The Art & Science of Interpreting Market Research Evidence

The Art & Science of Interpreting Market Research Evidence

The Art & Science of Interpreting Market Research Evidence

The Art & Science of Interpreting Market Research Evidence

Synopsis

The Art and Science of Interpreting Market Research Evidence offers a complete account of the way today's researchers interpret evidence and apply it to decision making. David Smith and Jonathan Fletcher show how to assess your current deciphering processes, and present an innovative framework integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches for analysing complex data-sets. With its holistic approach to interpretation and its 10-step process for making it work in practice, this book will equip you with a deep understanding of data analysis and ultimately improve your judgment to produce better business decisions. "This is modern commercial research, where the mind of the researcher is finally acknowledged as admissible data. Prior knowledge, pragmatism, experience are all robust grist to the 'holistic' research mill. A must-read for anyone getting to grips with 21st century market research." Virginia Valentine, Semiotic Solutions

Excerpt

It is a great pleasure to write a foreword to this book. I believe that the contents have the potential to lead a major step forward in the way in which managers in organizations use and apply evidence and fact-based knowledge to make decisions.

It is stunning that across wholly diverse industrial sectors—for example, look at market leader characteristics all the way from high technology at Dell Computers to marketing grocery and household products at Tesco stores—we are finally realizing that those who know more outperform the rest. Superiority in learning and sustaining that advantage through the constant search for new insights and better understanding of the drivers of customer value in the marketplace has proved to be one of the most critical corporate competencies. Yet, it is a source of competitive advantage we have underestimated so much that we have not even found a name for it.

We do know, however, that enhancing capabilities in learning faster and better than the competition to build sustained competitive advantage through superior knowledge requires far more than acquiring techniques and technology for data collection and analysis. the volume of data that the technology can produce, and the precise measurement that data collection and analysis tools can provide are important resources. However, at best they are part of the total array of clues and insights that build superior understanding of the marketplace. To believe that they are the only ways to generate and test new ways of doing things is as fatuous as pursuing the tired debate about the relative merits of quantitative and qualitative research designs. Such introspective obsessions lead us to miss the real point.

That point is the prime goal of: building understanding and insight; sensing and anticipating change; and value innovation for superior performance. Important progress towards meeting this elusive goal can be made by emphasizing the interpretation of the whole array of evidence available, regardless of type, not simply reporting data, and working with decision-makers to develop effective and sustained learning processes. the approach in this book provides a valuable framework for implementing these priorities.

There can never have been a time when the need for evidence-based knowledge as the basis for management decision-making was greater. It is timely for . . .

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