Sunday, March 15, 2020

Gender and Sexuality in Asia

Gender and Sexuality in Asia Introduction Asia is known for its rich cultural and national identities. Asians derive their sense of nationality and identity from their daily lives. Gender and sexuality are some of the areas where Asians find their identity and citizenship. This essay discusses how gender and sexuality are implicated in the construction of identity, citizenship, or community in an Asian perspective.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Gender and Sexuality in Asia specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Body Gender is a term that is used to refer to roles performed by men and women. The roles are learnt by young people as they grow, and are often prescribed by culture. There are roles for men and other roles for women. Sexuality refers to individual sexual tendencies, beliefs, experiences, and advocacy. Sexuality denotes experiences and is revealed in thoughts, attitudes, values, desires, and beliefs which can be expressed. Sexuality is deve loped when people interact with one another socially, politically, religiously or culturally. Sexuality is influenced by ethics, spirituality, and culture (Toffler 1980). Peletz (2011) mentions that cultural practices in Asia that go hand in hand with genders are still being practiced. There are a few changes that have emerged with modernization. Women’s role as care givers is still being practiced, although women have joined men in providing for their families. Women now get educated and work with men. According to Misra and Chandiramani (2005, p. 17), Asian states gain their identities by exercising the rights of all groups in the society. Women have their rights to make choices on matters of their sexuality. This extends to their healthcare needs and reproduction. They exercise their freedom from being discriminated or coerced to do something because of their gender. National laws that protect women are stipulated. International laws that protect women rights are recognize d and safeguarded in Asian countries. Men and women in marital union have the right to space and get the number of children they desire. Moreover, they are free to choose the family planning practices that are suitable for them. The decision to attain the highest standards of reproductive and sexual health is on their hands (Misra and Chandiramani 2005, p. 18). Access to healthcare should not be discriminatory.Advertising Looking for essay on asian? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More There are cases of people being discriminated because of their gender, sexual health (in the case HIV positive), political view, social status, disability, and sexual orientation. The vice is strongly discouraged by the government and stakeholders fighting for human rights. When the government encourages equality, it creates a sense of identity and citizenship among the citizens. Thornburgh and Lin (2002) mention that there are initiatives by the government to create opportunities for all. The initiatives also encourage people to work without discrimination. Institutions are encouraged to employ both genders and give equal opportunities at work. Unfairness against pregnant women seeking opportunities or those dismissed from work because of their maternal roles is condemned by the law in different states. Slocum (2009) argues that there are incidents where women have been shown favoritism and denied opportunities, while men have been granted opportunities. The favoritism makes women feel that they do not enjoy their citizenship and that they deserve an equal opportunity. In an age with digital information technology, the performance of gender or sexuality is different from the previous ages. In the past, traditional values had rules. The agricultural revolution and the industrialization that followed gave way to modern technology. Using the technology as a means of communication has affected the way Asian communities i dentify perceptions and social structures in the world. What people experience and interact with shapes their attitudes about the world. The media have been used to shape Asians’ awareness, which is a major influence on gender and sexuality. The emerging technologies have, therefore, played a major role in setting the standards for the Asian’s attitudes and identities (Jensen 2002). The availability of materials on the region in print, on television, on the internet, or even on the radio made people begin questioning the translation and the origin of the information. The modern society began making its own judgment and created an opinion of gender and sexuality. A sense of nationalism or communalism is facilitated by the presence of the Asian materials in the media. According to Levinson (1999), the media provides information that is used by the community to form discussions and reactions to various issues. The content also gives information on the reality that is ofte n used in conversations with others. Examples of the content include music, creative arts, drama, musical and verbal expressions, dance, and paintings.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Gender and Sexuality in Asia specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More The content makes Asians develop an identity and a sense of belonging to the community. The media content carries attitudes towards gender and sexuality. The content gives opinion on specific or general understanding of sexuality. The development of drama with Asian background, for instance, gives a sense of communalism and opens an avenue for discussion of a certain gender and sexuality ideas amongst Asians. Views on gender and sexuality have been present as the developments in technologies grew. The use of mobile phone has rapidly increased in Asia, allowing interactions between the genders to be increased. The use of the internet has also played a part in creating differe nt perspectives about gender and sexuality. Education is accessible to both genders. Therefore, both genders have access to internet knowledge when granted the opportunity. Information technology has allowed access to libraries and sites that have information on all aspects of life, including sexuality. All genders have access to information without discrimination. Asians choose what information to access, depending on their educational, sexual, or reproductive health needs. The information provided gives content on biomedical information, contraceptives, homosexuality, abortion, and sexual workers with an explanation on what they entail. The information provided then indicates the kind of issues that surround each of the concepts and their benefits. Materials concerning sexuality have also been categorized as private by some of the information technology users. It is no wonder that some people secretly keep folders of porn, sex, and nude photos on their electronic gadgets (Peletz 2 011). All these materials can be accessed on different electronic devices including mobile phones, television, and computers (McLuhan 1994). The entertainment features of information technology have more competing needs for recreation than for academic motives. The recreational features have clear themes concerning sex and gender perceptions. The available contents of media entertainment being offered without any charges are very high. The content is available for free. This makes a large number of people to access this content. Many people, therefore, get influenced by this content, especially in the area of sexuality (Slocum 2009). Communication via electronic devices has revolutionized interactions and means of passing on messages. The physical boundaries that existed amongst opposite sexes are slowly fading away. Information technology helps in communication and also in overcoming inhibitions (McLuhan and Fiore 1967). Social structures that would allow a certain level of interac tion have now been overtaken by expansion of communication channels. The internet allows people to begin relationships that are no-sexual and online dating. This has been enabled by mobile, email, Skype, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP).Advertising Looking for essay on asian? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Social networks have become common. Social networks entail grouping of people with similar interests on the internet. People with similar social interest, as well as sexual interests, organize themselves in groups. Through the use of social networks, people are able to interact and share experiences they face in life. Social networks have been successful in organizing groups of sexual minorities such as lesbians, transsexuals, heterosexuals, and unlawful sexual relations among others. These sexual networks can enable people to select the genders of people to interact with and select people with specific interests. The groups are highly segmented such that people can select people with specific sexuality, as well as those who believe in a specific religion. New contacts are obtained from the social networks. Social networks are used to pass on information on certain issues and conduct discussions. The social networks go beyond physical borders and can be very powerful. Electronic com merce (es of these fantasies are strip tease and people impersonating to be the opposite gender. People have used new technology to give their views on sexuality. The views are political and have increased awareness about policies and actions of the state on certain matters concerning gender and sexuality. Expression forums have been created by different groups to deal with gender and sexuality-related issues. Discussions on sexuality and gender roles are conducted via the internet. Blogging is also common and useful in discussions regarding sexuality and gender issues. Such discussions and forums of expressions enable people within Asia to have a sense of identity and exercise their rights as citizens. Prohibition and laws concerning sexuality is discussed in the forum or blog. National issues concerning sexuality are also discussed. These include: prohibition of pornographic sites and sites that are subversive. Once in a while, the sites are also used to pass on political expressi on, gather support for specific candidates who advocate for their interests, give an avenue for interaction, and recreation at the same time. Sexual ideologies and gender have distinct perspectives. Some ideas support adherence of cultural norms according to the Asian culture, while others have different ideas that other sexualities should be recognized in society. Asians use sites to represent their personal ideas about sexuality and gender. Experiences regarding discrimination are shared, and advice is given on