The Steps to Conducting Academic and Business Research

Research is an essential part of conducting business and engaging in the scientific community. Students, academics, and business leaders participate in research to gain critical knowledge about particular topics they do not understand well. These topics can be anything from the discovery of new vaccines to have a greater insight of a target market. Following the steps in the research process will help ensure that you are adhering to a rigorous scientific method.

1.) Understand Your Problem: It will be pretty challenging to design a study if you don’t at first understand the nature of the problem. While you may have a ballpark understanding of the problem, actually pinpointing that problem into a sentence can be excruciatingly frustrating. Sometimes you will need to review the evidence, conduct interviews, and complete some non-scientific experimentation to define the situation or problem better. The more knowledge and experience a person has the easier it will be to grasp what is going on.

2.) Conduct Background Research: You can better understand what type study to conduct if you are aware of the current research. You may just find that the problem has already been solved or is close enough that you can draw some inferences for your business without the additional expenses associated with new research. Keep strong notes of the studies you find because your literary review will provide a detailed discussion of current findings on the topic.

3.) Formulate Your Research Question: Your research question is the centerpiece of any study. A quick glance at the research question will tell you precisely what question the study will attempt to resolve. As you build your study, the design will reflect back on the research question (s). Typically research questions are labeled as R1 and R2 and are very explicitly written so they can be measured.

4.) Design Your Study: The study design is based on the need to answer the research question. If the study seeks to evaluate some phenomenon statistically, but the variables are not well known, then an exploratory design might be beneficial. It is always wise to look at similar studies on the topic to get a better understanding of the design you need to use.

5.) Gain Approvals and Funding (If Needed): Depending on which entity you work for you may need different types of approvals. On an academic level, you may need a university’s Research Board or International Review Board approvals. Company employees may need to obtain permission from senior management. Whether you are working with private, government, public, personal or corporate money it is wise to have it before you move into spending money.

6.) Obtain Necessary Materials: Sometimes you will need special equipment while at other times you will use online surveys, existing data, historical information, etc. It is helpful to know where you are going to obtain this information, pay for the services you need, and collect written permission to access information.

7.) Conduct the Study: Conducting your study will take time and careful effort. Make sure that you follow procedures correctly to hold up against scrutiny. If you wave from your processes outlined in the study, you may need to go back and reauthorize those changes with funding and oversight boards. The more consistent you are with each piece of data collection the stronger your study will be regarding validity.

8.) Evaluation The Data and Your Results: Once you have collected your data you will need to find a way to evaluate it to disprove the null hypothesis. Disproving the null hypothesis means the alternative, or the one you seek, is justified via a specified confidence level. There is software available like SPSS or even free software like Microsoft Excel that can do the necessary work.

9.) Report, Publish and Share: The ultimate goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge by sharing your results. The most common methods are to conduct a presentation at a conference or have it published in a peer-reviewed journal. Even if you cannot do this, you can still have it posted on the web for others to see.

Interesting Animals That Roamed The Earth Before Humans

The first undisputed signs of life began nearly 3.4 billion years ago, and ever since then, life has drastically evolved in forms and factors that are unlike anything we see on earth today. From giant land scorpions to extinct crocodiles the length of a school bus, explore interesting animals that walked (or swam) the earth long before humans.

Pulmonoscorpius
Usually, most modern species of scorpions are smaller than the size of an average human hand. It is also relatively harmless, (save for a few species, which has very toxic and potentially lethal venom).

However, if you were to travel back in time to the Carboniferous Period, roughly 360 million years ago, you might just be unlucky enough to stumble upon Pulmonoscorpius kirktonensis – a giant land scorpion that was almost half as long as an adult human. Measuring in at over 2.5 feet, it probably killed its prey by ambushing it and then repeatedly stabbing it with its stinger. And just like its modern-day relatives, Pulmonoscorpius was probably venomous. Palaeontologists also estimated that it had relatively good eyesight thanks to its abnormally large eyes.

Primitive earth had an abundant plant life. The very first gymnosperms such as primitive cycads, horse-tails and club mosses thrived in the humid atmosphere of primitive earth. As a result, the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere was higher than today’s estimates, which in turn directly affected the size of prehistoric insects. Like Pulmonoscorpius, other prehistoric insects such as Meganeura (ancient dragonflies) and Arthropleura (ancient millipedes) also grew to gargantuan sizes due to the higher concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere.

Hallucigenia
In 1977, Simon Conway-Morris, a British Paleontologist stumbled upon a very odd, thumb-sized fossil collected from the Canadian Rockies. Initially, Morris speculated the fossil to be an annelid worm, similar to leeches and earthworms. It had seven spikes that would have been used as its “feet” and seven tentacles that waved around on its back. He named the creature Hallucigenia, due to its bizarre, and almost dream-like appearance.

Conway-Morris’s model of the creature was very controversial, however, it managed to be relevant up until the year 1991. By then, Chinese researchers had stumbled upon a similar fossil, named Microdictyon, which had plate-like scales instead of the seven spikes which Hallucigenia had. The researchers were able to deduce that the tentacle-like structures on the back of Hallucigenia were actually feet. So, for more than a decade, the scientific community was looking at Hallucigenia’s fossil upside down.

Even today, nearly 50 years after the discovery of this fossil, new discoveries are being made. Just recently, scientists have found the location of its head after examining its fossil in an electron microscope. Hallucigenia wears its name appropriately – it is still one of the weirdest creatures to be found till date.

Saber-Toothed Tiger
Today, big cats such as lions and tigers are the apex predators in almost all known terrestrial food chains. But 10,000 years ago, the plains of North and South America were home to the Smilodon or the saber-toothed tiger. S. populator was the largest of the species, weighing in at over 400 kgs. Also, they are much more burly than most other extant big cats such as the Bengal Tiger.

