- You use multiple research methodologies. You are familiar with multiple research methods, and can match a project’s goals to the best available method. You don’t assume every project is either a survey or a focus group.
- You think carefully about sample source. You know when to use panels, communities, social media, and fresh recruiting. You know that all sample sources have limitations, and you don’t just default to the easiest option.
- You have an uncanny ability to challenge your own assumptions. Even when your research points you to what seems like an obvious story, you have the discipline to test other ideas before reaching your conclusion.
- You can write and speak concisely. You know how to make a point with few words. You know bigger words and longer paragraphs don’t impress your audience, they put it to sleep.
- You help people understand how to apply the research. Rather than just delivering research findings and moving on, the awesome researcher gives the client specific examples of how to apply the data. Better still, the awesome researcher checks in with the client after the research is delivered to remind them how the data can be used, because sometimes clients need an extra nudge.
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.