how to have it mitigated. The ideas are challenged by people who hold cultural norms and explain why they support the ideas. When a lot is happening on the internet, young people get exposed to the material that is shared. They get deeply involved in sexuality and gender issues when they read materials provided via the internet. The challenge is that they grow up perceiving the gender and sexuality perspectives they are exposed to and how to assimilate them. Getting the int ernet to accept the perceived cultural norms in line with Asian culture is another challenge. Getting the internet audience to reject discrimination on the basis of gender and sexuality is a major challenge. There is fragmentation of the society, religion, culture, and science, which have had an influence on gender and sexuality in Asia. People take refuge, growth, diversity and identity in the ideas that are generated in the internet. Some of the supporters of the internet believe that sexual minorities should be considered and allowed to practice their ideologies. There are those who strongly believe that some laws and policies that outlaw sex, pornography, and sexuality material should not be embraced. Strong believers of tradition and culture would view that as moral decay. Given an opportunity, they would impose strict laws that would ensure that people are faithful to Asian norms. There is moral panic among people who support cultural norms. Young people are involved in the ex change and activities on sexuality. The challenge is that the sexuality materials are also related to violence, murder, drugs, gambling, and obscene materials. Young children have access to internet and mobile phones. Religious institutions have strongly increased their campaigns on morality. Some have suggested filtration of unlawful and immoral sites. These actions are to prevent materials on sexuality that may not be appropriate from being accessed on one’s computer internet admittance. It is made possible if a card is used, where internet access blocks specific sites from being accessed. There is a dilemma on the morality of the internet. The internet provides access to material that could destroy morality, while at the same time providing information on heath that could be helpful in dealing with medical issues on sexuality. The material is not categorized and there is no distinct way of excluding a particular area completely. As religious institutions, governments, and other stakeholders promote the development of information technology in the modern world, fears emerge because there is no clear way of regulating the effect of dealing with sexuality and gender issues that raise moral concerns. Developing individual ways of safeguarding oneself from inappropriate content and unsafe networking is the main challenge. It is no wonder that there are gendered sites. For instance, some gendered sites dedicate sites with cars to men and sites with households to women. Content for the young people could be emphasized to allow the young people take control of their sexuality and learn about gender as Asian culture has dictated. The internet sites and cafes are known to have more male clients than female clients. Sexual material showing explicit content tends to give titles that relate the material to women than to men. Like in many parts of the world, homosexuality is not acceptable in Asia (Tan 2009). Homosexual and transgender people have who have been di sproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections are treated with hostility by members of the Asian community. Those seeking treatment face discrimination when accessing healthcare. Sex workers face similar challenges as homosexuals. The Asian culture discourages promiscuity and prostitution. Those who do not conform to the laid down rules on sexuality and gender are not identified as true followers of the Asian culture. They are considered to have deviated from the teachings of the culture. Religious institutions fear that people are strongly getting entangled with the fast growing technology that provides materials on sexuality and gender. It is no wonder that those who purchase, participate, and visit the sites are people belonging to specific religions. Churches, mosques, and other religious institutions fear that some believers are strongly trapped by their sexuality. The other alternative would be to withdraw access to those sites, which may not be applicable or ma y work for a short time. There is more knowledge about sex and gender than there was before. People are able to express themselves more openly through the internet than was the case before. However, the developments challenge the existing traditions and norms. Norms and culture that held people together and gave understanding of sexuality and gender could be eroded. People identify with one another to find identity and feel a sense of citizenship when discussing matters of gender and sexuality. Conclusion Asian gender and sexuality has contributed to identity and citizenship in the community. Gender roles are well defined and are known by the citizens. The law recognizes the norms and culture. Policies that foster and support the norms together with culture are enacted. These policies promote equality and good relations among the Asians. Discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender in all aspects is discouraged. Technology has played a major part in defining today’s gen der and sexuality perspectives. The emerging technologies have increasingly created and distributed content that raise concerns. The norms and culture that are used as a foundation for the Asians state that all people are entitled to their rights irrespective of their gender and sexuality. There are specific laws and policies that take care of special groups such as women, homosexuals, and transsexuals who have faced discrimination because of gender or sexuality. The challenge is that the government may not be able to control access to explicit material, leaving the task of selecting appropriate sites to individuals. The internet has been used to organize people with similar interests together, where they have shared concerns and experiences. Social networks have been used for supporting sexual and gender minorities. Some sites are configured to suit either men or women. Technology allows people to make choices concerning their reproductive health and sexuality. Access to the materi al makes the Asian community develop identities and exercise their rights as citizens. Reference List Jensen, B 2002, A Handbook of Media and Communication Research, Routledge, New York. Levinson, P 1999, Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium, Routledge, London. McLuhan, M 1994, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Routledge, London. McLuhan, M. and Fiore, Q 1967, The Medium is the Messagem, Penguin, Harmondsworth. Misra, G Chandiramani, R 2005, Sexuality, Gender and Rights: Exploring Theory and Practice in South and Southeast Asia, SAGE, India. Peletz, G 2011, Gender, Sexuality and Body politics in Modern Asia. Web. Slocum, H 2009, Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak, Harper Perennial, New York. Tan, L 2009, Reflections on Digital ICTs, Gender and Sexuality in Asia. Web. Thornburgh, D and Lin, S 2002, Youth, Pornography and the Internet, National Academies Press, Washington, DC. Toffler, A 1980, The Third Wave, Collins, London.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Hydraulic fracturing Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Hydraulic fracturing - Essay Example After hydraulic fracturing, the pressure in the well is dropped and the water containing unconfined natural gas flow back to the well head at the surface leading to the formation of dykes and veins. Moreover, devoid of hydraulic fracturing, shale deposits would not generate natural gas and most low-permeability deposits would not be economical. Concerns about the excessive use of hydraulic fracturing have been raised by the public in the United States, and world wide due to the large volumes of water needed, the chemicals added to fracturing fluids, and the need to dispose off the fluids after wells have been accomplished. Consequently, the environmental impacts of â€Å"hydraulic fracturing† include contamination of aquifers and ground water. By far, this is the most serious local environmental concern and possibly the most controversial concern. The potential threat to ground water comes from two sources namely the pumped fluid comprising of the mixture of water plus chemical, surface spills and the released natural gas. Secondly, chemical additives impact. Indeed, defining the acidic level of additives used in the fracking phase should be rather modest and measurable scientific duty; nevertheless, in some countries fracking enterprises are under no lawful obligation to proclaim the correct alignment of this mixture. The third impact is blow outs whereby if the liquid pumped does not break the rock volume around the bottom of the well as projected. As a result, the high fluid pressure drives the fluid into other open and other leaking paths. The paths include the pumping well bore, as well as other boreholes in the surrounding area that are not ceiled fully to accommodate the high pressures. This results to, explosive outbreak of drilling fluids and/or oil and gas from the adjacent wells resulting to pre-existing pervious connectivity at depth. The fourth

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Relationship with Boss Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 words

Relationship with Boss - Essay Example The traditional concept was top-down approach and there was no question of managing the relationship with the boss. However, in the modern context, the concept has changed and the both-way approach has begun to prevail within the various organizations. In present times, the subordinates are required to develop certain traits through which their relationship with the boss can be managed effectively. According to Geisler (2011), knowledge about the working habits of the boss is essential for the subordinates in order to manage the relationship. It has also been observed that the subordinates should communicate with the boss in the way which is liked by the latter. The values of the boss are required to be recognized by the subordinate and he or she should try to align the boss’s values with his or her own. The structure of this paper will be focused upon the various approaches mentioned by the writers of the two articles. In this section of the research paper, the understanding of the subordinate or the manager of the retail chain (about herself) will be discussed. The manager should be specific about the fact that in her relationship with the boss, she is holding one part, the other part being the boss. Hence, for making the relationship effective, the manager should understand her own necessities along with strengths and weaknesses and personal style. Although it is not possible to change the nature of any person and so do the boss and the subordinate, the manager should strive for recognizing her personal traits that are hindering the growth of an effective relationship with the boss. The manager should then try out ways through which her discrepancies can be eradicated and the relationship can be made worthy.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Administrative Law Rev Essay Example for Free

