Our Process

How We Do It

Define. Gather.
Report. Enlighten.

Although each one of our research projects is custom-designed, each market research engagement typically follows what we call our Plan-Do-Tell approach.

Plan…

Define the critical questions.

We begin by obtaining a clear view of the decisions you need to make and the information that will help you make them. Perhaps the most valuable service we perform for clients is helping them articulate research questions.

Recommend an approach.

When designing a research plan for our clients, we consider the triple constraints of project time, project cost, and project quality. Answers to critical research questions can be identified quickly, at a relatively low cost, or at a high level of quality — but not all three at once. We help our clients identify their priorities. Or, to paraphrase Matthew Crawford, “Accuracy costs. How accurate do you want to spend?”

Do…

Gather data expertly.

We first review our clients’ existing data and records (i.e., secondary research). By helping clients analyze information they already have, research questions can sometimes be answered quickly and inexpensively. In collecting original data (i.e., primary research), we apply research methods that make the most sense for that client. We’ll recommend one or more methods, such as ethnographic (observational) research, in-depth interviews, focus group / triad research, and scientific surveying via phone, mail, and Internet.

Analyze comprehensively.

Our academic pedigrees, plus our experience in explaining the data, ensure that our reports are thoughtful and focused. For example, our qualitative reports “translate” research responses into useful data. We provide coding of open-ended responses, interpretation and analysis of focus-group results, and summarized findings from structured personal interviews. We’re also number crunchers, with nearly all our research projects including descriptive statistics and correlation analyses. Here’s where our inner scientists are put to work. We use tools such as Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and non-parametric methods (such as Chi Square tests) to look for differences between groups. More advanced techniques, including multiple regression, logistic regression, structural equation modeling, factor analysis, and cluster analysis/segmentation, are used to model complex relationships among variables.

Tell…

Report clearly and concisely.

We produce reports that outline key research findings in a clear, compelling format. Our reports tell a story that’s understandable to everyone in your organization, not just our fellow researchers. We use charts, graphs and tables as appropriate to illustrate data patterns and trends, and our signature “pop-out text boxes” are great showcases for key points. Like our research approach, our reports are customized for each project.

Make strategic recommendations.

Sometimes the research itself makes a compelling read, but our job does not end there. We offer thoughtful advice, too. We know our clients commission research because they want (or need) to make changes. We serve as a business partner, interpreting the data and making shrewd suggestions based on what we’ve learned. We keep in mind budget, timeframe and business goals to ensure our reports offer realistic recommendations you can actually use.