MCI Management Center Innsbruck Internationale Hochschule GmbH (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 127-132
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.0062
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
This paper is about a student's project aiming for two goals:
(1) to improve and modernize the reporting of an existing partnering company based on different analysis techniques and
(2) to learn how to apply qualitative research.

The goal pursued by the company is to link Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data with inbound-generated customer data from the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. That should improve decision-making within the company and reduce manual effort. To explore this conversion process, three student teams created a comprehensive view of the company's reporting in one of our methodology courses in the MCiT bachelor studies. Each group applied a different research method. Triangulation with a single case is based on the case study research methodology following Yin (2018).

One student team performed a:
(1) document analysis to compare the company's past and present reporting. A second student team conducted
(2) expert interviews to discover internal satisfaction with the current reporting and to obtain suggestions for improvement. After internally linking the data from the CRM tool with the data from the ERP system, the third student team developed an
(3) online survey among a small group of employees to analyze the opinions of the improved reporting. All three methods were implemented between March and June 2022.

After collecting the evidence based on the three research methods, the three teams evaluated and interpreted the material using one category scheme, which first came from the literature but was inductively expanded during analysis by each team. To get the final result, all teams combined their knowledge, expanded the categories, and compared the results with existing literature. The teams then presented additional possible steps for action and a future reporting outlook to the company.

The final course evaluations show that there can be a good combination of teaching methodology (case study research) parallel to implementing a project with a partnering company. This student's research showed that implementing a CRM tool to support data-driven reporting can lead to improvements, especially for Small and Medium Sized (SME) Companies. In addition, listing improvement requests and suggestions from employees shows the company which areas to focus on when converting its internal reporting.

Despite the improvements based on the CRM tool, there were still some points with which the employees who regularly deal with internal reporting were unsatisfied. During the interviews, it became clear that the possibilities of reporting are not yet being optimally exploited and that there is still some hidden potential. Above all, the lack of automation, the non-existent uniform view of the company, the different systems and data sources, the poor resource management, and the manual effort were named as weak points.

Finally, the paper shows how teaching research methodologies can efficiently be combined with partnering companies to gain student learning outcomes within a motivating, practical, relevant teaching environment.
ERP Systems, Business Intelligence, Reporting, Decision Making, Teaching Case