Administrative Law Rev Essay Freedom of Information Act 1982 is entirely in the interest of public who can have access to various documents of government of Victoria and its public agencies for verification or for any other useful purpose.   The sole objective of FOI Act is to bring awareness among public whether the functioning and operations of government are in order   and how public analyze the same. Section 22 provides about the charges to be paid for having access to specific documents.   The section provides technical details of payment of fee that is calculated with time that is taken for search of documents.    This is particularly due to the fact that   the time taken for search of documents may vary depending on the date of publication of document. This is also in order to reduce the payment of fee to be paid by public.   All sectors of public may not afford to pay high rate of fees for having access to government documents.   In view of such as these reasons, hourly rate and time taken for search of documents has been included in this section. The section also covers transcription (h)   and routine requests (g)   and in case of inspection of documents no charge shall be calculated (f) in pursuance of Section 8(1) or 11(1). Section 27 clearly states about reasons of refusal of documents by a Minister of state to that effect, applicant shall be informed about the reasons in writing.   This section is somewhat complicated with the fact that a minister or a government official is a servant of public and with that motive, public must be provided access to the documents which is the sole purpose of FOI Act. This section is likely to give rise to conflicts between and may bring a deep dissatisfaction to public. Some of the documents that contain health information are also restricted with the provisions of Health   Records Act 2001, which of these reasons are also to be stated to applicant.   Although there are clauses for applying of review of decisions, launch complain to Ombudsmen, it is both time consuming and   undecisive for applicants to move further with such grievances. Section 50 deals with applications for review which would be pending with Tribunal for decisions.   This may pertain to a request for document, charge made, decision for access, or any other specific request regarding information under FOI Act.  Ã‚  Ã‚   The Tribunal in all respects has to deal with each individual case, giving its due importance of provisions along with genuine reasons. This section is in favor of public, as Tribunal shall reconsiders and reviews the decisions and grants permissions to public in various aspects that are relevant to FOI Act. The Tribunal may refuse the decision of Minister or agency and give an order in favor of public. Those issues or requests for documents which were not considered by Minister, are very well resolved at Tribunal by applicants. Section 51 states that an applicant may apply to Principal officer or Minister for review of decision, which was given in the deemed absence within 28 days   for review of decision or refusing to give access to health documents as per Section 36 of Health Records Act 2001. This section offers powers and opportunities to public   for   reconsideration of requests for having access to documents.   Applicants have to be excessively vigilant in deriving the maximum benefit from the government bodies and officials.  Ã‚  Ã‚   This section is both useful for public and for principal officers to check the veracity of facts in all respects. Section 51A  Ã‚  Ã‚   deals with conciliation of Health Service Commissioner   which state that issues that were deferring in Section 50 and 51 in the matters of health documents, may suitably be taken up by applicant with this section and apply for Health Service Commissioner’s decision.   In case Health Service Commissioner fails to conciliate a request, to that effect an notice in writing must be issued to both applicant and Principal Officer. This appears as a last resort for applicant as the decision of Health Service Commissioner is the final approach for an applicant. Conclusion The enactment of FOI is made with a view of regularizing the functioning and to increase the   working efficiency of governments.   Apart from this fact, the public are also provided an in-depth knowledge about information and working status of governments. Although there are many technicalities involved in FOI Act, each section, sub-section and clause, a significance of reason is attached to it for the benefit of both public and governing bodies.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Geometry in Gothic Architecture Essays -- Architecture

Introduction The 12th Century saw the move away from the Romanesque architecture which had typified the preceding centuries to the era of the great Gothic cathedrals which were to become the architectural symbol of the middle ages. The transformation was not simply one of size or scope but a manifestation of the cultural shifts which were occurring as the medieval age commenced. By this time, numbers and geometry had acquired a metaphysical significance and were believed to have occult symbolism and power. The introduction of sacred geometry into all aspects of the design of places of worship was therefore inevitable and from that time key design features such as the numbers of pillars in the choir, the layout of the floor plan and faà §ade were significantly influenced by the perceived significance of these theories. To understand in more depth how numbers and geometry were incorporated into architectural design it is interesting to first consider the characteristics of gothic architecture and in particular why they were such an influence on cathedral design. I will in the following use Chartres cathedral in France as an example which illustrates the impact of these influences. Political and Economical Background During the 12th Century, for the first time since the end of the Roman Empire, cities once again began to grow. Their wealth this time was built on the robust economic structures around banking and trade, rather than on conquest and slavery which had characterised the previous centuries. Financial wealth was emerging as the determinant of social standing rather than the historic influence of the church and preceding empires. The Age of Faith was emerging and knowledge was increasingly informed by both a ... ...sidered perfect. The original master builder used the shape of the hexagon in deciding where to place the transept walls. All these examples are evidence of the fact that geometry had such a crucial role to play in the design of the cathedral. In summary it is clear that as geometry and mathematics had become hugely important to the people of the middle ages, due to not only the ideas of philosophers and mathematicians, but also because of the political, economical and theological development of the period. The belief that geometry and number was a link to God was so strong that it influenced the Gothic style in a number of ways. Maybe it is this fact that mathematics was so intentionally incorporated, is one of the main reasons why these cathedrals remain such a great importance to us so many years later, not only as a place of worship, but also as a work of art.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

HAPA children Essay

The present paper describes the results extracted from qualitative naturalistic ethnographic observation that was conducted among the sample of college students, both multi- (â€Å"Hapa†) and monoracial, to investigate their childhood experiences in regard to racial identity. The research immersed the concepts of â€Å"race† as a new social construct and of multiracial identity against the three coping strategies: a race-conscious, a race-neutral, and a class-conscious one. To reflect the multiplicity and worthiness of individual responses, the method of in-depth interview was chosen. Results showed that there is strong correlation between racial identity in comfortable/uncomfortable self-positioning and the socio-economic status of the family, psychological climate within a family, the presence/absence of role-models, and the degree of racial awareness in the broader (school) context. More research is needed to assess the type of correlation between multiracial identity in regard to â€Å"Hapa† children and educational level of their parents, the period of naturalization in the current locality, and gender of â€Å"Hapa† subjects, as well as the effect of coping strategies on multiracial identity. Introduction The word race refers to a class of people who are perceived as physically unique on the basis of certain traits, such as skin color, hair texture, and facial features. These unique features allow people to distinguish others’ origins based on their appearance. However, when interracial marriage became more popular, the population of mixed-raced children increased dramatically, and people can no longer identify others’ race based on their appearance. Interracial relationships became a trend and part of American culture. The U.   