We are frequently asked this question, so we thought we’d sum up the qualities we believe make a good researcher.
From telephone customer research to ethnographic observation, a researcher needs to constantly adapt and objectively analyse. A good researcher is seeking to explore more and to rummage around for other possibilities. It is important they see how the sum of all parts make up the entire intention, without losing hold on the primary objectives for the research. A good researcher will be naturally curious and ask ‘Why did the respondent tell me that and how can I delve respectfully?’ This curiosity also applies to the raw data; through thorough investigation and analysis, a good researcher will convert raw data into useful and actionable insights for the client.
Whether the research project is a quick online opinion survey or a hypothesis testing methodology with multiple phases, it will need to be managed systematically and follow strict procedures to ensure all steps of the research are carried out efficiently and according to strict ethical and data protection guidelines. This requires discipline, good time management and careful attention to detail. A good researcher will inspect their work and processes more than once for precision and control, and break down the process into smaller manageable pieces.
We are a happy research team and love to research! A professional and approachable persona is essential not only to effectively connect with the respondent and to obtain authentic information, but also to build a rapport with the commissioners of the research. We collaborate with our clients to get the best results and agree on a suitable research method compatible with your research question or problem.
The ability to be calm and composed is a huge advantage because research doesn’t always go as scheduled: timings will often need to be shifted to meet with database issues or modifications to the methodology, approaching deadlines can add pressure to writing up the findings and respondents can be unpredictable and sometimes explosive. A good researcher remains focussed at all times and makes firm rational decisions.
A good researcher sees more than that which is directly in front of them. They are watchful and have an inherent instinct to see more than and beyond the situation, object, phrase, reaction put in front of them. They recognise happenings and differences quickly, with a need to learn more and to reflect on what they have discovered. This perceptiveness helps to produce thorough and innovative research.
It goes without saying that a good researcher upholds impartiality and open-mindedness throughout the research process. It is important the results remain independent and insights are built upon the facts and figures and are not influenced by preconceptions, pressure, favourites, labels or trends. The best researchers are grounded in evidence and produce insight and strategies from this position.