Structured sense-making

Date of publication: November 20, 2008

Author: Richard Radka

Abstract:

As providers of 'research' we conduct inquiry into consumer behavior in order to generate new insights. However, raw data are not insights. Observations without context provide very limited utility; defining sexy new trends each year is no basis for understanding; and academic theory is hard to apply directly within industry. This presentation will explore how using rigorous, transparent analysis and synthesis processes can provide more practical guidance for strategic decision-making. By changing emphasis from how we gather to how we interpret, we also shift focus to the 'sense-making' aspects of our work, changing the perceived outcomes from description to prescription. Openly sharing how we transform data into insights makes it easier to integrate all types of qualitative and quantitative research techniques. It also enables clients to see our work, understand it, and engage with it directly it gives them a reason to believe in our guidance.

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