S. earlier census established six categories for race: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White, and Hispanic or Latino. However, in the 2000 Census there were already sixty-three categories for race (there were eleven subcategories under â€Å"Hispanic ethnicity† alone). Interracial marriages include unions among these 63 groups. Regardless of what types of ethnic groups are involved in the relationships, one important outcome of these relationships is children. An identity crisis has become the most debated issue about mixed-raced children. The research will focus on the identity development of one distinct mixed-raced group, the Hapa. â€Å"Hapa† is a Hawaiian word used to describe half-Hawaiian mixed-raced children. Nowadays, the word â€Å"Hapa† has become a popular term to describe half Asian and half White children. The research will compare the differences in developing identity between Hapa children (a mixed-raced group) and children of a single race. It is argued here that Hapa children tend to have a harder time when developing their identity in comparison to children of a single race. Cross’ model of Black racial identity development (Cross, 1971; found in Tatum, 2004, p. 117+) was adopted to assess individual perceptions and experiences in regard to race and identity within a sample of college students. Modern discourse on the issues of race and multiraciality was analyzed to identify four possible sets of factors (socio-economic status, the SES, acculturation, national origin, and demographic characteristics; in Morning, 2001, p. 61+) affecting self-identification in a race-biased context. The U. S. college students were recruited to participate in the survey on the point. The present research fits into the paradigm of qualitative, naturalistic and ethnographic research (Boas, 1943; Blumer, 1969; Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Woods, 1992; LeCompte and Preissle, 1993; in Cohen et al. , 2000, p. 136). (3) It is qualitative since it operates non-numeric data, i. e. the data is derived from observations and conversations and not from statistic analysis. The aforementioned respondents shared their feelings and attitudes on the point of racial issues in political, cultural, and social spheres in regard to phenotypical and ideological conceptualizations of â€Å"race. † The research is naturalistic since the testing of hypotheses took place in natural and naturalistic environments as opposed to artificial and controlled settings such as laboratories. The research is ethnographic since it dealt with people in their variety and subjectivity of perceptions but still constituting a cultural group (â€Å"Hapas†). Thus, the key characteristics of qualitative, naturalistic and ethnographic research being the set of flexible constructions of meanings on the issue of â€Å"race† taken by the â€Å"insiders† of a community can be observed here. The present research paper is structured along the traditional model. In the Literature review section, current interpretations of race, multiraciality and identity development are analyzed to be applied further to the current research. In the Method section, the research strategies and tools of the present investigation are discussed within the framework of qualitative, naturalistic and ethnographic investigation. In the subsequent sections, the data collected through the questionnaires and interviews is discussed. The Conclusion section summarizes the facts revealed in the survey and restates the hypothesis to arrive at the implications for the further study and practice in regard to the issues of race and identity. Literature review Spencer underlined that multiracial identity is deeply rooted in the assumptions â€Å"that race exists and that the offspring of persons from two different racial groups is a multiracial individual† (1999, p. 88). There is a popular concept of phenotypes or â€Å"physical expressions of genetic inheritances† (Ifekwunigwe, 2004, p. 4) lying in the foundation of the theory about human races. Recently, however, more and more researchers have started to argue the notion of â€Å"discrete or pure biological ‘races’† (Jones 1996, Rose et al. 1984; in Ifekwunigwe, 2004, p. 3). They stressed the importance of internal differences that persisted within a group modeled as a solid biological race. The modern concept of racial formation predicts that race is a social construct to a greater extent than a biological one. Ropp drew a bottom line in the argument stating that multiracial subjects did not fit into the biological race network (2004, p. 263). Omi and Winant defined the process of racial formation as â€Å"the socio-historical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed† (1994, p. 55). In the first edition of the book, they argued that â€Å"racialization [is the] extension of racial meaning to a previously racially unclassified relationship, social practice of group† (Omi & Winant, 1986, p. 64). Williams stressed that â€Å"races have been socially constructed in such a way that they have remained separate, monoracially-boundaried, exclusive, and unequal† (p. 168). The reference to races being created â€Å"socially† implies that people create the network of prejudices, attitudes and perceptions masking their personal and political bias by referring to skin, hair and other physical or â€Å"phenotypical† parameters.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Quality analysis for data in route optimization - Free Essay Example

Sample details Pages: 27 Words: 7984 Downloads: 10 Date added: 2017/06/26 Category Statistics Essay Did you like this example? 1 Introduction 1.1 Background In the first quarter of 2009, Itella Oyj, the company in charge of postal services within Finland, initiated a project to optimize their delivery routes in both Early Morning Delivery and Daily Mail Delivery. The main goal of this project was to make more efficient the delivery processes due to changing trends in demands of conventional methods of information and mail communication. Adapting to these changing trends meant more than just the maintenance of financial growth but also conformation to higher standards for achieving a greener environment. Don’t waste time! Our writers will create an original "Quality analysis for data in route optimization" essay for you Create order Previously, route measurement had being done by regional planners who used conventional means of route measurement. This meant physically travelling to the various regions and measuring and calculating distances according to set parameters. This project intended to streamline this process by adaptation of new systems and integration with already existing ones which we shall look at later. 1.2 Purpose of the thesis However, as it is with many new company projects in their initial stages; challenges are inevitable all sorts of problems are likely to be encountered. One of the major issues faced in the project is ensuring that the data used in the process of route optimization is in tip top shape. Problems with quality in the data have resulted in nearly sabotaging obstacles to the optimization process. These problems have resulted in delays in schedules and thus increase in costs for the company. There have also being high unbudgeted costs due to corrections of faults. The purpose of this thesis is to examine and analyze current quality for data used in route optimization, and possibly formulate quality standards from the analysis done. The research questions are therefore broadly divided into four as listed below; What is data quality? What is the importance of certain quality levels for the company? What are the methods used to describe and analyze data quality and data quality process? What is the current level of quality and have the resources invested being worthwhile? The above questions give a guideline of the issues we shall look more deeply into in this paper. 2 Literature Review 2.1 Quality 2.1.1 Introduction This chapter captures the definition of quality and more specifically data quality and its importance to a companys processes and benefits of good quality as well as issues that require paramount concern with regard to maintaining good Quality. The line between the data quality and process quality as we shall see is pretty thin and therefore these two elements shall be referred to many times in this document. 2.1.2 Defining Quality To be able to understand data quality, quality in itself has to be defined. Quality has, for the past few decades, been considered the cornerstone for excellence and competitive edge for a majority of companies that have gained a stronghold in their areas of operations. Just like beauty, quality is in the eyes of the beholder and in a business environment, the beholder is always the client or end-user, In other words, quality is whatever the customer says it is. Many scholars have come up with different definitions of quality and sometime you have to narrow down to the nature, degree and rationale you are considering in your definition of quality. According to Ivancevich et al. (2003) Quality is the function of policy, information, engineering and design, materials, equipment, people, and field support. Quality means getting it right first time, rather than merely laying down acceptable level of quality (Philip Crosby, 1995). Quality is the degree that something will conform to the requirements. This needs to be defined firstly in terms of parameters or characteristics, which vary within processes. For example, for a mechanical or electronic product these parameters would be performance, reliability, safety and appearance. Quality is being creative, innovative, fluid and forthright. (Drucker, Peter (1985). Innovation and entrepreneurship. Harper Row) 2.1.3 What then is data quality Data Quality(acronym DQ) is a process entity that is multidimensional. The multidimensional aspect is due to the complexity of this entity and the difficulty to singularly define it. Leo Pipino and Co., in article on Data Quality Assessment, defined data quality as having more than 10 dimensions. However, other experts have analyzed these dimensions and have narrowed them to following; accuracy, consistency, completeness, timeliness and auditability. (Andrew Greenyer, vice president, international marketing for Pitneys group also notes that in addition to these aspects, an organization should also make sure that everyone has a common understanding of what the data represents. (Andrew Greenyer on November 26, 2007) https://www.customerthink.com/article/importance_quality_control_how_good_data Below is an excerpt from Excution MIH that aims at defining these 5 dimensions. Accuracy of data is the degree to which data correctly reflects the real world object OR an event being described example an address of customer in a customer database is the real address. Completeness of data is the extent to which the expected attributes of data are provided. For example, customer data is considered as complete if all customer addresses, contact details and other information are available Consistency of Data means that data across the enterprise should be in synch with each other. For example, if a customer changes their address but they are still linked to both the old and new addresses. Data Timeliness This is is an aspect that is reflected in how deadlines and schedules are met within a process. In addition, this is also the availability of data when it is needed. Data Auditability is its ability to be examined and analyzed to determine its level of accuracy and possible discrepancies or inconsistencies With this in mind we can therefore conclusively state that data quality is a continuously adaptive state of being in a no-error zone as a result of continuous engagement in functions that aim at achieving efficiency and accuracy in results as well as processes. 