03 Jan Five Market Research and Business Analytics Best Practices to Reduce Risk
In 2021, Axiom executed more market research projects focused on market due diligence than in the past 28 years of its company history. The goals of these projects? Reduce business risk; protect investments in new facilities, plant equipment, and intellectual properties; and improve prediction sales forecasts and demand curves.
Below are 5 best practices that Axiom has found that utilize market research and business analytics to reduce our client’s business risks.
1. Think Beyond Secondary Sources – There’s a plethora of secondary research on various topics from a variety of sources that are good starting points. The challenge is to amplify the secondary information. Our best sources of data typically come from the federal government — Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Assessment, Census Bureau.
2. Identify Market Dynamics – The best way to accomplish this is to complete in-depth interviews or panel market research surveys with customers and channel partners. The in-depth interviews will provide color commentary in the form of quotations or anecdotes that you can use to frame your story. More important, it will help you identify how to form the questions for your panel survey. The panel market research surveys will enable you to quickly and efficiently provide additional quantitative data.
3. Assess Data over the Long-Term — This is fairly cut and dried in established markets; however, it’s much more challenging in emerging markets or markets that where you’re looking at components to manufactured products. When we’re dealing with longer term time horizons, we typically employ Delphi panels in which experts are anonymously polled. The results are then redistributed to the panel and repolled. The process is repeated until the group arrives at a general consensus.
4. Model the Data – Modeling the data based on various scenarios is important. This can only be accomplished given an in-depth understanding of market structure and market forces. The modeling method is as important as is the modeling tool. We’ve specialized in time series modeling methods so we can remove the noise from data for more accurate trend line forecasts.
5. Visualize the Data – Data visualization is critical to effective decision making. It’s important to identify in advance which chart and graph formats will be most effective given your audience and the decisions they need to make. We often use color, shapes/icons and size of the shape/icon to tell data stories quickly and spotlight key information. Our most useful data visualization and modeling tools include Tableau and Dundas BI.
If you are new to market research, here is a great resource from G2 on What is Market Research. It is a great primer to understand the terminology and types of research available.