Welcome back. Work break is over for the most part. I hope everyone had as great a holiday season as I did. Fully refreshed, recharged and ready to tackle a new year!
In this blog entry I am going to focus on companies who are considering conducting research themselves. Perhaps it is the first time you are doing research or perhaps it is the first time you are considering doing research without the help of an external research company.
The research basics
First, let me explain that conducting research is not something that should be taken lightly. It is a science that absolutely requires education and training in order to do it correctly. One needs to fully understand how to design a survey instrument, as well as properly analyze the results. That is not to say that only market research companies can conduct research. Training is available through the various research associations and degree-granting institutions. Learning the research process should be one of the first and most important steps undertaken in considering conducting research for your organization internally. I highly recommend that you look into what training exists and either learn it yourself or have someone within your organization learn how to properly conduct research. Hiring an external consultant to assist with the survey design and analysis of the results is another good intermediate step between outsourcing and doing the entire job in-house.
Create your own surveys internally
Whether you are a researcher who comes from the industry, an individual who was educated in conducting research or someone who is interested in learning more on how to conduct research, there are many tools available today to assist companies conduct their own research in-house once they know which direction they would like to take with their research.
Granted, some research is better handled by external market research companies. I am not here to suggest what research should be outsourced and which should be done in-house. Though I can provide guidance of various tools that exist and what types of projects are well suited for conducting research yourself.
There are many research methodologies:
- Mail surveys
- Telephone surveys
- Web surveys
- Focus Groups
Reasons to create your internal surveys
Web surveying lends itself very well to being administered by organizations in-house. The resources required are minimal; no interviewers, no phone room, no focus group facility. There are also many Web survey turnkey solutions where you program the survey, send out the email invites, monitor the progress of the study and abstract the results for reporting.
The most obvious and number one reason for a business to administer their own research in-house is cost savings. Speed, agility and control over the content, which can be both beneficial and constraining, depending on who is asking what questions, are others.
Three of the most common and important types of research being conducted in-house today are the following:
- Customer Satisfaction
- Employee Satisfaction
- Employee Performance / Evaluation
These three types of surveys lend themselves very well to on-line web based surveying. There are a number of websites and resources out there to assist you in when, how and why to conduct research. I am listing a couple here but feel free to share your sources.
- How To Do Your Own Market Research (About.com)
- Why Do Market Research (Government of Western Australia)
Regardless if you decide to take on your own research projects in-house or hire an expert firm to help you with your study, I really highly recommend that you consider conducting research this year if you haven’t done so in the past. The results will most likely surprise you and you will be very happy you did.
I welcome your thoughts and comments. Do not hesitate to post your thoughts below and I will respond. You can also contact me at email@example.com.
“PS: If you think this is information other research specialists might find useful, tweet about it!’”
Posted by Eric Perreault