2.2 Types of quality Jean, from International food safety and Quality Network, defines quality in two ways. It can be either subjective or objective. He states that objective quality is the degree to which a process or the outcome of a process sticks within a predetermined set of criteria, which are presumed essential to the ultimate value it provides. On the other hand, he continues to describe the other side of quality which is subjective. This kind of quality is the level of perceived value reported by the end-user who benefits from a process or its outcome. Example: pain relief provided by a medication. In both cases he links quality to the ultimate end-product from a process. It is difficult to separate this two especially when thinking about route optimization since both go hand in hand. In an article of data quality assessment, Leo L. Pipino and company discuss about three important steps a company should take to improve process and data quality as a whole. These are: Performing subjective and objective data quality assessments; Comparing the results of the assessments, identifying discrepancies, and determining root causes of discrepancies; and Determining and taking necessary actions for improvement The FIGURE below gives a clearer picture of the issue discussed above 2.3 Quality Management When a company incorporates quality in its processes, its overall objective is to satisfy the parties involved at low costs while maintaining process efficiency. Quality is an ever evolving perception determined by the value provided by the end result of a process. In other words, quality is an adaptive process in its own capacity that is receptive to changes within a process as it matures and other alternatives emerge as a basis for comparison. Eventually, the basis for assessing how a companys process incorporates quality is evaluated by the end-result in terms of cost savings; resources used and increased value to the company from the process. Quality in a process is not what the investor puts in but what the end-user gets out and what the customer is willing to pay for in the end result. Quality means best for the following conditions (a) the actual use and (b) the selling price (Feigenbaum, 1983). Therefore if the companys processes ignore quality the eventuality is low customer satisfaction which leads them to reducing their investments or spending interests for the company. Consequently this leads to reduced incomes and as result diminished mark up. This simply means that since quality within a companys processes has an effect its financial value through both costs and incomes, it is the backbone of being a niche company in the area of your operation. Quality Management means that the organizations culture is defined by and supports the constant attainment of customer satisfaction through an integrated system of tools, techniques, and training (Sashkin Kiser, 1993).This definition further emphasizes the need for the organizations culture to fully support quality at all times in its operation by making it an integral part of the company, the center nut that glues the companys activities. Most importantly and especially with reference to this research, this entails continuous improvements to the processes, functions and systems. At a bare minimum no shoddy work should be part of the company, from the top management to the bottom. It should be engraved in the companys culture and code of conduct that quality is part and parcel of the companys operations. It is almost impossible to separate the processes and functions from human factors. Management as well as employees derive satisfaction and from good results. When quality has being properly integrated into a companys culture, the results generate emotions and feelings within the parties who have being involved in the process.A result that brings smiles to management, employees and most importantly, the client, defines having achieved good quality. Youll know it, theyll know it, and the company will prosper from it.This is testament to the fact that employees exude a lot of satisfaction when they discover that, not only is management proud of their work but also the customer. 2.4 Benefits of good quality Since we now basically have an understanding of what quality is, why is it then so important to a company to maintain high quality levels for both data and processes? There are certain benefits that are associated with good data quality whict accrue to the company as well as the end user who happens to be the consumer. Good quality is a result of reduction of process and data defects. This is because there is Total Quality Management that promotes quality awareness and participation of all members of the organization. It means quality at the source, which translates to reduced wastage in the companys processes thus translating to cost saving. Good quality data leads to ease of problem solving. Through processes such as failure analysis and measurement standards developed during quality analysis procedures, defects and failures (even potential failures) can be identified with ease, which means that a problem is solved quickly translating to saved man hours. These man hours can then be released to venture into other tasks. For example if a problem is encountered within a companys process, it would be easily solved due to the parameters in place that would help identify the cause of failure and have it addressed. Good quality also makes it easy to give direction for continuous improvement of processes. It also aids in the improvement of systems and increasing employee efficiency. This will be through ensuring that the employees are continuously trained on the importance of embracing quality in their work and always proffering quality services to the customer (end-user). As for the systems, by virtue of being subjected to change and conformance to potentially demanding processes, it becomes easier to identify key areas needing adjustment or improvement.. Good data quality leads to quality results, which in turn translate to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is a key foundation block in not only maintaining profitability but also increasing market share. In addition, a company with satisfied clients is always at an advantage of maintaining its competitive edge in its area of operation. Finally, by reducing data defects and improving systems and personnel efficiency, good quality leads to cost savings and profitability improvement which is the bottom-line for each and every company. With reduced cost of running processes, its anticipated that the revenue of the company will be bolstered. Consequently, it will enable the company to invest much of its profits in increasing the market share by conducting research and development into better ways of improving process and data quality. 2.5 Analyzing quality This far we have looked at what quality is and why it is of importance to a company. The next important question would be how do we determine the level of quality of a subject or object in a company. We saw earlier that quality can be analyzed through subjective or objective assessments. According to Neville Turbit, quality within company projects can be analyzed from either a business perspective or a technical perspective. These are criteria depending on the type of project at hand. Some scholars are also two discuss about two additional ways in a project to analyze quality and that depends a lot on the analyst and how much attention he wishes to give to either. One may analyze end-process or result quality or the project process quality. In route optimization, the two factors go hand in hand and as we shall see later, technical factors have a significant effect on Itellas business. In addition, it will also be relevant not to separate process quality from end-process quality since the deliverables are proportionally linked to each other. Neville goes ahead to list some questions that may arise as we seek to analyze quality within a project. These include: Was the project completed on time? Was the project completed within budget? Did the system meet my needs when it was delivered? Does the system comply with corporate standards for such things as user interface, documentation, naming standards etc.? Is the technology and system stable and maintainable? Is the system well engineered so that it is robust and maintainable? An analysis for data quality in route optimization had not being done before this research. It therefore called for careful thought into the methods I was going to use to analyze various data with the aim of giving viable results. The nature and format of data that was to be analyzed was more or less standard. By this I mean that there was not much variation in data formats and fields regardless of the fact that there were multiple information systems in use. Forming associations and picking out discrepancies within the data was done through a process called data mining. 3 Research Strategy 3.1 Data mining Data mining involves the use of sophisticated data analysis tools to discover previously unknown, valid patterns and relationships in large data sets which may be in quantitative, textual or multimedia form, Jeffrey W. SeifertData Mining:An Overview. Jiawei Han and Micheline Kamber give a more understandable or laymans definition of what data mining is. Simply stated, it refers to extracting or mining knowledge from large amounts of data Data mining concepts and techniques, pg 5 Data miners have over the years used a wide array of parameters to study data. These include Association: patterns where one field in data is connected to another field Sequence or path analysis: patterns where one event leads to another event Classification: identification of new patterns, such as relationships between different fields in the same data Clustering: finding and visually documenting groups of previously unknown facts, such as Geographic location and brand preferences Forecasting: discovering patterns from which one can make reasonable predictions regarding future activities Ref: data mining: an overview However, in addition to getting results from data mining processes, it was vital to have an analysis tool that would enable us to have a clear picture of the quality standard of the analyzed data. To ensure that the analysis of data quality in this research is not only effective but also efficient, data mining has to go hand in hand with a tool that sets quality standards. Over the years many a companies have used total quality management tools which have further being developed into a more vigorous analysis tool known as six sigma. Companies such as motorolla and General motors have proven track records of six sigmas success having saved billions of dollars since over a few years. Itella is a company that is striving to achieve efficiency, reduce process wastage while maintain profitability in a market facing aggressive competition from technological advancements especially in the telecommunications industry. With this in mind, I deemed it fit to use six sigma as an appropriate qual ity tool for this project. So what then is six sigma? 