which are numerically precise are not true; and some things which are not numerical are true. Orthodox research produces results which are statistically significant but humanly insignificant; in human inquiry it is much better to be deeply interesting than accurately boring." Quantitative analysis consists of measures of central tendency to provide some indication of the size of average or typical scores and measures of dispersion to indicate the extent to which score clusters are spread out. There are three measures of central tendency available, they are: mean, median and mode. Mean in each condition is calculated by adding up all the scores in a given condition and dividing by the number of that condition. For example if 1, 2, 3 the scores of participants then mean is given by total which is (1+2+3)=6, is divided by 3, thus the mean is 2. The main advantage of mean is that it takes all the scores into account. Median is another way of describing the general level of performance in each group. If there is an odd number of scores then median is simply the middle score. For example if 2,4,5,8,10 the scores of a given condition then median is 5. If there is a even number on the score then median is calculate by mean of the two central values. For example: if 1, 3, 4,6,7,8 the scores then median is (4+6)/2=5. The final measure of central tendency is mode and it is simply the most occurring score. For example if 1,2,3,4,5,5,5 the scores of a given condition then mode is 5. Measures of dispersion are use to indicate whether the scores in a given condition are similar to each other or they spread out, they are range, interquartile range, variation ratio and standard deviation(Coolican, 1994).
3) Interpretation of interviews, questionnaires, case studies and observations:
Qualitative analyses are carried out in several kinds of studies. They are specially common in interviews, case studies and observations. Although quantitative analyses have often been used all three types of studies. Interviews considerably depend in terms of their degree of structure. Formal interviews or structured interviews lend themselves to quantitative analysis and informal interviews lend themselves to qualitative analysis. There are many skills involve in interviews such as: a good understanding skill of the person being interviewed with effective listening skills. There are many types of problems involve with interviews such as: social desirability bias where most of the people want to present themselves in best possible way so that they provide socially desirable rather than honest answers to the questions. Anyway this problem can be handling out by the interviewers to ask some additional questions.
For gathering all the required information, a questionnaire plays a very important role. It is one kind of tool for collecting information and much easier process from face to face data collection process. It is not so expensive process for data gathering so that analysis can be made easily. The main benefit of questionnaires is that the complete data can be collected with a cheap way. The main problem of questionnaires is that the answer depends on client's mode because different people have differ ent thoughts. It is very much difficult to gathering information for survey polls(Bahrami, 2004).
This method is very much popular for designing a system. To understand the whole case a systematic approach is adopted and then design is made to proceed further. All the required data and information is gathered from various documentation, questionnaires, interviews and also from any available previous related data. After all data gathering process the developing of the system started. If there any failure in the previous step that also to be concern in the next step of developing systems(Sharp, 2002). Extra care needed when interpreting the evidence from a case study. The main problem with case study is that the conclusion is made base on a individual evidence. Supporting evidence is important before drawing such conclusions.
In observation analysis the data obtained by either qualitative or quantitative way. All the required information for the system is gathered through observations process. The main fact is that observations depend on a running system and it follows the processes how it occurs. The main problem of observations is that it is difficult to categorized and expensive too(John,2002).
4) Content analysis:
When qualitative information is reduced to numerical forms then actually content analysis is used. It is basically use for analysing messages in the media that includes article published in newspapers, speeches made by politicians on radio or television etc. Now a day, content analysis has been used widely to almost every communication. The main benefit of content analysis is that it provides a way of extracting information from the real-world settings. Media plays an important role in content analysis, so it is essential to analysing media communications in detail. The main problem of content analysis is that it is often very hard to interpret the findings also problems of interpretations with other communications such as personal diaries. Dairies may contain personal information and that information should not be disclosed in public(Coolican, 1994).
5) Data presentation and statistical tests:
Information can be presented in several ways. It is much easier for people to understand data presentation in a graph or chart rather than presenting information in form of central tendency or dispersion. The popular data presentation tools are: frequency polygon, histogram and bar chart.
For this research study mentioned below approaches has been selected: 5
- Case studies:
and I decide to go for Qualitative Analysis for my research method. Because the main principles of this method I think is match with my research criteria.
The main principles of qualitative analysis is that the theory emerges from the data and it is not imposed on data, all the information fall to categories and the results/findings can be used for another investigation(Coolican,1994). According to my research the outcome will be emerge from the data rather than impose on data. All the information I will collect, those fall into categories and the findings of my research can be use for another investigation.
3.1: Handling Data:
The most essential primary data for this dissertation will be collected from managerial unit, technical unit, production unit and customer care unit of GP. In GP all units are connected to each other and I will collect all my require data for my study from the four units of GP. For any telecommunication service provider customers are always fall in the main priority. I will also collect the data from GP customers. Here I am going to use questionnaires to get the primary data. In this case study I am planning to do to ask some questions to the GP customers regarding the facilities of GP. The customers will be divided by 3 groups:
- Age 15 to 25(Male/Female)
- Age 25 to 50(Male/Female)
- Age 50+(Male/Female)
I divided the age groups by 3 because different age group has their own choices and needs.
The questions will be:
Are you satisfied with the customer service of GP?
A. yes B. No c. Don't Know
* Do you believe the promotional events of GP are appreciable?
A. True B. False C. Don't Know
* Are you facing the same problems you had experienced with GP before?
* Do u think that the price plan of GP is really cost effective for you?
* Are you facing any problems to interact with GP?
GP is the most flexible network compare to other networks (telecommunication service provider).
A. Agree B. Disagree. C. Don't Know
I am going to collect some secondary data from books, web sites, articles, journals regarding to GP with warehouse application. This data will help me to comparing with primary data to make my research method reliable. I will also collect some other telecommunication service provider's information of Bangladesh from articles and journals to compare with GP. At last, I will gather all the data I have been collected relevant to my research to analyze it and find the solution of my research question.
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