Conducting Preliminary Analysis as Part of the Market Research Process
Following a set process for your startup market research is a sure-fire way of getting the best results. Once you have set your research objectives, written your questionnaire and launched your survey or conducted some interviews, the next key step is to do some preliminary analysis.
Preliminary Market Research
Market research firms use mid-point reviews when they are working on client projects to ensure that the final analysis is in line with expectations and that it offers the client maximum value.
The mind-point review is a critical phase of the project, where they share some of the results with the company sponsoring the research. The rest of the project may change depending on how this session goes and in some instances the project can change dramatically after the mid-point review.
On one particular project, we were conducting qualitative interviews with roughly 20 questions. One particular question was throwing up responses that no one had really thought about and this changed the focus of the project significantly. For the remaining interviews we placed a lot more emphasis on this question, asking a couple of extra questions around it as well to try and draw out more detail. This helped us to explain some of the responses that we had from the original participants. When we came to present the final results, we were well positioned to answer some of the more difficult questions from the sponsor. If we hadn’t had the mid-point review, we’d have never known how important it would be to shift the focus of the project.
This is something that you should do with your own market research projects. Do some analysis of the results half way through and assess whether the output is in line with what you were expecting, or whether you need to ask some additional questions to understand the responses in greater depth.
Benefits of Preliminary Analysis
As a startup this preliminary analysis will be a useful milestone to help keep your research on track and it offers a number of benefits:
- It will help you to get a sense for how many interviews / survey responses you need in order to achieve your research objectives.
- It will allow you to check that people are answering the questions in the manner that you intended, and give you the opportunity to tweak the questionnaire if not
- It will help you to see if there are any gaps in the data that you have collected so far, where you may need to answer some extra questions
- It will highlight interesting responses that you had not previously considered, that you can delve into in more depth in future interviews.
A further benefit is that it gives you insight into the analysis that you can start acting on right away, allowing you to keep the momentum in your business building. Being close the responses is and having the ability to pivot as soon as you see the output of the research is also a key reason why you should take on your own market research projects, rather than employing the services of an agency. An agency may discard comments that you actually find very interesting, resulting in a missed opportunity for your business.
Ultimately, closely following the market research process and taking the time to do some preliminary analysis will help to ensure that you get the very best and most insightful information to drive your business forward.