Steps In Report Writing – Market Research

April 30, 2020

Report Writing involves many steps but in this blog areas which are very important in every report will be explained. Report Writing normally contains headings such as Introduction, details about secondary Research and/or Primary Research, Analysis based on any of the two research types i.e. qualitative and quantitative followed by recommendation and Conclusion.

The introduction of the report provides an overview of the purpose of conducting any research and also its objectives.

This is followed by Methodology i.e. secondary research, primary research, or a mix of both. Simultaneously, research can be quantitative or qualitative. Secondary research can be quantified using simple statistical operations. Whereas Primary research is based upon qualitative attributes seeking opinions, views, and ideas from respondents. Each has its own way of interpretation.

In this blog, you can find details on how to prepare a very comprehensive report with a step by step guide on Quantitative and Qualitative Research Report Writing as followed by Ace Research.

Quantitative Research

Secondary Research      

  • Make Headings/Sections

If the data has to come from secondary sources make sure you make proper heading and sections for each category of secondary data. Secondary research contains data that is obtained from online available information such as, previous reports, scientific journals, online articles or organizational databases.

  • Search Relevant and Up to date Data

Secondary data should not be more than two years old, except in those cases where data is not available older data not more than 5 years can be cited/ used for reference. Too old data may net help in generalizability and cannot be used to infer outcomes.

  • Proper Referencing is important

Always maintain the record of sources from where you acquired the secondary information. Use authentic sources and double check the validity of data across different data sources if available. It is recommended to use APA format for referencing.

Primary Data

  • Compile Data in Excel

In quantitative research you compile all data in excel, either it is online or paper based. Remember when designing a questionnaire you will have to maintain logic against each question and answer. The proper scale should be adopted for quantification of responses, otherwise if systematically not designed, after gathering all the data you might struggle as to how to arrange the data for extracting meaningful information or cross analysis.

Data Cleaning

Data cleaning comes after when you have exported and compiled data in Excel. When you get the data it might have human errors although in the training phase emphasis is placed to ensure minimum errors in data.

To clear the errors you must have to check all the responses against any spelling/grammatical mistakes, numerical errors, wrong responses, blank responses etc.

  • Adjust Blank Responses

Blank’s data/incomplete data have to be assessed critically. If you have lots of blanks in any question you can either discard them if the information provided is not very meaningful. Similarly, in case of a few blanks questions you can depict the trend of responses by responding and it can be filled accordingly. Remember, this holds true only if trends can help you in filling those blanks otherwise state N/A.

  • Make Individual Excel sheets

For each question in the questionnaire you can create separate sheets as it helps to make analysis easier. This will be done after you have completely cleaned the data.

  • Maintain Separate Files for Complex Questions

In case some questions are complex or have multiple layers of response you may analyze them separately. This is helpful because if you made too many sheets in a single file, analysis can become very difficult.

  • Use a pivot table in Excel

A pivot table is best for quick analysis. If you have questions in which you have to analyze the trend between two variables uses a simple pivot table. You can use a variety of charts to analyze your question. For this you must have Excel 2013 or latest.

  • Make Graphs

Graphs are really helpful in analyzing the situation and if you have made graphs it is suggested to use 3d bars with percentages so you can reflect the assessment in a precise and clear manner.

  • Highlight Information in Graphs

For clarity, you can highlight important information in the Graphs. For instance, the highest bar in the histogram can be highlighted.

  • Copy Graphs in Ms. Word

Once you have run all the operations in excel, now it’s time to embed the workings in the report. For this, you will copy all the graphs into word files with proper labels and headings.

  • Comments on Each Graph

For each graph, you can put comments to explain your analysis.

Qualitative Research

Secondary Research      

Follow the same steps as described in Quantitative analysis.

Primary Research

  • Transcripts (IDIs / FGDs)

Make headings and sections for transcript, this will serve as an outline for transcribing recorded interviews.

Once the interview is conducted you must draft a document in which sections should be maintained for each of the discussion areas and after this, each response from respondents i.e. either a single respondent in case of IDI or group of respondents in FGD should be carefully written adhering to the sequence of discussion.

  • Highlighting Main points

Make a table that consists of very brief and relevant response against each question by respondent. Once you have transcribed all the recordings now you can assess them for the individual’s response. For IDI’s it is easier as there is only one respondent but for FGD as there are many respondents you can make a grid and record each respondents response against questions asked. Remember in this stage you are highlighting important points only.

  • Extract findings and recommendations

While extracting important points from a transcripts highlight relevant findings and recommendations, maintain heading for both at the end of report

As you have prepared a transcript for the whole session and also highlighted each individual’s response in case of FGD now you can extract all relevant findings and recommendations from all discussions for Report Writing.

