Thesis work never stops troubling students in the last semester of their studies.
By AMBER HUANG (text and photo)
Spring semesters are always full of students who are busy with their thesis. After choosing a proper topic, students need to read large quantities of relative research. Before they struggle with the grind of writing the longest assignment of their life, data collection has become an awkward hurdle. One reason for this is that some companies are not willing share their key data that is useful for analysis. Hence, some of students cannot move past this point. This phenomenon is not uncommon among soon-graduating students.
So what should they do under this circumstances? Two of HiMolde’s professors provide their two cents on the situation.
Arnt Buvik advises students to «prepare well before thesis writing». It is natural that companies are unwilling when it comes to business confidentiality. Students can promise to protect their privacy but competitors can still check the data after the publication of thesis. Companies are worried about that the data will be misused by students. Students can look for available secondary data online or turn to the competitors in that industry.
However, before thesis writing, students should be clear about what extent of data they may get from target companies, and then they can work out a practical scheme according to the limited data. Available secondary data online is always highly recommended. A good data platform or a data bank will never disappoint students if used in a skillful way.
READ MORE: Slik får du bedre karakterer
Also, every year HiMolde will offer thesis programs in cooperation with companies in Norway. Students can join the interesting programs before the last semester and get access to company data more easily because of the contacts.
Buvik also points out that the biggest mistake students might have is being over ambitious. Students usually have no experience with doing research, so they cannot foresee the problems very well.
Johan Holmgren’s biggest advice is to «make proper adjustment on research problem if possible». First of all, students should know why the companies don’t want to offer the data. Also crucial is for students to find the right people at the companies who are in charge of the key data. Tell them the main purpose and possible outcomes of the data analysis. Bosses or managers are always pleased to see that your data analysis and outcome will contribute to their companies.
If negotiation fails, try to change the research problems from quantitative to qualitative. Theoretical research problems need less data analysis, so students can avoid the issue of failing to find key data. If your energy and time allow, it is not a bad idea to change the topic if the hurdle seems near impossible to overcome.