Updated: Feb 18
Market researchers aim to gather data, analyze it, and produce reports that inform actionable insights. But, why do the efforts of market researcher sometimes fall flat? Why do data gathered sometimes not accurately reflect the insights of the people on the ground? Although the numbers are useful, research can sometimes be lacking one core component: understanding.
Sure, quantitative insights are important and useful when drawing comparisons and measuring rates over time, but a true understanding of the meaning behind the numbers is necessary when keeping the human element of your business in mind.
For example, if someone is asked to compare two products and replies that they are “somewhat dissatisfied” with product A, and “somewhat satisfied” by product B, does that necessarily mean they prefer product B? Or, does that mean that the expectations for product A were higher, but it is still a superior product? Following up to certain answers is crucial for a deeper understanding of the real opinions surrounding your products and brand.
Online communities facilitate these ongoing conversations and allow surveys to be followed up with online discussions or online focus groups. If a certain segment of participants are displaying same opinions about a topic, researchers can group them together and dig deeper into their responses.
Online communities also open up the channels for two-way communication where participants can reach out and get a real response rather than an automated one. Online communities also give moderators the opportunity to ask for clarification about an answer and to ask for more details for short-winded responses from participants.
Ultimately, numbers gathered by surveys are important, but businesses should be conscious that data only matters if it is understood. Gaining understanding around your data will help you maker smarter business decisions, and will help you to be more confident about them as well.