Versta Research Post

Dilbert’s Boss: Focus Groups Are Not Reliable

The pointy-hair boss has a point here, even though he does not realize it. From a research perspective, focus groups should provide rich, new, and surprising depths of insight, not necessarily “reliable” data. In fact, that’s why we typically suggest doing multiple focus groups, in different locations, with different types of participants. We want each…

CASRO+MRA = Bland Insights

CASRO+MRA = Bland Insights

Reflecting a shift in how applied research is being organized and used in businesses today, 2017 marks the end of two important market research industry groups, and the beginning of a new one. Gone is the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) founded 37 years ago. Gone is the Marketing Research Association (MRA) founded…

Google Surveys Stumbles with Sneak Peek Mess

Google Surveys Stumbles with Sneak Peek Mess

Sometimes data visualization is too compelling for it’s own good. People are impressed by the beautiful design, and they look right past the utter nonsense being presented. This is “beautifully” illustrated by Google’s rollout of the first of many new features of their survey tool. Here’s the email they sent: We’re excited to announce that…

Good Research Has Insights Baked In

Good Research Has Insights Baked In

Here’s a sobering question for professionals who work in the “insights” industry: How much of your market research really offers insight? Not just validating data, or routine measurements, or pro forma tracking. Not just percentages of “how many said what” in a customized study. By true insight we mean: a direct answer to a deeply…

Lessons from NYT on Data Dump Research

Lessons from NYT on Data Dump Research

I often look to excellent journalism as a model for how researchers should turn data into stories: Do investigative work, interview the right people, analyze the details, then lay out a meaningful and contextualized narrative about the who, what, when, where and why. In fact, when I talk about our research and analysis approach that turns data…

Help Wanted: Smart Researchers Who Interpret Findings

Help Wanted: Smart Researchers Who Interpret Findings

How far should you go when reporting your findings, into the territory of interpreting your findings? An excellent researcher never stops struggling with that question, and the better you are, the more intense the discomfort every time you stretch away from the data to advise on what it all means. The importance of stretching beyond…