Final Report Glimpse

  1. Make the content outline
  2. Enter data (Follow the Aforementioned sequence)
  3. After Analysis is performed and Final Draft Prepared, review thoroughly for spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes or/and any contradictory statements.
  4. Revisit Deliverables of the report and match with the content of the report before submission to the client.

Long Term Benefits of Market Research

February 26, 2020

Market research should never be underestimated. Many successful new businesses enjoy longevity because their owners conduct regular market research to understand their target market, identify consumer problems and pinpoint realistic competitors. In Pakistan, companies undermine the long term benefits of market research. Least weightage is assigned to market research when deciding relevant markets for products and services. Companies do have provision for market research but are reluctant to invest in getting a real-time market assessment and as a result, often their strategies and policies are ineffective in capturing a true market share of forecasted targets. This leads to inconsistency in growth, earning and customer retention in the longer run.

Market Research is the simplest way for entrepreneurs to keep up with market trends and maintain a competitive edge by sizing up your business opportunity.

Market research can be carried out at various stages of a business life cycle, from pre-launch and beyond. Having a greater understanding of your marketplace from the very start will enable you to create a sound business strategy to establish and grow your brand into one that’s better than the competition.

Market Research Objectives

The scope of the market research you’ll undertake is influenced by your overall objectives – what do you want to learn about your market and the external factors influencing it?

The objectives will also determine the types of market research that you need to undertake in order to be successful: Research could be Primary market research or Secondary market research.

Long term Benefits of Market Research:

  • It helps businesses strengthen their position.

Knowledge is power. Use market research to gain a better perspective and understanding of your market or target audience and ensure that your firm stays ahead of the competition.

  • It minimizes any investment risk.

This is a simple but vitally important and often business-critical consideration. Spending what is often only a small proportion of your investment in researching and testing the market, product, concept or idea makes sound business sense.

  • It identifies potential threats and opportunities.

Both primary research (fieldwork) and secondary research (desk research) can be utilized as an insurance policy against both obvious dangers on the road ahead. Coupling this with some qualitative research for deeper probing can highlight certain opportunities or warning signs that may otherwise have been missed.

  • It helps to discover yours and your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s vitally important to adopt an ‘eye’s wide open’ approach to any market research project which is why it’s often advised to work with a market research agency to ensure completely unbiased reporting. Use research findings to adapt and learn from your weaknesses whilst capitalizing on your new-found knowledge from competitor analysis to take advantage and forge ahead of the pack.

  • It facilitates strategic planning.

What is the foundation of your business strategy? If it’s evidence-based and you’ve taken the time to invest in your own (and hopefully ongoing) research, you can be confident that you’ve given yourself the best chance to achieve your business goals.

  • It helps in spotting emerging trends.

Staying ahead in business is often about being the first, being the best or doing something that no-one else has thought about. Regularly taking the ‘pulse’ of what’s hot and what’s not in your industry is a key discipline. Speak to your research agency or research consultant about the range of techniques you can employ to spot and exploit these trends.

  • It assists businesses to stay ahead of the competition.

Being the best demands a relentlessness to keep getting the basics right combined with a curiosity and willingness to innovate. Knowing how to leverage the findings and insights you extract from market research, audience research and data research are the keys to both getting ahead and staying ahead.

  • It provides revenue projections.

A market forecast is a core component of a market analysis projecting the future numbers, characteristics, and trends in your target market. Potential customers can then be divided into segments. You want to focus on the best market – which is not necessarily the largest one or the market with the highest growth – it will be the one that matches your company profile.

  • It focuses on customer needs and demands.

There are so many important reasons to keep your customers at the center of all that you do in business and the same goes for research. With so many ways to reach customers using online panels, web communities, telephone surveys, depth interviews, and focus groups, market research keeps you attentive to where you can improve your proposition, customer service or product offering.

  • Target Audience ‘Core Essential for Business Growth’

Most new businesses will encounter three different types of customer i.e. the ‘savvy’ purchaser;

A ‘savvy’ customer is someone likely to be aware of all the prices offered by your major competitors. Another type is of the industry influencer, someone that is not only highly knowledgeable about your target market; they can also influence other prospective customers that trust their opinion. Last but not least the end-user; they are a type of customer that will use your products or services on a day-to-day basis.

  • It helps to evaluate the success of business against benchmarks.

An International survey found that companies that benchmark achieve 69% faster growth and 45% greater productivity than those that don’t. Use market research for competitor research, employee engagement surveys, and to highlight performance or knowledge gaps and areas for potential growth. This will open your company up to thinking about new methods, ideas, and tools to improve your business effectiveness.