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Elaboration Phase: Case Study Of Fynapa – Your Partner For Market Research

Question

Task: Fynapa is a global digital data collection company, providing market research insights to its clients. Their information system is quite complex and needs a complete overhaul. Following paragraphs explain their business operations and as such the information system requirements can be derived for this narrative.

Fynapa primarily provides market research services to their clients. Their clients are either individual researchers conducting research involving data collection through surveys, or businesses who need to gather insights about their products, services, marketing and perceptions. Survey participants are called panellists, and anyone can register as a panellist — they get paid to participate in surveys. Fynapa boasts a globally distributed and extremely diversified panel containing people from all sorts of demographics and professions.

To register as a panellist, users have to sign up at Fynapa consumer website by providing some basic profile information including an email address, gender, date of birth and residential address. Once registered, they can proceed to provide lot of optional information about themselves, for example, their demographics, interests, hobbies, profession, industry, job title etc. The more information they provide, the more chances they get to participate in surveys relevant to them. Some panellists also opt to provide their legal identity documents to become verified members. Verified members can potentially make higher earnings. Fynapa forwards the ID documents to an external ID verification service.

Researchers or businesses must register and login to Fynapa client website in order to create and conductsurveys. A client account can be registered with just an email address. Once registered, clients can go to create a new survey. According to business rules and the area of research, each survey has a target panellist audience. It can be illustrated by a few examples: A confectionaries business in Australia wants to know how their new chocolate advertisement is being perceived by parents of toddlers. A social scientist wants to explore the video game addiction levels in teenagers belonging to wealthy families. A holiday-tour organizer is interested to know what destinations are currently popular among frequent travellers. Therefore, the clients need to specify some conditions to limit survey availability according to panellist attributes and habits (age, ethnicity, financial capacity, family details, likes and dislikes etc.). A user-friendly interface helps clients/researchers to define such participant restrictions.

To design a new survey, clients are presented with another friendly interface. Surveys can be composed of several different types of questions, e.g. multiple choice, drop down selection, multiple check-box selection, how likely you are to recommend something (1 to 10), agreement scale (1 to 10), match columns, numeric response, textual response etc. For each type of question, an appropriate interface is available to facilitate creating the questions. While a survey is being prepared, clients have the option to save it as draft. Once a survey is designed, there is an option to run it in preview mode. After finalizing the survey, clients mark it as ready. Next, they proceed to make an advance payment for the survey. Upon completion of payment, the survey goes live.

Fynapa’s pricing methodology is a bit involved but fair. Firstly, there is a base survey listing cost that is applicable no matter how long the survey is. Secondly, there is a cost to conduct the survey that depends on survey length, type of questions and the number of responses needed. Every type of question has its fixed cost, hence the total cost is calculated by adding up individual question costs. This base cost is then multiplied by 100, the minimum number of participants for each survey. Cost per survey reduces after the first 100 participants. Additional responses are charged at a gradually decreasing rate. Clients have to choose a required number of responses after which the survey closes. For example, a survey consists of 5 multiple choice questions, worth 20 cents each, and two short answer questions, worth 50 cents each. Thus the base cost is $2. In addition to the fixed survey listing cost, in this example, the client need to pay $200 for at least 100 survey attempts. Let us say the client has a target of 600 surveys, the cost of every subsequent batch of 100 is slightly smaller, such as $195, $190, $185,….. down to some predefined minimum. Before a survey goes live, clients have to pay an advance payment which includes the listing cost plus half of survey conduction cost. The balance is payable at the end of survey before the results are released to clients.

The number of participants required for each survey is defined by client business requirements. There is also an expiry date for survey availability, once again defined by the business/research requirements. Some clients may want to survey ID-verified panellists only in order to receive more accurate results at a higher expense. Clients are notified by email when the required number of responses are received for a survey. Depending on their budget, clients may opt to keep the survey running to receive more responses.

Panellists get notified of new surveys by email. Clicking the link in email will lead to the survey only if the survey is still running, otherwise the links expire. The email also contains information about the survey topic, expected duration of survey and the monetary reward participants will earn if they manage to complete it. Based on participant restrictions as defined by clients, all panellists with a matching profile and habits are invited. Additionally, panellists with incomplete profile information are also invited, but upon starting the survey, they are screened via some auto-generated eligibility checking questions. These questions look like the following: Do you live in Perth, WA? How much is your monthly earning (choose from five groups)? How often do you consume biscuits (once a day, few times a week, rarely) etc. If the panellist is eligible, actual survey starts otherwise customer is shown a sorry message. Such screening questions also help fill the gaps in panellist’s incomplete profile. Most surveys are designed to be completed in one sitting. But some long surveys are meant to be completed over a longer period, for example doing a diary every day for a week, or recording the behaviour once a week for two months. For these kind of surveys, once the survey is started, participants are sent a unique link in email to resume it later on. If the link is lost, all the survey progress gets lost as well.

