CINQ 396: Blog 7

The target customers for our project are the people of Sierra Leone. In our project we make a variety of assumptions about our target customers, some of which are obvious and some of which are not as obvious. 10 of the less obvious assumptions are as follows. The first assumption is that the people of Sierra Leone are going to be willing to talk to us as Americans. We are hoping that they will be open, but quite frankly, it is very possible that they will not be. Second, we are assuming that any data collected will be honest and individuals will be truthful about their behaviors, when similarly to our first assumption, it is very possible that this will not be the case. A third assumption we are making is that we can communicate effectively with the individuals we plan to administer the survey to, even with the translator. A fourth thing we are assuming is that the individuals we survey are aware of the measurable quantities we are trying to collect. Even if these individuals would like to help us, it is entirely possible that they will be unaware of some critical data points to identify a correlation. The fifth thing we are assuming is that there is a measurable correlation between an individual’s measurable socioeconomic qualities and behaviors that put them at risk of contracting Ebola Virus. The sixth thing we are assuming is that any correlation identified on the micro level can be scaled up to the macro level and still remain accurate. A seventh thing we are assuming is that collecting data from some small villages and some large villages will provide the variety necessary to identify the correlation. An eighth assumption we are making is that surveying just a handful of villages will provide enough data as well. A ninth assumption is that policy makers and health officials will be on our side supporting us during our time in Sierra Leone. Lastly, a tenth assumption we make is that there is a possibility of continuing the data collection process after the conclusion of our fieldwork. There are also a variety of hypotheses about our project that we need to test during our field work. We will test whether or not individuals are willing to talk with us openly, inherent checks within our survey will ensure honestly, we will figure out if individuals are aware of the information we are looking for, and we will see if communication is effective naturally as we proceed with the survey process in Sierra Leone. Hypotheses about correlation can possibly be identified by us as we administer the survey; however, it is more likely that those hypotheses will be proven or disproven in the fall semester. We also hypothesize that the Statistics Sierra Leone organization may be able to help us with survey distribution and collection, and also possibly health officials or policy makers, which may or may not be the case.

On my team, I believe I provide the perspective of a student but also someone with more research experience than my other teammates simply because I am older. I also believe I provide a more analytical perspective as my side of the project is more computational. I also bring to the team someone who is pursuing a business education, not only an engineering education, as opposed to my 2 teammates who are first year engineering students. Our faculty advisors are also both engineering focused individuals. As someone who is also a finance major, I have experiences and perspectives that are unique to my team. My perception of my own strengths and weaknesses hasn’t changed really throughout the semester. There are definitely things I could work on such as fidgeting during presentations. Overall I believe everyone on my team is an asset and provides skills that are helping us complete our project.

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