3.2 Six sigma In his book, Mcgraw Hill defines six sigma as a highly technical method, used by engineers and statisticians, to fine-tune products and processes in an aim to position a company for greater customer satisfaction, profitability, and competitiveness. From previous training on six sigma methods, I would say that six sigma is not a single entity but rather a collection of various process and quality analysis tools guided under the six sigma methods. Quality analysis tools include flowcharts, check sheets, Pareto diagrams, cause and effect diagrams, histograms, scatter diagrams, and control charts. Thomas Pyzdek, the Author ofThe Six Sigma Handbook states that for six sigma to make sense, the term quality has to be viewed from two perspectives; potential quality and actual quality. Potential quality is the maximum result achievable from a process while actual quality is the current result achieved from the same process. The gap between these two perspectives is what we term as bad quality / failures or defects. Essentially, the main goal of six sigma is to reduce variations within processes as much as possible. The table below shows the perceived levels of sigma in relation to the number of faults in those levels in a sample of one million instances or opportunities. The less the number of faults within a process, the more the efficient the process is. Many companies have being misled to believe that since the variation between 4th to 6th sigma seems to be very small(within 1%), it is relatively ok if their processes are at 4th sigma. However, as we shall see later on in this paper, the variation in costs for processes falling within various sigma levels is quite significant. Not included in the above table are the other levels of sigma, since sigma is calculated to the 100th point at each level. This makes it more accurate when running bigger analysis. Expenses incurred in correction and elimination of errors, in order to achieve a certain sigma level, are known as costs of poor or bad quality. Six sigma should be well understood and adapted more or less as a company lifestyle for it to achieve its purpose. With reference to previous research, Thomas goes ahead to describe how various levels of sigma affect a company. For companies without six-sigma processes, they incur ridiculously high costs due to bad quality. Companies operating at three or four sigma spend between 25 to 40 percent of their budget revenues fixing problems while those operating at Six Sigma spend less than 5 percent of their revenues fixing problems within processes. The cost of poor quality as compared to six sigma is illustrated in the FIGURE 4 below. 4 Understanding Route Optimization 4.1 Early Morning Delivery (EMD) Systems In EMD, there are different information systems that carry out various functions relating to processes within the department. The main ones are Jakti and Lehtinet. Earlier, when routes were measured manually, the two above were the main and only information systems in use. Additional systems were taken into use with the inception of the Route optimization project. These are Webmap and Routesmart. We shall take a brief look at these systems and their functions as we try to get an understanding of the basics of this research. 4.1.1 Jakti JakTi is an SQL database that holds workspaces with address and route information. There are 2 versions of Jakti, namely A and B. JakTi B is the download manager for workspaces from the main database to a work station, which is a desktop computer or laptop. Jakti A, is the editor tool for the workspace already downloaded onto the workstation. In Jakti A one can create new routes, delete existing ones, add and delete addresses or move them to various routes and also add additional data to the routes. The additional data mentioned above that are added in Jakti A are mostly route parameters used in calculation of route delivery times. These include apartment buildings floor and elevator information, exceptional yard distances and delivery mode. Exceptional yard distances are distances to delivery points which are located within private yards. This is the distance between the point where a deliverer will park their car to the point of actual delivery. There are 3 main delivery modes used by Itella in EMD, namely; delivery by company cars (right handed cars), delivery by private car (left handed cars) and delivery by bike. 4.1.2 Lehtinet Lehtinet is an information system that imports address and route information from Jakti and matches them to newspaper subscriptions from Newspaper Publishers. However the matching is not always at 100% and some errors occur. The 3 common errors in lehtinet are mentioned below. 4.1.2.1 Route number errors These are mostly in areas with new addresses or in areas which have had no EMD before. Since matching data is imported from Jakti, if there is some missing data in Jakti, then there will not be a match in Lehtinet. However if the publishers have correct route information, the subscription will be allocated to the correct route. 4.1.2.2 Address errors Newspaper Publishers could have different address databases than Itella has which results in a conflict when matching the addresses. These errors are mostly misplaced characters within the address or wrongly spelt addresses. And just as in the above case, subscriptions will be allocated to the correct routes, but matching information will be wrong. 4.1.3 Webmap Wikipedia defines Webmap as a standard protocol for serving georeferenced map images over the Internet that are generated by a map server using data from a GIS database. It continues to define A GIS as a system that captures, stores, analyzes, manages and presents data with reference to geographic location data. Simply put, Webmap is a tool used to edit visualized address data by a process called geocoding. With reference to our case, Webmap imports address data from Jakti and presents it as visual data on a map interface as shown by the blue dots in FIGURE 5. A user places the visualized addresses, guided by features on the map interface. This process is known as geocoding. Webmap uses already existing workspaces from the Jakti database. Once a point on webmap has being geocoded, it receives co-ordinates under the KKJ-coordinate system which is used in Finland. After all the addresses have being geocoded, the workspace is returned to the main database, where this co-ordinate information is then stored in Jakti. 4.1.4 Routesmart. RouteSmart is a tool that puts together data from JakTi, Webmap and Lehtinet, and uses variable parameters and functions to calculate routes as defined by a user. There is also one more set of crucial data needed to calculate routes that hasnt being mentioned under the information systems listed above. These are the distances between delivery points which are represented by a detailed set of street networks. Routesmart is also the tool used to visualize and edit street segments and networks. Webmap is just a map interface with non-editable layers that have outlines of street networks which guide a user in geocoding. However these are just the main streets as would be seen on any map interface. Along with these streets on webmap, are also vector lines that are supposed to give a more accurate geographical position of the streets. Due to the parameters agreed upon within Itella and the variation in modes of delivery, the street networks actually used are much more detailed and classified. They are categorized as listed below: CAR: visualized as red lines and these are streets usable by cars WALK-CAR (WC): visualized as blue lines and are connected to car street segments. These are not usable by cars but on foot from the point to where the. WALK-WALK(WW):visualized as green lines STAIRS: visualized as orange lines 4.1.5 Integration of EMD systems The relationship between JakTi, Lehtinet, Webmap and routesmart is illustrated in the picture below. Information that is relayed between theses systems is numbered with letters which are listed below. These systems discussed above hold what would be the foundation data for eventual route planning. As a summary, the data mentioned above is listed: Address and route information Apartment building information Elevator information Yard exception distances Newspaper subscriptions Co-ordinate information Street networks All the above data except for street networks are directly linked to delivery points. An address is attached to what we call a delivery point, which is a term also used to refer to visualized addresses on either Webmap or RouteSmart. Addresses in the same delivery location for example an apartment building with several apartments, are put under the same group. In reference to delivery points, I shall use two terms to differentiate between grouped addresses and single addresses, service location and service point. A service location is the individual delivery point in a group while a service point is the whole group. However, data in these systems is not compatible and for RouteSmart to be able to handle it, it needs to be put together in a uniform format understandable by the system. This is done by means of an ETL download. 4.2 ETL download. ETL stands for extract, transform, and load. By running an ETL download, relevant data that we have looked at earlier is extracted from JakTi, lehtinet and webmap, transformed into a format recognizable by Routesmart then downloaded onto Routesmart for manipulation. Information on an ETL file relates mainly to delivery points. There are several column fields on an ETL download which represent various parameters drawn from relevant systems. 4.2.1 ETL Download Fields Part of the analysis done in this research was derived from analysis of the ETL file. It is therefore important that the major fields or columns that have relevance to the analysis be explained in a little more detail. 