Upon successfully completing a survey, panellist account is credited with the corresponding reward. Partially completed surveys are not eligible for any reward. Before the panellists can redeem their rewards, they need to earn a minimum threshold amount, which varies by the country of residence. They also need to provide their mobile phone number as a verification of their location. Available redemption methods can include bank cheque, direct credit to bank account, PayPal or gift vouchers — which methods are available also depends on country of payout e.g. Gift vouches are not available for residents of Singapore. All payment methods also have their own minimum requirements, e.g. account deposits in Malaysia require a minimum transaction of 15 MYR. A user may also opt to donate their credit towards one of the available charity organizations.

A very crucial business requirement for Fynapa is to nicely present the survey results to clients — this is how Fynapa plans to differentiate itself from its competitors. A variety of reports are prepared for each survey. The most type of reports are, of course, the survey responses. Some question results (multiple choice, numerical response, agreement scale) can be visualized in the form of beautiful charts. Textual response questions, on the other hand, should be summarized using keywords (tag clouds). At an additional cost, clients can choose to utilize an AI (artificial intelligence) based response analyser that can summarize the long responses into a few sentences. The AI summarizer is provided via a third party library.

Apart from the actual survey results, most clients also like to review the survey engagement reports. These reports include visualizations for surveys statistics such as average time spent by participants on a given question, total time spent on survey, demographics and attributes of participants, and dropout reports indicating questions which cause respondents to abandon the survey because the questions could be too tedious or repetitive.

All the functionality implemented by the information system is accessible through Fynapa’s client and consumer (panellist) websites. When consumers login, they are presented with a dashboard containing the overview of their account. This site includes sections on currently available surveys, record of past surveys and a statement of reward earnings and redemptions. Client site on the other hand has sections of currently running surveys, archived surveys, payment history and invoicing. Clicking any completed survey will lead to the results page where the aforementioned reports are presented.

Answer

Introduction
The present Fynapa case study illustrates that the information system requirement for Fynapa can be classified into functional and non-functional broadly integrated under the marketing information system. This system is designed to enable information flow in an organized manner so that the marketing research activities can be completed and, in this manner, it serves the needs of collaboration, operations and analytics. In collaboration, the managers can share information by virtually working together and with customers on their requirements and expectations of product design (Novikova, 2015). The analytic section of Fynapa case study is realized when the market data from customers and competitors are worked upon with the latest technologies and given market scenarios. Thus, analytics provide an insight which could impact the marketing strategy of Fynapa. The system answers the operational requirements by processing the daily customer information exchanges and transactions.

1. Identification and Brief Description of Functional and Non-Functional Requirements in the Fynapa case study
This system improves the decision-making capability of the marketing entity of an organisation by providing multiple options. These options are the result of the data interactions held between customer’s suppliers and other stakeholders (Askoul, Khan & Lalitha, 2016). The major benefits of the system are in the field of developing strategy, implementing strategy, monitoring of markets and integration of functional areas.

Developing a strategy: The information system provides a data point which is necessary to create a marketing strategy. It can help in the development strategy for new surveys, survey positioning, marketing communications including the advertisement of surveys in social media, digitally reaching out to customers, pricing of survey and improvement of customer experience. It can help in the development of a foundation akin to e-commerce platforms (Ashmarina & Zotova, 2016). This will enable Fyanapa to regulate their market research activities by creating and monitoring time-bound strategy.

Implementing Strategy: This system provides multiple levels of support in terms of launching new surveys, coordinating the strategies developed for the future surveys and plays a major role in sales force automation and also provides support in the customer's service system and relationship management (Barakat, Shatnawi & Ismail, 2016). The information system enables decision-makers to manage customer relationships more effectively. This application is becoming very popular among different marketing companies.

Monitoring of markets: With the data gathered from market search and utilising marketing intelligence activities, this information system can help in identifying the market segments which are new and emerging and then it will help in monitoring the changes in the environment of such objects. The changes can be tracked from the survey data which would imply economic conditions, consumer behaviours, latest trends in technologies, actions of the competitors and policies of the government (Koço?lu, Yilmaz & Kayhan, 2017). The market research is very specific to the strategy of an initiative and depends on the situation of the survey, but marketing intelligence has continuity inherent. It monitors and analyses a broader range of surveys and information points (Hatai & Panda, 2015). These information points are obtained from three surveys. The first being the data which other companies have this data is much focused as the respondents have been asked very specific questions. This source is comparatively expensive and the survey takes more time. The other sources of data are better as they are captured from websites browsing and point of sale transactions.

