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Journal of Business Research

Analyzing and Interpreting Information

❶References 4 The Hartford: Use the copy for making edits, cutting and pasting, etc.

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Wood Mackenzie covers energy and metals. But in each firm, the individual research analysts will have their own patch, and customers will come to them for guidance on the marketplace. What do budding research analysts need on the CV? They almost all work with numbers as much as with words, so Excel skills are important.

The ability to write well is a plus, but accuracy and attention to detail is more important than a talent for creating achingly beautiful prose.

Unlike journalism, where facts, figures and comments have to be attributable to specific sources, anything the research analyst presents will be their own work and their own take on the market. If it's wrong, it's on your head. This makes for a more cautious outlook on committing words to paper, and a working culture which values precision and nuance as much as productivity. It's a varied job and whilst there's a lot of desk-time, you also have to be happy discussing your area with anyone and everyone.

If you specialise in IT and education, for example, expect to find yourself talking to schools and universities about how they use computers. Then there are email and telephone research campaigns to source more detail, talking to suppliers to understand their view of the market, and pouring through published data from a variety of sources.

All this research results in dense reports and complex spreadsheets which capture insights into the market and future opportunities. But not all customers have the time to wade through these. So you'll need to explain it in a format that works for them — at conferences, in private briefings, through comment pieces and articles.

Research analysts may have a background in the industry that they cover, or might join market intelligence firms as a junior analyst or researcher. For those that want more reward and seniority, there will be opportunities in custom consulting projects or in establishing new research practices, but many are content to stay within their sector, building their knowledge and credibility with customers. Therefore, if at all possible, have someone other than the those responsible for the product, service or program to look at and determine research results.

Ensure your research plan is documented so that you can regularly and efficiently carry out your research activities. In your plan, record enough information so that someone outside of the organization can understand what you're researching and how. For example, consider the following format:. To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below.

Each of the related topics includes free, online resources. Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature. Library's Blogs List of Blogs. Add to Library Community Rules Submit your links. Learn Consulting Online Courses. Learn Strategic Planning Online Courses. Always start with your research goals When analyzing data whether from questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, or whatever , always start from review of your research goals, i.

Basic analysis of "quantitative" information for information other than commentary, e. Make copies of your data and store the master copy away. Use the copy for making edits, cutting and pasting, etc.

Tabulate the information, i. For ratings and rankings, consider computing a mean, or average, for each question.

For example, "For question 1, the average ranking was 2. This is more meaningful than indicating, e. Consider conveying the range of answers, e. Basic analysis of "qualitative" information respondents' verbal answers in interviews, focus groups, or written commentary on questionnaires: Read through all the data. Organize comments into similar categories, e. Label the categories or themes, e.

Attempt to identify patterns, or associations and causal relationships in the themes, e. Keep all commentary for several years after completion in case needed for future reference. Interpreting information Attempt to put the information in perspective, e. Consider recommendations to help employees improve the program, product or service; conclusions about program operations or meeting goals, etc. Record conclusions and recommendations in a report, and associate interpretations to justify your conclusions or recommendations.

Also see Analyzing Data and Communicating Results Reporting Results The level and scope of content depends on to whom the report is intended, e. Be sure employees have a chance to carefully review and discuss the report.

Translate recommendations to action plans, including who is going to do what about the research results and by when. The funder may want the report to be delivered as a presentation, accompanied by an overview of the report.

Journal of Business Research

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Want to make your mark as a business analyst? Gain a skill set in business research and analytics with this online short course from the University of Cape Town.

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Business Analytics. Possible projects could include for example statistical investigations of international living standards data, data mining applied to database marketing, to problems in finance or to the adoption of new technologies, or the analysis of textual data applied to business problems.

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Learn about analyzing, interpreting and reporting basic research results in this topic from the Free Management Library. Interpreting and Reporting Basic Research Results Business Data Analysis Business Development Business Ethics Business Planning. Market Research and Analysis in the Business to Business High Technology sectors of IT, Telecommunications and Digital Communications with Business Advantage.

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Business research looks at the qualitative and quantitative analysis of your target market and establishes if there is a group big enough who is in need or really wants your product or service. The Journal of Business Research applies theory developed from business research to actual business situations. Recognizing the intricate.