Sajiya Shrestha is pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) at ACE Institute of Management under Pokhara University. She likes to do research on the banking and financial sector.
What kind of data do you specifically look for when you conduct research for your studies?
As a BBA student, I have to have to search for different information and have to do research on various topics, such as banking, finance and the economic sector. I personally have a passion to search for information on various topics like the government budget, major components of government and public expenditure. It is interesting and keeps me motivated to learn more about government and the state of our nation.
What are the biggest challenges in searching for data as a student?
I personally love to do research in different sectors, but especially in the banking and finance sector given that this is my field of study. I have experience in data collection from both the primary and secondary sector. I am always in hungry for data. During primary data collection, the biggest challenge is when there is no proper response from the particular respondent,which leads to degradation in the quality of the information. While searching for secondary data collection, I need to go through multiple websites, books and articles to find the data for a specific topic. If I am fortunate to find data, ithere are often challenges in data cleaning in the absence of proper formatting.
Why is data important for the business sector and how does the business sector in Nepal currently use data?
Data can help businesses in planning. For example, data can help them in making a business plan and implementing it. Businesses are all about profit and data can help in making profit. In Nepal, the tradition of using data in the business sector is quite low.Large companies are using data, but in many medium size businesses it is rare. I have seen some of the companies, which run their business without proper planning and it has a negative effect in the long term.
How did you learn how to analyze data?
Eagerness led to achievement. I have been eager to learn and do something new in my career. Thus, I read different reports, newspapers and other publication and discussed these with my seniors and teachers. I also used to search for information on the internet about how to analyze and better visualize data. I learned how to use tools like SPSS and Excel, which make it easy to analyze data.
Why are you interested to play with data?
While doing research and writing my term papers and reports, I want to clearly present information. Visualizations be can made in simple and systematic ways. To make a chart, line chart, graph, you need to have an idea what the best way is to represent what the data tells you. This requires creative thinking and therefore I like playing with data as it enhances my creativity and thinking capacity. In addition, another part that I like about data is to be able to make predictions, which increase my curiosity in different sectors.
What do you think are the reasons why it is difficult to find data?
Absence of proper data management leads to difficulties. Even though we have thousands of data sets, but unfortunately it is difficult to find data. There is very little information available about available data and where to find it.We people have the right to know and get information about our country, but in reality it seems that we are not allowed to exercise our right.
Globally, we live in a digital world, but our country is still running based on traditional systems. Digital data is everywhere, but in Nepal information is still mainly presented in the form of hard copies and as a result we are facing difficulties in finding data for various sectors.
What do you do to develop data literacy among the Nepalese people?
My motto in life is “think big and start small”. No matter how small work you do, but you should do your best to share your ideas and knowledge. Whenever I gain a new idea or knowledge, I share it among a my friends and family members, so that they know about it. In relation to business related data, I help people in my community such as illiterate women, who are running small business by giving them advice on how to calculate profit, actual cost, actual loss, depreciation of goods and value etc. Furthermore, in presenting the findings of my research, I try to present these in numbers like aggregated sum, percentage, ratio etc. so that it is easier to understand and people can use to it to make their own visualizations. In the long term, I have a dream to use data to address real life challenges.