4 Foolproof Tactics to Prove the Value of Your Research
“So what does this research actually tell us?”
“Tell me something I don’t already know.”
Whether you’re a market research manager or the head of customer insights at a large company, you’re all too familiar with responses like these. Even when you’ve screened and tested your survey questions, made sure the methodology is airtight and correctly analyzed the resulting data, your boss always seems to want more answers.
In fact, nearly 91 percent of C-level executives say they aren’t getting the answers they want from market research.
Since proving the value of data can be an uphill battle for any researcher, I’ve compiled a few tactics from MRWeek that will help you deliver digestible, valuable and impressive insights to the right people.
Understand Your Audience
If you want to become your organization’s most valuable researcher, you need to know your audience. This doesn’t mean simply knowing your respondents or making sure that your sample actually represents the population—you should already be doing that. I’m talking about knowing which individuals will be looking at your data so you can understand what answers and insights they need to do their job.
In his MRweek webinar, Daniel Wain reminded viewers that research holds little value if it doesn’t make sense to the decision makers. So before you send out that research brief or build robust visualizations in Tableau, make sure your data actually answers the questions your audience needs answers to. You’ll also want to spend some time thinking about the best way to communicate the resulting insights. Ask yourself, does my audience need one simple chart to understand the results of my study? Or should I create more detailed written content and pair it with data visualizations?
Translate Difficult-to-Understand Data
Part of telling a strong story is making sure that you’re speaking the language of your audience. People on the receiving end of your data typically aren’t researchers so you’re in charge of cutting through the data to make your research understandable and actionable.
This process may be as simple as laying out the data and following it up with a two-sentence synopsis. But you might also need to edit and filter your data in a way that makes it simple enough for even the most research illiterate individuals to understand. As I alluded to before, great visuals can make all the difference.
Be a Storyteller
Too often researchers master the collection of information but they fail to develop the skills necessary to deliver insights. Daniel Wain told MRweek viewers that storytelling is the key to ensuring insights get to the right people and make an impact. The best researchers don’t just throw insights together into one big brief, asking their audience to dig through all the data. They collect data and then focus on finding a story that will bring the insights to life for their audience.
As the researcher, you’re the one in the trenches. No one knows the information better than you do, which means no one is as well-equipped to turn that information into a captivating story. It doesn’t matter whether you tell that story in a verbal presentation or you take the time to craft visualizations and a written brief—just make sure that your story cuts through the information clutter, engages your audience and delivers a clear message.
Don’t just be a researcher. Be the creator and the builder of an insightful story.
Deliver Real Insights
In the business world, we use insight to describe facts, data or understanding. But if you’re a researcher, you need to do more than deliver facts and data points. You need to make sure that those data points answer the right questions and drive value.
Insights tell everyone in the board room which steps they need to take next. Insights are the combination of facts and data that inform decisions and drive change. With help from a robust survey platform and strong reporting tools, imagine the insights you can offer to your organization.
For more tips and tricks to help you prove the value of your research, check out MRweek. We’ve made all the content available on demand!