Integration of functional areas: This information system provides a highly effective method of coordinating activities between different departments including marketing and other functional verticals of the organization like finance, engineering, product management, logistics, manufacturing and production and customer service (Fahmi, Atiyah & Sadiq, 2019).

1.1 What are the functional requirements obtained from the Fynapa case study?

  1. User Interface - It is an important element of the information system as both the client and the users filling the survey will use the interface and it should help them effectively analyse or answer to the questions in a precise manner. The interface or the dashboard should provide the marketing information that a client is looking for in its objective. The interface design would completely depend on this objective or the decision that the client has to make (Martell, 2018). it includes a mix of hardware, the method of information analysis, formatting and display, compiling and distribution to ensure that the user interface is the perfect fit to a client or a customer. Generally, the issues that need to be resolved in this consist of cost security, access and ease of use.
  2. Software applications - This includes the programs that a decision-maker uses for developing marketing strategies in the information system. These programs help in collection analysis and management of data so that the necessary information can be developed and a marketing decision is made. MDSS (Marketing Decision Support Software) is an example of customer service applications (Sulaiman, Hes & Kandakov, 2015). Customer management software is another example.
  3. Marketing database - This is the component of the system where all the data files related to surveys are stored in an organized manner; these data files have been obtained from both external and internal sources. The internal source explored in the Fynapa case study refers to the data obtained from consumer behavior exhibited through the nature of the transactions made online. This data is obtained from e-commerce sides mostly and registered members of Fynapa. The external sources consist of the marketing research data obtained through competitor intelligence, other financial institutions and from the non-registered members of Fynapa. The data file can be organized in the form of a relational database where the data is stored in the form of a table. In this table, each row represents an entity while the columns represent the particular characteristics of that entity. As an example each row can be identified with a customer who is filling a survey and the columns can have the details consisting of the customer names, identification details and responses to the survey questions (Rowley, 2017). The other manners in which the data can be organised in the form of a flat-file which is generally a text file and consist of one data record per line.
  4. Support System - This component of the information system mentioned in the Fynapa case study includes the system managers who have the right of access management to the other users; they have the control over the software and hardware network (Kunle, Akanbi & Ismail, 2017). They also monitor the activities of the users and manage the database.

1.2 Non-Functional Requirements
The readings used to prepare this Fynapa case study signify that the non-functional components usually define the attributes of the software system. They represent a standard set of instructions which can be used to judge the operational efficiency of the operating systems in place. In this Fynapa case study, the software being used to perform all the activities of converting the data obtained from surveys into meaningful dashboards which are helpful and as per the requirements of the client (Verma & Dominic, 2015). This non-functional component ensures that the software is usable and highly effective as per the required standards. Some examples of non-functional requirements arising from such components:

  • The initial passwords provided by the survey users must be changed once they receive it and they should never use their initials as the password
  • Website offering the survey should be capable of handling the number of users as expected
  • All the privacy information should be audited
  • The portability of software should be convenient and movement from one system to another should not create issues

2. Identification Use Cases and Drawing of Use Case Diagram on the Fynapa case study
2.1 Identification of Use Cases

Use Cases

Description

UC001: Creating a Survey

 

UC002: Registration/Login

This will be utilized for the unauthorized customers as well as registered customer. As per the critical analysis on the Fynapa case study, it can be noted that by creating a profile, customers who are availing service of Fynapa, can be able to registered themselves into the marketing information system of Fynapa. Registered customer can log into the system by providing valid login credentials.

UC003: Rewards Collections

The customers are allowed to use their rewards in terms of getting extra benefits from the company Fynapa. This can be monetary benefits or some others as well.

UC004: Review Survey Reports

After received the survey reports, this function will allow reviewing the reports. It will help in getting idea about the markets.

UC005: Analysing Survey Reports

This functional will allow user to analyses the survey reports and getting concrete results on market trends. Based on the same, business owner can take decision and implement required business strategy within operation process.

UC006: Creating Questionnaire

Based on the results and strategy, customers are allowed to create survey questionnaire that will be beneficial for the company, in order to understand customer needs.

UC007: Payment Information

The payment of the customers will be evaluated after received the confirmation of payment. All the payment will be evaluated based on ever market research done as well as individual customer perspective.

