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Why do Businesses Need Research?
Organizations use different business research methods depending on the requirements of the research. Each method has its own advantage and disadvantage. Let us discuss two key business research methods widely used in organizations, the focus group and its applications and the survey and its application. While each is in itself a valuable method for research, it's important to know the appropriate times for implementation.
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When Should One Use a Focus Group?
The focus group is one of the key research models used in analyzing many factors in businesses. A team of 8-12 members or stakeholders including clients, vendors, employees and users forms a group, and members discuss issues to find solutions.
Have you been given the responsibility of conducting a focus group? If you are the moderator, it is important to learn the intricacies of conducting a focus group interview or meeting.
Project Planning: The focus group comes in handy during a project planning phase. Especially in large projects where the resources and scope of the project are very limited this particular business research methodology helps project managers utilize the resources appropriately.
Improvement Areas: Project managers use focus groups to find the problem areas where the improvement is necessary.
New Process Implementation: Project heads use this method to identify the reactive measures during the implementation of new processes.
Cross Functional Improvement: The communication gaps among teams or between group functions lead to undesirable situation in the projects. This specific research method helps to identify such gaps by providing ideas for process changes or by making better communication plans.
Solve Complex Issues: Project managers use focus groups to gain insight on complex issues involved in the projects. Once the problem is identified accurately, it becomes easy for the managers to find solutions.
Learn how to report focus group findings. This particular method is used to collect and analyze qualitative data in market or business research.
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When Should One Use a Survey?
Surveys are commonly used to collect data through quantitative methods in research. When do companies need to use this quantitative measurement technique?
Find Final Solutions: Surveys are primarily used to find final solutions for marketing issues such as market segment sizes, customer purchasing behavior and customer attrition rate. This method is also used in business issues such as organizational behavior problems, employee attrition rate and employee behavior or psychological issues. For example, survey questionnaires can be used to find out what motivates employees.
Find an Agreement in Complex Situations: At times, organizations struggle to find an agreement on complex issues or situations. They use surveys to identify if there is an agreement among functional groups on particular problems or not.
Larger Client Base: When the client base is huge, identifying pain areas will be very difficult. Qualitative research methods may not help in finding solutions when the population is large. Quantitative methods such as surveys and questionnaires are the best solutions to identify problem areas in such scenarios.
Cause and Effect Relationship: Organizations use surveys to verify occurrences in cause and effect relationships. Without an appropriate analysis or in depth research, one cannot always correlate two variables or find out whether one variable is causing an effect on the other variable. Survey can help to identify whether the effect on one variable is due to the cause of an another variable or vice versa.
Specific Problems and Solutions: When a group struggles to find specific solution to a particular issue, surveys are the best methods which work wonders in problem solving. A focused approach is given to the problem so that the management will be able to find the right solution.
Giving a survey is a proven method to find solutions to the problems identified using a quantitative data.
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Presentation to the Management
Organizations use various business research methods to conduct research for decision making purposes. Whatever the business research method you choose for your organization, focus group or survey, it is important to record and present the data to the management in an appropriate way. Your presentation should properly influence the management so that the findings are approved and the suggested processes or changes are implemented immediately.
Quantitative Vs Qualitative Research - When to Use Which by Michaela Mora, a Survey Expert retrieved at http://www.surveygizmo.com/survey-blog/quantitative-qualitative-research/