4.2.1.1 Jakti ID This column, column A below, has a number that identifies a delivery point in JakTi. This number should be unique to every delivery point. It is automatically generated and follows the common upper-bit/lower-bit binary numbers. In the early days when EMD started using Jakti, this system was already being used by daily mail which uses the same data base of addresses. To avoid large amounts of work, many of the addresses were copied from daily mail to EMD workspaces. What this meant is that many of the delivery points shared the same attributes. It is therefore possible that one address, although in different workspaces could be sharing the japi ID. 4.2.1.2 Jakti Object Id and Jakti element ID A Jakti object is a subgroup is Jakti while an element is a larger group that holds the smaller subgroups. The Ids in this case refer to the unique numbers each object and element have. A subgroup for example would be an apartment building with many delivery points. These delivery points are grouped together under a Jakti Object. 4.2.1.3 Jakti internal sequence The simplest way to define Jakti internal sequence would be to give an example of what it is. Every delivery object begins with jakti internal sequence nuber 1. This sequence runs sequentially until the next object. In other words this is a numbering system for delivery points in the same group. 4.2.1.4 Extra Distance There are certain parameters used in Itella that are used to calculate various elements in route planning. Extra distance is one of the results from those parameters. Extra distance is any additional distance within an apartment building, covered by walking during delivery. 4.2.1.5 Route number and route Sequence Route number is basically a number that is unique to planned areas of delivery. Route sequence in an ETL file is a sequential numbering of the delivery points according to their delivery order. 4.2.1.6 X and Y co-ordinates X and Y co-ordinate information is data that comes from webmap. Once a delivery point has being made in Jakti and has being transferred to webmap, the point is geocoded after which it takes the co-ordinate acquires the co-ordinates for the location that it has being placed on, in a webmaps map interface. This information is stored in Jaktis main database and during and after an ETL download, it is shown in the columns below. The co-ordinate system used here is KKJ, which is what has being used across finland since the late 1960s. KKJ is a 2-dimensional co-ordinate system and so the height of different areas is not depicted in an ETL file. 4.1.2.7 Floor and elevator The information found in these two columns relates to apartment buildings that normally have more than one storey. On the column marked floors, the number of floors in a storey apartment building are marked numerically. Only the first delivery point in a group of addresses in an apartment building will be marked with the number of floors in that apartment. The elevator column is only marked by 1s and 0s. 1 represents a building that has an elevator while 0 represents a bulding without an elevator. 5. Analysis Elements At the beginning of the research, it was agreed that I would focus on 4 main areas that had already undergone at least one optimization phase. These areas or regions were Jyvskyl, Vaasa, Nurmijrvi and Salo. The fact that these regions also had a diverse scope of delivery types and data also facilitated the decision to focus on them. Having undergone one optimization process already meant it would be easier to make comparisons on variations from data initially used to the current data. In between these phases of optimization there had being large resource investments to correct quality issues as well as prepare data for the next phase of optimization. Therefore through the analysis we would be able to conclusively state whether the resources used had returned value through improved data quality. The amount of data to be handled in these four regions was quite large. I therefore decided to use a standard sample from all regions that would reflect a near realistic picture of the situation especially for analysis procedures done using routesmart. I used urban boundaries which were already prebuilt within the system. These are the same urban boundaries used by geographers and statisticians in Finland. Finlands Statistics center defines an urban settlement as an area with residential buildings separated by at most 200 meters apart and with at least 200 inhabitants. Anything else falling outside this is considered as a rural area. In selection of data in urban areas, I increased the boundary by 10 metres to accommodate for service locations whose buildings might be physically within the boundary but whose delivery point is a few meters off the boundary. All in all, there were three data and process analysis elements that this research dwelt on. In addition, there was a financial analysis done from the results derived which was more or less an icing to the cake. These are: Delivery point /service location data in relation to street networks Proximity of service locations to streets in relation to prescribed guidelines Service locations connected to the wrong streets Additional information Geocoded / webmap data vs. jakti data. 5.1 Service locations vs. street networks There are set guidelines that have being given in handling optimization data. This was a good starting point to analyze quality since it was possible to document variations in the data in comparison to the prescribed guidelines. Route optimization guidelines state that in urban areas, all service locations must be within proximity of 10 meters from connectable street networks for optimum results during route calculation. As we saw earlier, there are four categories of street networks. However; service locations can only be connected to two of these; CAR and WALK-CAR. From all the four regions, proximity of service points (delivery groups) from the streets was calculated at intervals of 5 meters, ranging from 10 meters to 60 meters. This analysis was done on routesmart using selection tools. Considering that all the regions had undergone at least one optimization, the analysis was done for both the data used in the first optimization and the current data. If street networks are properly digitized, the ideal result should show that more service points fell within the required proximity. Below is a sample of the table used to collect the results: The idea was to get the percentage number of service points in relation to the total number in that regions urban area, falling under different proximities. The results were then translated onto a graph which also showed the different sigma levels. 5.1.1 Street Networks analysis results All regions generally fell under 3rd level sigma when considering the required proximity of 10 meters. There was however significant improvements in Vaasa since more service points in the new data fell within the requirements as compared to the old data. There was not so much change in Salo while there was a slight decrease in the level of analyzed quality in Jyvskyl. Unfortunately in Nurmijrvi, there was the greatest negative variation in comparison of old and new data. This however should not dim out the fact that out of all the four regions, Nurmijrvi had the highest level of sigma. It is important to note that the R-squared values given for this analysis were relatively high for the sampled data thus the results from this analysis can be effectively used to predict similar terms in other analysis. 5.2 Additional information Additional information in this case refers only to elevator and floor information. The analysis for this element was quite straight forward. The task was to compare data from the regions to data already input into the Jakti. The importance of having all additional information correct is because of the effect that missing data could have on the results from the optimization process. There are separate parameters used to calculate distances and travel times within apartment buildings, and these depend on the availability of floor and elevator information. Comparing the data was the first step. If any discrepancies where found, I tabled them as follows The floor and elevator information in different regions varies a lot so having this reported as for example In Jyvskyl 5 buildings with 4 floors withut elevators, was not a very viable comparison for all the regions. I needed to standardize the discrepancies using the parameters used to calculate apartment building distances and travel times. This allowed me to represent these distance discrepancies as percentages of the total expected distances in that region. The table below shows calculated total distances that should be in the information systems. These totals are calculated from the data that comes from the region vaasa After this, we calculate the total distance represented by the discrepancies found between the ETL file and the regional data as shown below 5.2.1 Additional information analysis results The above steps were carried out for all the regions and below are the compiled results that were gotten from the analysis. Results showed that Vaasa had the least amount of missing data in their databases followed by Salo and Vaasa. From the analysis, Nurmijrvi had the worst result. Jyvskyl is not on the table above because no discrepancies were found in the data. 5.3 Webmap vs. Jakti analysis As discussed earlier in this paper, one of the main methods I used to develop valid analysis results was data mining. There were new relationships and associations between the various fields in an ETL file that I found. There is a direct relationship between Jakti data and geocoded data. In an ideal world, Jakti internal sequence should start at 1 for every identical set of co-ordinates and continue sequentially until the next set of identical co-ordinates. However, there were some discrepancies in the Jakti internal sequence column where the sequence broke off at some point. An example would be a group with sequence starting from 1 to 10 but somewhere in between there appears an odd number that doesnt fall within the sequence. This instance is illustrated in highloghted rows in the diagram below. There are basically two reasons for this occurrence: Error in webmap where the service group has split into two different groups Error in jakti where service locations in different service groups have being joined in webmap. Whichever the case, it was not easy to pick it out directly from the ETL file but these discrepancies were collectively taken under this analysis as an element that represents one dimension of quality. The process of picking out these errors required Excel macros to be made to run this task. There were 3 separate macros made. The functions of these macros were to do the following in this order: Highlight the discrepancies Copy the discrepancies onto a separate worksheet Calculate these discrepancies as percentages of 2 entities As percentages of total service points or groups As percentages of total service locations The difference between 3 (a) and 3 (b) is that in instant A, the single erroneous service locations were individually calculated in relation to the total number of service location in the region. In instant B, the groups that have these erroneous service locations were calculated as percentages of the total number of groups in a region. 