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Research Process

Steps of a Research Process

  • Definition and clarification of the problem;
  • Objectives and definition of the information needed;
  • Identify the information sources;
  • Identify the instruments and methods to collect data;
  • Define the type of sample and sample design;
  • Establish the time frame and costs involved;
  • Data retrieval process;
  • Data mining and data processing;
  • Analysis of the data;
  • Report and presentation of the results

Research Process: The Process

Defining the Problem


  • One of the most important steps in any research;
  • Only after identifying the problem is possible to design a research that produces relevant data;
  • The definition of the problem includes the definition of the research goals;
  • Any project requires well defined goals; it's not worth to advance on the process if the goals are not well defined.

What can go wrong

  • Unusefull Solutions - based on badly defined problems, the result of the research will be at the best, ambiguous, it's contribution to the final decision will be minimal.
  • Incorrect Research Design - without a clear defined problem, the research design will be the product of a set of factors that are not related with the resolution of the problem.
  • Incorrect Samples - Focusing the research on the wrong target, the researcher walks away from the real problem.
  • Unusefull Data (or even dangerous) - at the best of chances, might lead to the discussion of interesting subjects, at the worst might lead to wrong decisions.

Design methods and questionnaires to collect data

  • Always when primary data is required:
    • Data should be retrieved by questionnaires or by observation?
    • Questionnaires designed with open or closed questions?
    • The objectives of the research should or not be disclosed?
    • Test the questionnaire.

Definition of sample and data retrieval

  • Define the poll base;
  • Define the process for the sample selection;
  • Define the dimension of the sample;
  • Field work, we need researchers!
  • Selection, training e control of the field researchers.

Analysis and Data Interpretation

  • It's required that the data is analysed considering the problem that leaded to this research;
  • Edition, verify if the questionnaires are complete and are consistent;
  • Coding, to every question there is a numeric code. Can be a long task if the questionnaire has too many open questions.
  • Tabbing, build the data in tables.

Reports and Recommendations

  • The report of the research will be submitted to the management reporting the results and conclusions of the research;
  • It's the most important document to evaluate the executed project;
  • It must be objective and insightful.

Desk Research

Desk Research aims for retrieval, sistemization, processing and analysis of a set of informations (quantitative or qualitative) which might lead to identify solution to the marketing problem previously identified.

Necessary Data Attributes

  • Accessibility;
  • Relevance;
  • Reliability;
  • Sufficiency;

Internal Sources

  • Accounting Data;
  • Sales Reports;
  • Several Reports;
  • Organization Experts.

External Sources

  • Specialized Press;
  • Bibliographic Data Bases;
  • Numeric Data Bases;
  • Sectorial Associations;
  • Governmental Organisms (demographics, wealth, employment, inflation, etc);
  • Market Research and Consulting Organizations;
  • International Organizations;
  • Another Experts