Business Research and Data Analysis course

Project – Overall Instructions – Fall 2019 – Draft

Purpose: As part of the Business Research and Data Analysis course, students will learn to research a possible retail business. Students will be required to apply the tools and methods learnt in the course. Each team of 3 students is “retained” as a consulting group to provide advice to an investor. Each team will identify key success factors for an investor who is considering starting a business venture in the retail sector. Therefore, this business venture is NOT yours. It is a potential investment being studied. You will need to dissociate yourself from the project as you will not run it nor will you decide if the project will proceed forward. You are here to do the research and interpret the data in order to characterize the environment and how the project MIGHT unfold, with a particular emphasis on the marketing aspects of the business. Note that as you will NOT be performing a financial analysis of this business venture, you cannot establish the viability of it.

Overall directions:

Once the teams of 3 students are formed in Lecture 2, the instructor will allocate to each team a business retail venture that you will study. Please note that you need to choose your team members carefully as if any student withdraws from the course, the scope will NOT be scaled down. This venture will be located, and cater to consumers located within the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (Waterloo Region) or a territory within the same region. Industrial services, dedicated on-line retailing and franchises are excluded. The maximum funds available from the investor and financial institutions are limited to $0.8 million. You are not required to use the full amount available.


  1. Fast food restaurant in a shopping mall
  2. Fast food restaurant in a dedicated locations
  3. Pet store
  4. Jewellery and accessories store
  5. Gift store
  6. Home decoration store
  7. Children apparel store
  8. Women hairdresser store
  9. Footwear (women) store
  10. Cellular phone repair and service store
  11. Travel agency
  12. Sports and fitness apparel store
  13. Gardening supplies store
  14. Convenience store
  15. Speciality foods store


  • The project is divided into 5 parts with equal weight
  • Phase 1: Covers the scope definition of your research project
  • Phase 2: Covers Secondary Research: Literary review and primary research design
  • Phase 3: Covers Primary Research: Interviews (min. of 5)
  • Phase 4: Covers Primary Research: Observations (min of 4, with 2 different combinations)
  • Phase 5: Covers Primary Research: Questionnaires (min. of 30 completed surveys)
  • I suggest that each phase be visually structured (i.e. section heading), and includes a short introduction and conclusion. Make your reports interesting and appealing to read.
  • Further details will be provided in the coming weeks as we progress in the course. The next issue of this document will be titled Version 1. You will be informed when a new issue is released.


  • In front of the first separator, type on one sheet the information as required on the template provided in eConestoga titled Cover Page.
  • Each individual document is to be typed (maximum of 4,000 words for each phase (indicate the number of words at the end of each report)), single sided, paginated, single line spacing (not 1.5), font 12, Times New Roman, and inserted in a ½-inch binder. At the top of the first page of each phase, write your retail sector. You can then go straight into the report. The binder will have 5 numbered (e.g. 1 to 5) separators that identify each of the phases. Binders and separators are available from the Conestoga bookstore.
  • At the end of each report, you might elect to add support material in an appendix. Each appendix needs to be properly identified; e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Format is to be as per APA. For further information, please refer to I expect to see, for Phase 1, a reference list on an individual page at the end of your report, including in-text citations for any text that is not yours.
  • Nothing is to be hand written (except signatures when required) as it will be disregarded when marking. You will also lose 0.1 mark each time.
  • My goal is to return your documents within one week with feedback allowing you to progress further and make the required adjustments for the subsequent phases.
  • The reports for each phase will need to be rated in Turn-it-in. Classes: TBA, enrolment key: TBA. Class ID: TBA. You do not need to state the number provided, only to file it.
  • ALL documents produced by the team need to identify the author(s) (with a signature beside the typed name) and be dated. These will be inserted at the end of each report, along with the number of words in the report.
  • Once I have returned the binder with my comments for the phase that was handed in, you do not need to make any modifications to the document. Please ensure that you read my comments carefully and that you incorporate them as you move forward.
  • In the event that you were to lose the binder after having completed a certain number of sections, a mark of 0 will be handed to you for the various phases that were lost.


  • The group project is worth 20% of the overall course mark and is subject to peer evaluation.
  • Each phase has an equal value.
  • The marking for each phase will be on a scale of 15. Up to 3 marks out of 15 (20%) can be deducted because of spelling, grammatical, composition or formatting errors (-0.1 each mistake). A late submission will see the mark reduced by 3 marks per day or part of a day. If the report is not uploaded on Turn-it-in before the report is handed in, 7 marks will be deducted.
  • The marking will be based on the rubric provided in eConestoga.
  • You are asked to apply and demonstrate your understanding of the tools and methods taught in the course.
  • Please note that the content (relevant and sufficient), and the format are key elements of the marking structure.
  • The content of your findings as well as the method used to gather your findings will be evaluated.
  • For the individual mark, the peer evaluation (refer to the template on eConestoga) will be a multiplier of the team mark, based on an evaluation of each student by its peers as per the team contract, and on my observations. Up to 100% of the team mark is at risk if individual performance is below the expectations.


  • Phase 1 report will be handed to me, in the binder at the beginning of Lecture 4 (week 4)
  • Phase 2 report will be handed to me, in the binder at the beginning of Lecture 6 (week 6)
  • Phase 3 report will be handed to me, in the binder at the beginning of Lecture 8 (week 9)
  • Phase 4 report will be handed to me, in the binder at the beginning of Lecture 10 (week 11)

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