Why is research important?
All organisations need research. It gives you knowledge. It helps you realise whether your clients are satisfied and whether you’re meeting your objectives or need to re-evaluate. It sparks insights on what your audience is missing and how you could plug that gap. For charities and start-ups it is especially important to generate evidence to prove the impact of your work to funders and fuel new growth.
How can we help?
Researchers are trained to look at the world a certain way and apply scientific methodology to answer any question you have. It’s those research skills that ensure the data you’re basing your organisation’s policies, content, or funding bids on, is actually accurate. Otherwise you could be wasting a lot of money and time producing something unhelpful, or even doing harm. We can offer advice at any stage of your research journey, complete discrete projects, or oversee something larger. Our specialisms map on to four key processes.
1. Finding out what is already known
Something here about scoping the literature to understand what has already been done, what is effect and where the gaps are– examples. This is helpful as the answers you are looking for may already be out there – we can find them and make sense of them for you.
2. Collecting data
Research is the art of answering a question. It can involve generating new information, by asking people questions in interviews or surveys, by observing naturalistic activities or auditing current practices.
Interviews tend to generate really rich insights into how people think and feel.
Surveys are fantastic for asking lots of people the same questions so you can visualise trends.
Observations are the most naturalistic and can help you understand how an environment is actually used and how people really behave.
Audits measure ‘what’s currently happening’ and match it to what you want to happen to tell you what is missing.
You can also use existing data. There’s lot of it out there; both raw figures ready to be turned into big(ger) data, or published findings which can be re-examined and pulled together to show you the big picture.
3. Analysis and insights
Analysis is putting your data under the equivalent of a mental microscope and studying emerging themes, or discrepancies, which you then use to answer your key questions. Analysis is complicated. We break it down and present the findings in a way that everyone can understand what the data is saying and why, so you can trust it when you come to decisions that matter.
4. Connect and communicate
You’ve learnt more and now it’s time to share that. If you want to use your new evidence to show funders that you’re worth more money we can support you with your application. If you want to share your knowledge further we are also as experienced at publishing ‘hard science’ as we are writing blogs, articles, or creating events where you can tell the public exactly what you know. We strongly believe in the power of evidence and can connect your work, make your case, and extend your influence.
Not sure which you need? Don’t worry, that’s our job.