There is a researcher within all of us just waiting to be let loose…
Being ‘good’ according to the Oxford English Dictionary can be aligned with a multitude of properties of which high quality, competent and skilful are amongst those listed to name a few. If these qualities have been cited as key requirements in order to fulfil this objective, then surely success can be said to be heavily weighted on the possession of such desirable qualities?
Some may argue that surely this discussion should encompass all ‘good’ values and skills for researching, however we at Ci Research believe that the qualities required to be an experienced researcher can be broken down into more specific core competencies. Although an opinionated subject we would like to share with you the reasons behind our own interpretations of the types of expertise required to be a ‘perfectly formed’ and ‘quality focused’ researcher.
So to begin and in no particular order…
1. An analytical mind
“As a market researcher you are constantly analysing a variety of factors. Why does the client ultimately want to do this research? What is the appropriate methodology? When should this research take place? What are the appropriate questions to ask and how? Why did the respondent say that? What are the findings telling us? Why are they telling us that? How do I best communicate the findings? etc. etc. etc. On a daily basis researchers must be able to take a step back and analyse the situation presented to them. The obvious answer is not necessarily the right one” (Gareth Hodgson)
“You have to be able to see the bigger picture as well as the detail. People often find it easier to do one or the other- it is a skilled researcher that can do both simultaneously” (Richard Walker)
“Interpreting information and data- the ability to not just present the findings of research but to look for all the causal factors behind them” (Ian Brown)
2. A people person
“For clients – the buyers of research would rather work with professional AND friendly consultants. For respondents – to get the best out of interview / focus group participants” (Richard Walker)
3. The ability to stay calm
“It can be really stressful as a researcher sometimes, especially when you have pressing deadlines or are experiencing problems with a data set, for example. When these situations occur, you just have to keep focused and think logically – there will always be an end point, even if it doesn’t feel like it!” (James Oliver)
“Research requires critical analysis but most of all common sense” (Kelly Millen)
“You may have the necessary intelligence but if you are not curious enough then you won’t be passionate about delving deeper to unearth more insight” (Kelly Millen)
“At the end of the day, the role of a market researcher is to find out about other people’s business and tell it to other people. To be a market researcher you have to have an inherent interest in what other people think (potentially about absolutely anything!), and the nosier you are, the greater depth of information you can extract” (Gareth Hodgson)
6. Quick thinker
“Things don’t always go to plan so you need to be able to think fast” (Anthony Shephard)
“It’s a tough job – the hours can be long, the deadlines short” (Richard Walker)
8. Excellent written and verbal communication skills
“So different audiences can clearly understand the findings of the research and what it means for them” (Ian Brown)
“You have to have excellent written communications and be fluent in the language of business” (Richard Walker)
“Having a sympathetic ear when listening to some respondents’ moans and groans is always a good skill to have!” (Lynsey Cargill)
“Check, check and check again. It sounds simple but I’ve definitely learnt that building in a proper amount of time for checking your work always pays dividends. This can be applied to all parts of the research process” (James Oliver)
“Attention to detail- the ability to ensure that data is accurately presented and reported” (Ian Brown)
CALLING ALL OTHER MARKET RESEARCHERS…COME JOIN OUR DEBATE- ARE THERE ANY THAT WE’VE MISSED THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
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