Best PracticesMarket Research

Principles of Remarkable Research: Part 19 of 20

Remarkable Research Is Clear About the Certainty of Conclusions

Remarkable research distinguishes between conclusions, hypotheses, and “directional” results—and is precise about which is which.

While it may seem obvious to you as a market researcher, it is not always clear to the audience. The person receiving the research results often makes assumptions, which may be incorrect. Common assumptions may be about the research’s scope, thoroughness, and suitability for extrapolation. So when delivering research results, be crystal clear:

  • Are the market research findings firm? Directional? Anecdotal? Or are they just hypotheses that require further investigation?
  • Is the research based on current customers, potential customers, a mix, or some other population all-together? Can we extrapolate findings based on one group to other groups? If so, what is the basis for this?

Communicating both the certainty and context of findings is important; the last thing we want is to have well-intentioned research turned into misinformation. Even if it isn’t deliberate.

[This is the nineteenth article in a series of 20 mini-posts titled, “Principles of Remarkable Research.” Don’t want to miss this series? Subscribe to our blog via email or RSS.]


Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff is founder and lead instructor at Research Rockstar. Over the past 25 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in magazines. She is also a professor at Boston University, where she teaches grad students how to analyze and report quantitative data.

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