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Kerala Plus One Economics Notes Chapter 19 Uses of Statistical Methods
Project and Project Report
Project means a plan or programme, capable of analysis, planning and implementation. There are professional and academic projects. A professional project will have definite objectives, an area of implementation, and a time period within which it will be executed.
An academic project is purely an academic exercise to study a problem. It may or may not have practical application. Developing a project by conducting a survey and preparing a report will help in analyzing relevant information and suggesting improvements in a product or system. Students, researchers, marketing groups, etc., undertake such projects. Reports of such studies are called project reports.
Steps Towards Making a Project
The steps towards making a project are discussed below:
Identifying a problem or an area of study: You should be clear about what you want to study. The objective of the project has to be clearly stated. For instance, you may like to study consumer spending among households, water or electricity problems relating to households in an area and the like.
Choice of the target group: After that, you must identify the target group. If your project relates to books, then your target group will mainly be students. For the project studies of consumer projects like toothpaste, soap etc. all rural and urban populations form the target group. So the choice of target group is very important while undertaking a project.
Collection of data: Next comes the data collection. Data for the study may be collected from primary sources or secondary sources. If the data are primary a questionnaire or an interview schedule should be prepared. Telephone, postal method, e-mail, etc. may also be adopted. Secondary data are available from published and unpublished sources. Which type of data are to be used depends on the nature of your project study.
Organisation and presentation of data: After collecting the data by using various methods, the next step is to present them in a systematic manner. This is done with the help of tabulation and suitable diagrams, eg: bar diagrams, pie diagrams, graphs, etc.
Analysis and Interpretation: Measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, correlation, etc. will enable you to calculate average, variation and relationship that exist among the variables. These help us in analysing and interpreting the results.
Conclusion: The last step is to draw meaningful conclusions after the analysis and interpretation of the results. Based on the results, you can predict the future and give suggestions for government policy implications.
Bibliography: This section is meant for mentioning details of all secondary sources of data used in the study. These include magazines, newspapers, research reports etc.
Structure of the Project Report
The essential elements of Project Reports, briefly.
1. Introduction: In the section of the introduction, the project is introduced. The need and significance of the project are highlighted. The relevance of the project is explained. This section gives the reader of the report an idea about the need, importance and relevance of the project.
2. Statement of the problem: Most projects in economics deal with an economic problem and attempt to find ways to solve the problem. There can be exceptions where a Project need not be related to any problem at all. Even then, the issue that is studied has to be properly and clearly defined. This is called the statement of the problem.
3. Objectives: The objectives of the project have to be clearly stated. Without being too descriptive, the objectives have to be listed and numbered.
4. Methodology: Methodology refers to the techniques and methods used in the analysis. The nature of data, sources of data, and techniques of analysis have to be clearly stated.
5. Analysis: This is the most important part of any project report. This forms the body of the project report.
6. Limitations/Constraints: No study is 100 percent perfect. Many imperfections can creep into the report due to the limitations of the study. Limitations may arise due to problems of sampling, inaccurate answers to questions, subjective factors, lack of professionalism of enumerators, lack of adaptability of secondary data, etc.
7. Conclusion: Analysis of data will facilitate the derivation of conclusion. In this section of the report, the findings and conclusion of the study are numbered and listed.