Latest Rockin’ Article

Oct
0

Article Synopsis: Quantitative or Qualitative Research Methods, Let’s Go Back to the Basics

Quirk’s October 2014
“Quant or qual, let’s go back to the basics”
By Kevin Gray

Kevin Gray’s article is chock full of tips, reminding market researchers to pay as much attention to “how they think” as they do to what research methods they use. He offers his thoughts on what he calls “research thinking.”

Gray breaks research thinking into specific parts: verifying data, defining relationships, understanding and avoiding data interpretation traps, and probabilities versus categories.  In verifying data, not only must researchers be sure to uncover flaws in the raw data, but also be aware of inferring cause and effect relationships. Additionally, when investigating relationships within data, different statistical methods and models can give different readings.  Gray states, “Causation requires correlation of some kind but correlation and causation are not the same.”

When looking at probabilities and categories, Gray cautions the researcher to, “Avoid confusing the possible with the plausible and the plausible with fact. It’s also not difficult, though, to miss something of genuine practical significance that lies hidden beneath the surface of our data.”

Additional tips from the author:

  • Do your homework. Many phenomena have more than one cause.
  • When designing research, first consider who will be using the results, how the results will be used and when they will be used, and then work backward into the methodology. Don’t let the tools be the boss. 
    • This point really resonates; in today’s world, researchers can get distracted by technology that may or may not have merit.  So it is easy to select the shiny new tool even if it is not the right fit.

Two more great tips:

  • Develop hypotheses, even rough ones, to help clarify your thinking when designing research.
    • This  may sound obvious but it is often overlooked. As a result, we have all seen cases of muddy thinking resulting in weak research.
  • Take care not to over-interpret data.
    • Or, as some researchers say, “don’t beat your data to death.”

Gray’s tips are a good reminder to market researchers to be aware of their “research thinking.”

This synopsis was written by Lynn Croft, independent marketing and market research consultant. With 15 years of experience at companies such as Genzyme, Bayer Corporation, Shire, and Eli Lilly, Lynn has expertise in market research and market analysis regarding product launches, pricing and lifecycle management. 

0 Comments
Sep

12 Actionable Tips from the 2014 MRA Corporate Researcher’s Conference

The MRA’s Corporate Researcher’s Conference (CRC) was full of great sessions and first-class attendees. And I came home with a pile of business cards that are covered with scribbled down notes for follow-up. If you didn’t make it to CRC this year, here is a sampling of my notes from this 2.5 day event.

0 Comments READ MORE
Sep

Your Chance to Win a Year of Free Market Research Training: Deadline for Entry 9/26/14

Ever wish you had a bigger market research training budget? Then enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win a year of free training….

0 Comments READ MORE
Sep

Getting Your Training Requests Approved: All in the Timing

Here are three tips to keep in mind when submitting your training budget request:
1.Add context. When submitting your training request, put it in context. Rather than simply say, “I want to take a class on writing qualitative research reports,” show why. For example, “I want to learn new

0 Comments READ MORE
Aug

5 Ways You Know You Are an Awesome Market Researcher

Are there other attributes of an awesome researcher? Of course. But these five are the core. Make sure you have these nailed, and your clients will quickly begin to appreciate your awesomeness. …

7 Comments READ MORE
Aug

Market Research Training Giveaway Rules

Giveaway Rules NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE THE CHANCES OF WINNING. 1. […]

0 Comments READ MORE
Aug
Aug

Article Synopsis: Listening In on Social Media: A Joint Model of Sentiment and Venue Format Choice

The results from the authors’ modeling shows that the inferences marketing researchers obtain from monitoring social media are dependent on where they “listen.” For example, Facebook tends to be more positive, and Twitter more negative in the opinions expressed, …

0 Comments READ MORE
Jul

Article Synopsis: The High Price of Customer Satisfaction

Highly satisfied customers = revenue dollars. Or do they? Some data has shown that the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer spending behavior is surprisingly weak. 1 In this article, the authors share…

0 Comments READ MORE
Jul

Article Synopsis: Still Full of Beanz (Effective Data Management)

Using a philosophy of test and learn, Heinz looks to multiple information sources for research, including electronic-point-of-sale, Nielsen data, panel data, and social media and brand monitoring. One such panel, Heinz 57, is an online community of 300 consumers that the company uses as a source of customer feedback.

0 Comments READ MORE