How to prepare, research

30 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
How to prepare, research

eBusiness Weekly

Dr Linda Haj Omar

Research by definition is a process of systematic inquiry that entails the collection of data; documentation of critical information; and analysis and interpretation of that data/information, in accordance with suitable methodologies set by the researcher.

On the other hand, Research also means how individuals or businesses collect and analyse data that forms the basis for accurate business decisions and the development of practical marketing plans, staffing decisions and even expansions.

Critical areas such as environmental impacts, health care, and social programmes are better formulated through thorough research. Research is a critical determinant for an organisations’ goals when effectively executed, it can help management to make informed long-term and evidence-based decisions.

The word research is derived from the Middle French “recherche”, which means “to go about seeking”, the term itself being derived from the Old French term “recerchier” a compound word from “re-” + “cerchier”, or “sercher”, meaning ‘search’. The earliest recorded use of the term was in 1577. Synonyms for the word research include; analysis, exploration, inquiry, investigation, probe, delving, experimentation and groundwork.

Preparing the Research

For purposes of this column, the focus be on four (4) steps that are critical to preparing effective research, those are as follow:

Identify your problem. This step is critical as it sets both the tone and foundation of the research undertaken Create a research plan. As with any task, planning is critical as it sets the steps to be undertaken, area(s) to be covered, resources to be expended and personal to be engaged.

Craft research instruments. These ordinarily include tests, surveys, scales, questionnaires, or even checklists Analyse data and create report. This is the final stage of the research, preparing the report includes determining the report’s purpose as reports generally vary depending on their ultimate purpose, define metrics and data sources and last preparing the final report.

Types of Research Methods

There are two main ways to gather information and collect actionable data these are, the primary and secondary research methods.

  1. Primary Research

Primary research is the process of gathering first-hand information about your target market. You can get this data from varying sources, including focus groups, surveys and questionnaires. As a means for gathering market intelligence for small businesses, primary research is ideal for understanding consumer-held perceptions. It also reveals the actual user experience a customer has with a product or service.

Primary research includes:

In-depth interviews: One-on-one discussions to get more insights into a participant’s beliefs on a particular topic or product. They can be face-to-face, online or over the phone.

Observational research: You can opt to observe people quietly in a natural environment to gather critical information. For instance, you can watch how a retail shop handles its customers as they walk in and out of the store.

Surveys: Customer surveys are among the most common methods product managers use while conducting a research study.

Focus groups: A focus group is a carefully selected group of participants brought together to discuss a topic. This research is ideal when physical interaction with a product or service is necessary to collect data.

Primary Research works best when focus group organisers include allowing interviewees to watch demo videos, test new products or answer specific research questions.

  1. Secondary Research

Secondary research uses public data and information other people have collected, including reports and market statistics. Secondary research gives a generalized view of market trends and customer behaviour as it relies on the business’s internal sales and marketing records. Common sources for secondary research include:

Public sources: Government statistics are the most common public sources of market research. The Central Statistics Office is a valuable source of information for new business start-ups. Public sources are by nature cost-effective as a means for gathering data, especially for small businesses, but they do not provide current market trends as at times the records would be out of touch with prevailing market trends.

Internal sources: This is derived from the business’ previously collected data such as employee interviews, and sales and marketing campaign data, these can help the researcher can help draw conclusions from which decisions can be made. ommercial sources: These are mostly market reports with industry-specific insights compiled by research agencies.

Importance of Research for Businesses

Research plays varied roles in a business, often depending on the rationale behind why a company initiates it in the first place. Research helps companies identify potential and new customers, while on the same, providing an understanding of current customers.  Once information is gathered, pragmatic goals can be established including productive market strategies. Research works like a telescope to a business, providing a panoramic view of the market-place through which managers can address business challenges and build business expansion plans.  It is imperative for a business to have well-researched and processed information for it to thrive, plan and make sound decisions.

Having a partner such as a Medlico Research and Training centre gives businesses access to our team which boasts an extensive experience in research and data process and analytics.   Having such an experienced team means all the steps involved in research from reparation, development of questionnaires, fieldwork, data processing and report writing are all done in-house, thus guaranteeing clients confidentiality for all information gathered.

Medlico Research and Training centre has capacity to undertake research on behalf of Government Ministries and departments, NGOs before preparation of proposals or to ascertain the effectiveness of their intervention programmes and also private companies in areas such as customer satisfaction surveys.


Dr Linda Haj Omar, is the Founder & CEO of Medlico Research & Training Centre. For more information/ inquires Visit: 4 Lanark Belgravia, Harare – Zimbabwe

Tel: (+263) 242 702326/7; WhatsApp: +263 777 553011/12

Email: [email protected]

Share This:

Sponsored Links