2.2 Drawing of Use Case Diagram

Fynapa case study

3. Writing one Fully Developed Use Case Description

Use Case ID

UC001

Use Case Name 

Creating a Survey

Actor:

Clients, participants, Researchers

Description:

 The Researchers or clients will complete the list of different types of questions for the intended survey including MCQ, Multiple combo box selection questions and others. 

Preconditions:

 The Researchers or clients have to be registered to the system.

Postconditions:

 The preview for the completed Survey form will be displayed to the client before saving and making it live.

Priority:

High

Alternative Courses:

 The Client may want to save the survey form as a draft one and amend that at a later time. In this scenario, the Form would not be deployed live for data collection.

Exceptions:

If the number of questions exceeds than the client had paid for then the system will prompt an error message.

Assumptions:

The users are registered to the system

 The User has paid for the creation of the forms 

4. Drawing of UML Domain Model Class Diagram
In UML, use case comprises a list of actions that needs to be taken and all these actions describe the interactions that will be taking place between the system and the role of actor so that the goal is achieved. The use case explored in the Fynapa case study has been very useful in identifying, analyzing and organizing all the requirements of a system. The major role is played by the set of consequences that are possible whenever there is an interaction between the actor and the system. These consequences determine the feature implementation and error resolutions for any instance when they are encountered. The use case details may go very deep into the event floe or scenarios for each of the possible consequences. They can also provide a high-level view of the complete system by simplifying the complexities and representing in a graphical form.

Fynapa case study

Conclusion
The use cases are defined generally by how a user achieves a goal by making the use of the system. This gives way to the use case diagram. The use case diagram consists of the system, the related use cases, and all the components which can be related to the use case. The main objective of the use case discussed in the above Fynapa case study is to ensure that the correct goals are achieved as per the requirements of the user. The major characteristics of the use cases obtained from the Fynapa case study system can be summarized as:

  • Functional requirements are organized
  • Performs the modelling of the interaction between the user and the actor
  • Main flow of events is described in detail as well as the alternative path flows are clearly defined, such paths are called flow scenarios.

The benefits of the use case system are as below:

  • It is an efficient technique for fulfilling the organizational requirements and documentation of the functional components
  • Simple, easy to understand and an excellent means of communicating freely with the customer
  • Division of a project into small components by use case reduces the complexity
  • The sequence diagram of a use case can identify the important scenarios
  • The approach of use case can help providing traceability to the major development activities during the course of implementation and testing

References
Ashmarina, S., & Zotova, A. (2016). Fynapa case study The system of marketing information management: development, assessment, improvement. ??????????? ???????-???, (160), 51-56.

Askoul, R., Khan, H. U., & Lalitha, V. M. (2016). Cross-functional integration of marketing and information services in banking: a cross-industry comparison. International Journal of Process Management and Benchmarking, 6(1), 57-78.

Barakat, H. J., Shatnawi, H. A., & Ismail, S. T. (2016). The role of marketing information systems in reducing the effects of the international financial crisis: A study applied on the banks working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Islamic Perspective. Fynapa case study International Journal of Marketing Studies, 8(1), 181-190.

Fahmi, A. M., Atiyah, S. M., & Sadiq, A. S. (2019). The Impact of Marketing Information Systems on Brilliant Financial Performance in Hospital Industry. Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, 10(3).

Hatai, L. D., & Panda, D. (2015). Agricultural Marketing Information System–A Case Study of Traders in Meghalaya. Economic Affairs, 60(2), 263-272.

Koço?lu, D., Yilmaz, M. A., & Kayhan, M. (2017). Applications of Marketing Information System in Banking Sector: A Study on Vak?fBank. In 6th EURASIAN MULTIDISCIPLINARY FORUM, EMF 2017 27-28 April, Vienna, Austria (p. 254).

Kunle, A. L. P., Akanbi, A. M., & Ismail, T. A. (2017). The influence of marketing intelligence on business competitive advantage (A study of diamond bank Plc). Fynapa case study Journal of Competitiveness, 9(1).

Martell, D. A. (2018). Marketing Information and New Technology. Fynapa case study In Management Information Systems: The Technology Challenge (pp. 161-181). Routledge.

Novikova, E. N. (2015). Design of a marketing information system. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(1 S3), 141.

Rowley, J. E. (2017). Information marketing. Routledge.

Sulaiman, H., Hes, T., & Kandakov, A. (2015). Marketing Information System in Citrus Fruit Pricing: A Case Study of Lattakia, Syria. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(5), 286.

Verma, N. C., & Dominic, J. (2015). Marketing of library and information products and services in Uttarakhand: Theory and Practices. Fynapa case study Journal of Library, Information and Communication Technology, 2(1-2), 45-54.

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