One of smilodon’s characteristic feature is the very long, dagger-like canines. Its teeth were so long that it protruded out of its mouth by a significant margin. It even had an incredibly wide gape to accommodate those fangs – opening its mouth up to 120 degrees, which would have been quite an impressive and menacing sight if it was alive today.

However, its canines were slender, blade-like, and rather fragile. So, it was more adapted for precision movement such as slicing, slashing and stabbing. Moreover, an extremely wide gape meant that the animal had a lower bite-force, this meant that its bite force was not proportional to its body size. Consequently, the bodies of these animals became more stocky and robust for immobilizing prey.

These big cats were specialized in taking down large mammals such as extinct bison, giant ground sloths and even juvenile mammoths. However, their prey started to die out and was replaced by smaller and more agile prey such as the ancestors of deer. As these apex predators were unable to adapt to these new prey, the population started to decline and eventually became extinct.

Gigantopithecus
Humans belong to the family Hominidae, (also called as the great apes) and we are the only surviving member of this species today. But nearly nine million years ago, Asia was home to one of the biggest primates to ever walk the earth – Gigantopithecus blacki.

This gigantic great ape towered over 10 feet in height and weighed between 550-600 kgs, which makes it almost 3-4 times heavier than modern gorillas. However, scientists have theorized that it is more closely related to modern orangutans after analyzing its morphology. But not much else is known about this great ape as fossil evidence is limited to just a few teeth and fragments of a jaw bone.

When it was alive, its habitat consisted of a mosaic of savannah and forested areas. Analysis of its teeth implied that it subsisted purely on a diet of fruits and bamboo shoots, just like modern day gorillas. However, its habitat shrunk due to climate change and it was unable to adapt itself due to its huge size and strict selection of diet. The last of Gigantopithecus died out roughly 100,000 years ago.

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The Earning Potential of a Banking Manager

Banking is one of those rapidly growing industries that have their reach from the public sector to the private sector. It is an integral part of the basic economy of any country and serves as a backbone to the masses. Finding a suitable job in this sector is always considered to be a good hunt. If you see, there are only a few jobs these days that can pay you as good as a banking job, and this particularly holds true for the managerial ranks. Investing your time to prepare yourself for a lucrative position in the banking industry is hence a smart choice without any doubt. But what is it that makes a managerial job in the banking sector one among the most longed for career profiles? Yes, there are loads of plusses associated with the managerial position in the banking industry; however, one aspect that tops all the others is the salary prospects that the baking jobs offer. In this article, we will discuss the widening opportunities in the banking sector and will also look upon the earning potential of a banking manager.

The Upward Trend of the Banking Sector in India

With the milestone decisions taken by the Government of India, the banking sector has emerged as one of the strongest parts of the economy that is far more reachable to the general public. The industry has recorded an upward trend within the last few years. Under such a promising scenario, it is evident that the banking sector would be one of the best choices when it comes to making a career. With rising trends in growth, the banking industry has taken over as one of the sectors offering best-paid jobs with minimum risk. During the financial year 2017-2018, the compound annual growth rate in lending has gone up by 10.94% whereas the same for deposits has increased by 11.66%. This directly reflects the strength of the asset holding of banking sector making it even steadier for any job seeker. Registering a steep growth of US $100 billion in the retail credit market, India is now the fourth largest market in the emerging countries.

Banking Sector Registering a Steady Growth in the Hiring Pattern

The government has recently introduced a lot many banking policies keeping the general populace in mind. These policies have brought people closer to banking transactions. Even the remotest villages of the country can now access banking facilities, which has increased the involvement of farmers and marginalized people in banking activities. Such large-scale operation undoubtedly calls for more employees to get engaged in serving to the masses. This has given a major boost the employment opportunities in the banking and financial services industry.

Moreover, the technological advancements have served to integrate the banking operations with artificial intelligence, which has paved the way for this sector to evolve as a part of the modern-day corporate world. As far as the white-collar jobs are concerned, the statistics clearly show that the IT sector has been facing constant competition with respect to the annual payout from the Banking sector. Speculations confirm that within a span of two financial years, the banking pay-out bar would exceed that of the IT sector with the later losing its past prosperity over time. With a market share of 31% of the total payout in the industry, the financial sector in general and banking specifically remain the undisputed leader. A general salary research on the earning potential of banking managers reveals that the salary component of these professionals has two dimensions. The fixed pay varies from INR 36000 to INR 64000 on a monthly scale whereas the average additional pay ranges from INR 15000 to INR 93000 depending on the profits scored by the organization. The annual package for a bank manager may range from 6.5 lakhs to 10 lakhs pa based on a number of factors.

The Egalitarian Distribution of Pay Structure

There are more elements to the payout cycles than just the total overhead cost. The average pay structure of the banking sector shows fewer deviations than that of its closest rival, the IT industry. With entry-level payouts varying largely with that of the experienced ones, the Banking sector has been successful in rendering a much neutral platform to all securing an inflation-adjusted payout. Adding to the advantage that the overall performance of the sector puts on employee pay-outs, the banking sector seldom comes with the risk of retrenchment that invariably makes the average pay-out higher than any sector even close to it. This is why a job in the banking industry is often recommended as a secure, steady, and a well-paid career with a no risk element.

TimesPro – Your Pathway to the Best Paid Jobs in the BFSI Sector

Career is something that not only refers to the salary you draw but also entails elements of growth opportunity and security in it. The banking sector is surely a cohesive harmony of all the three and can be a smart selection for any job aspirant.