Discovering What's Meaningful

Insights Research serves as the foundation of our Discovery work, and as such, underpins the various research analyses that we undertake for clients (e.g. Opportunity Scouting and Scenario Planning).

There are times, however, when our clients are simply looking for the insights gained from this research, rather than more involved analyses. When this is the case, we undertake the relevant research and provide the resultant findings and insights for use in a variety of applications in their own work.

Our Insights Research work involves six distinct types of research. The first four of these we undertake in–house. The latter two we partner with members of our Allied Partner Network to complete.

In–House Research Work

Our four areas of in–house insights research include:

Trends Research

Research into the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal trends impacting various markets.

This is generally referred to as PESTEL analysis. This research can also encompass Trend Watching (observing specific trends over time), Trend Scouting (actively going out and looking for specific trends), and Trendcasting (attempting to extrapolate certain trends in an effort to forecast where they may go). All of these Futuring activities are designed to help our clients develop the Strategic Foresight they need for formulating effective forward–looking business and innovation strategies.

Secondary Market Research

Research into the current state of particular markets – who are the major players and what are their platforms, business models, primary customers, and so forth — and in what ways are all of these things changing?

User Research

Qualitative primary research in which we identify appropriate individuals or groups and then observe them in context using products or receiving services, and otherwise engage them in dialogue about their product / service experiences — before, during, and after the encounter. These observational and contextual inquiry studies are generally undertaken as field work in whatever venues are most conducive to uncovering the needed insights.

Design Research

Qualitative primary research into the detailed interactions between people and products or services. This may include user-interface design studies, usability studies, ergonomics studies, and other types of human-factors studies. These studies may be undertaken as lab work or field work, depending on the situation and the artifacts involved.

Partnered Insights Research Work

Our in–house User and Design Research is what might be thought of as "low–fidelity" qualitative research. We also have at our disposal a large number of "high–definition" primary qualitative research methods, as well as an array of primary quantitative research methods. When these are called for in our work, we partner with members of our Allied Partner Network to help complete the work.

Our two areas of partnered insights research include:

Primary Quantitative Research

This is research undertaken to collect aggregated statistically–valid information that augments qualitative observations, which is then used to help prove or disprove various hypotheses put forth from qualitative research, and to help shape further qualitative research. This primary quantitative research helps us to answer the "What?" questions.

Primary Qualitative Research

This is "high–definition" primary qualitative research designed to get at deeper, more granular levels of detail about users and markets. It can include highly–specialized physiological and psychological studies that dig down into cognitive functions associated with using a product or receiving a service. Examples might include specialized usability studies, eye–tracking studies, conjoint analysis, and so forth. This primary qualitative research helps us to answer the "Why?" questions.

Integration — The Insights Research Report

We skillfully integrate all of our in–house and partnered research findings into a coherent set of insights and document them in a comprehensive Insights Research Report. The resulting insights can then be used for all manner of downstream decision–making.

The Engagement

The Insights Research Engagement typically follows these steps:

  1. We begin by listening to you so as understand your research objectives, and what insights you are trying to get at.
  2. We then develop an Insights Plan outlining the types of research we will need to undertake and their relative order, as well as how these will be integrated to yield a coherent set of insights.
  3. Upon your acceptance, we initiate and manage the end–to–end research endeavor.
  4. If this endeavor is to require more than three months to complete, we will revisit progress, findings, and the overall status with you at least quarterly (preferably more often) to ensure that planned follow–on actions are still pertinent.
  5. If in doing this it is recognized that we need to alter the ensuing Insights Plan, we will then work with you to do such.
  6. As needed and desired, we can submit interim Research Reports to document findings to date.
  7. When finished, we prepare for you a comprehensive Insights Research Report documenting all of the research, observations, and findings.
  8. We then travel to your office and present our observations and findings to your leadership team. We can also lead workshops with any of your staff in order to broadly disseminate these insights into the organization.
  9. As desired, we can assist you with additional follow–on work, such as further research analysis or innovation design work.

Learn more about engaging us for Insights Research.



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