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4 R ESEARCH M ETHODOLOGY

4.2 Empirical Data

Generally in case studies, there are six common sources of evidence. These are direct observation, interviews, archival records, documentation, participant- observation and physical artifacts. (Yin, 2012, 10) One of the most important sources of evidence for case studies is an interview. They are usually open-ended interviews, which means that the respondents are asked facts about the phenomenon as well as their opinions about it. Interviews can also be focused interviews, where a certain set of questions is asked based on the research strategy and commonly they are combination of the two types of interviews. (Yin, 2003, 85-92) In this case study interviews are used as a source of information.

4.2.1  Data  Collection  and  Data  Selection  

The empirical research was done during November and December 2014. In total 25 interviews were conducted and 49 members of the case company participated in these interviews. Duration of the interviews varied from 30 minutes to an hour. In the 30 minutes interviews there were one responded and the longer ones were group interviews having 2, 3 or four respondents at the time. The respondents were from different units and hierarchical levels of the case company.

The interviews were open-ended interviews but the respondents were informed about the theme of the interview beforehand. The interviews were performed by two consultants and the author of the thesis as a group interviews. Each interview was recorded and a summary of the findings was written after the interview. The theme of the interviews was to find out organization member’s current view and understanding of the ways customer data is handled within the case company. The interviews were part of MDM work in the case company. The aim of the interviews was to gain as holistic as possible view on the current state of handling of customer data and possible problems in it. The complete list of interviews conducted during MDM work in the case company is presented in the Appendix 1.

Four out of these 25 available interviews were selected for empirical material because they where identified as a key informants for the purpose of this thesis and the saturation was achieved with these. Key informants are often critical for success of the case study. In addition of providing valuable information of the matter that is investigated, they can often suggest other sources of evidence. (Yin, 2003, 90) Saturation means that there is enough empirical material for the purpose of the research. There is enough material, when the same issues start to come up in the material. The saturation has been reached at this point. (Hirsijärvi & al, 1996, 169) Total of 8 persons from the case company participated in the selected four interviews. The selection is the interviews of Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Business Unit A, a group interview of 2 Senior Business Analysts from the Business Analytics and a group interview of the Data Manager and 3 Customer Data Analysts. Although there were 25 interviews of total 49 informants available, the same issues started to come up in the interviews. The selected four interviews of 8 informants are providing information related to the research questions and therefore were considered to be enough for the purpose of the thesis.

The Vice President of Marketing has overall responsibility of marketing and customer communications development. She initiated the MDM work that is in progress in the case company and is a member of the senior management board. The Vice President’s unit is responsible of the implementation of the automated marketing capabilities. Business unit A of the case company is the largest business unit in terms of turnover, customers and employees. Compared to another business units, this unit has longer history and has more experience in dealing with customer data. Therefore the unit’s Vice President’s interview was selected for detailed analysis.

Where as the two Vice Presidents were selected to provide strategic perspective to the case, two other interviews selected for detailed analysis were based to gain also operative insight. The Senior Business Analysts from the business analytics department are providing analytical information for example about the customers to the top management and to different business units. They have insight to what

the business is expecting from the data and what is the overall situation of the utilization of the customer data. Also, the analysts were able to provide valuable information about the key persons in the case company that should be interviewed. The Data Manager and the Customer Data Analysts are responsible of the implementation of automated marketing capabilities as well as overall utilization of customer data for the needs of sales, marketing and customer communications. This interview was selected because the respondents are dealing with customer data on a daily basis and they have insight on the issues that are currently causing problems in their work.

4.2.2  Data  Analysis  

First, the interviews were transcribed from audio recordings into texts. The texts were analyzed with NVivo qualitative analysis program. Transcribed interviews were loaded to NVivo and the texts were classified according to the theoretical framework. The interviews were interpreted to find out case company’s current data governance situation and the issues that are faced in day to day work for example in trying to implement automated marketing capabilities.

Appendix 2 displays an example of the analysis using NVivo. Each of the four interviews of the eight informants was first analyzed independently. The answers of the respondents were classified to an applicable subject presented in the theoretical framework. After the classification of the interviews, each of the subjects from the theoretical framework had combined findings from the interviews. These findings were presented in chapter 5 objectively and ordered according to the subjects from the theoretical framework. Then, in the chapter 6 these findings were used to find answers to the research questions and compared to previous research on data governance and automated marketing.

The purpose of the findings chapter is to present the case study’s findings without adding or removing anything. Quotes are used to provide better visibility into the views and opinions of the respondents. After presenting the findings in chapter 5,

the Discussion chapter 6 presents these findings in the light of research questions and compares them with previous research presented in the chapters 2 and 3.