5.3.1 Webmap vs. Jakti analysis results The tables above show result from both service groups and service locations. The reason why in Jyvsky and Vaasa, there were bigger percentages for service groups as compared to Nurmijrvi and Salo is because of the difference in type of groups from both regions. In essence this means that some groups have more service locations than others. The above data was then put on a graph and compared to six sigma levels This analysis aimed at mainly showint the level of quality between data that should be in sync in both jakti and webmap. Jyvskyl, Nurmijrvi and Salo had their data falling between the 3rd and 4th sigma levels while Vaasas quality was way below the 3th sigma level. 6. Cost of Quality overview The analysis methods discussed above gave a good picture of different estimated quality errors in mainly street and delivery point data. The question that remained after this was that regardless of the quality issues now, have resources invested and those that are being ivested now, made it worthwhile in improving the process In addition, what is the relation between these perceived costs of quality to costs at various six sigma levels. Efficiency in a process and high quality data means more financial savings within the company. Therefore in my opinion, after all has being said and done, the only measurement to determine the level of quality would eventually be the costs of quality. First n foremost, I needed to gather estimations of used resources in data checks between the first optimization phase and the current situation. This data was available only for work done on delivery points. using unit costs for correction of a single element, that is delivery point or street segment, I calculated the current costs that would be incurred if all the errors were to be elminated. This means my calclation was as follows: ((Number of elements in wrong quality * time taken correct one element)/60) manhours * cost of one man hour. For the street data, I gathered the data on the total number of connectable street segments in the urban area of one region. Due to the high R squared value gotten from the street networks analysis, it was relatively reliable to make proportional comparisons from that analysis directly to streets. This means that I used the percentage gotten from the earlier analysis for service loactions within 10 meters proximity, to get how many street segments would approximately have errors in one workspace. I selected only CAR and WALK-CAR streets, which are the connectable street categories, in urban areas with an allowance on 10 meters from the boundary of the urban area. I went further ahead to calculate the costs for having a particular number of errors for different sigma levels. This analysis gave an insight into the resources, in terms of money, already used, perceived expenses and projections on savings for moving quality to higher sigma levels. 6.1 Cost of quality: streets In the FIGURE 33, the column 10m shows, as per the analysis done above, how much would be the potential costs and work hours invested to check through the streets that are above 10 metres from each region. The first column shows how much the initial budget would be to check all the streets from the regions.The consecutive columns in the FIGURE show how much the costs would be if perceived quality was at the different levels of sigma. FIGURE 34 shows how much would be the perceived savings, as a percentage of the total budget, would be made from each of the regions, if the street quality was at the different levels of sigma shown. This amount is the difference between current perceivable costs of quality to the next level of sigma. From the two FIGUREs above, we can conclusively say that the amount of perceived costs of quality would be somewhat proportional to the size of the region. However, in Salos case, perceived costs are substantially large considering the size of the region. More importantly, the importnace of maintaining quality of streets high is shown by the savings that would be made from a shift to just the next level of sigma. 6.1 Cost of quality: service locations In this analysis, approximations for actual resources used in service location checking for the period between the last optimization phase and now, was available. In the FIGURE 35, the column current quality issues shows required investments to correct current quality issues in the regions. Just like in the previous cost of quality analysis, the consecutive columns in the FIGURE show perceived costs at different levels of sigma. The final column shows how much resources have being currently invested. The financial perspective of the analysis from service locations gave quite some interesting results. Vaasa, the region with the highest amount of invested resources, showed that it needed the highest investment in additional resources to check errors in service locations. Jyvskyl, which is also a relatively large region, also had quite a substantial investment in error checking. This is in comparison to the other two areas, Salo and Nurmijrvi. The current costs to recheck the service lo cations, from these 3 regions are almost the same. However, considering the size of the region, in Salo and Nurmijrvi, these costs are quite high. It is encouraging to notice that service laction quality is at a higher level than street data quality. This however does not dim out the fact that additional savings could be made from making shifts in quality from one sigma level to another. This perceived savings are shown in the FIGURE 36. 7. Summary The current level of quality for data in Route optimization cannot be collectively summarized. The two subjects analyzed in this paper, those are service locations and street networks, are at different levels of quality. Service locations are at a much better level of quality than street networks. When it comes to resources invested, analyses show that although there are slight improvements in the quality, they do not necessarily accrue to the investment made in all regions. Through review of various documents and interviews with various persons, I found out that there are several possible reasons why results have not necessarily being positive. These include: The continuous repetitive routines for data checks develop uninterest through the checking process. This might result in reduced concentration and negligence of some sought on the part of the worker during handling of the task. Current data check methods are time consuming and are prone to error due to their sense of being manual at many steps. Much of the data in route optimization is numerical. This makes it possible to automate at least part of the checking using associations between these numerical fields. Lack of defined standards to follow up these checks, makes it hard not only to track progress but also to define acceptable levels. Setting acceptable levels of quality, reduces the chances of wasted investments through unnecessary processes. Inconsistency in information flow regarding adjustements to how different data checking processes are handled within the project There have however being significant adjustments made during the course of this research that aim at improving the quality of data. These are mostly system related improvements. 8. Limitations to the research I believe that this research gives a good insight on quality levels and standards within the route optimization project. However, the analyses methods and elements used are just small aspects of data as a whole and therefore might create a few gaps and minor inconsistencies. There are many other aspects of route optimization data that would, and should be looked into, in the process of making conclusive quality statements for the project. In addition, in some of the analyses, actual data would aid to develop this research in the future. On the other hand, this work provides solid groundwork and direction into which Itella should undertake to ensure better efficiency in the projects processes. 8. Conclusion In my opinion, the easiest way to move forward from the results derived in this research would be to create a quality plan. David Loshin states that high quality data requires constant vigilance. By introducing data quality monitoring and reporting policies and protocols, the decisions to acquire and integrate data quality technology become much simpler. Assessment and improvement of data quality is something that should be adopted as a continuous process with both short and long-term goals. Analyses of quality should be done from both subjective and objective perspectives to ensure optimum results. Considering the current level of quality for data in Route optimization, the current short term goals would be to get to the next level of sigma. Six sigma uses a, very simple to define, 5-step method to continuously achieve improvements. This method has being abbreviated as DMAIC. This means Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. This is a process that I believe, by virtue of it having a proven track record, that it would be highly beneficial to Itella. Basically, it means to define the problems and analyses subjects within the project. It means identifying the variables and deliverables within the project and deciding how to analyze their quality. Secondly, continuously measure the performance of the project. This step includes ensuring access the correct data when needed. Third step is to analyze the data using predefined analysis methods. After this, take steps to improve on the problematic areas and finally follow up your process progress. High costs of quality not only reduce profitability, they are also translated directly to the customer. Company processes should not in any way affect their clients. In route optimization, poor data quality has sometimes caused many delays in project implementation and resulted in some unhappy clients. It is also vital that all the employees have an understanding on the companys direction on quality. This plays a big part in understanding why the customer the key focus for the company. With adaptation of six sigma methods and further research into analyzing quality for data in route optimization, I believe that the blissful realm of high quality will eventually come into realization. It takes work and effort to achieve this, but a wise man once said, only by getting stung, does one get to the honey.