Here at Mackman, clients and colleagues frequently ask – what makes a good researcher?
So we thought we’d sum up some of the qualities we believe make up a great 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. As well as this, it is important they see how the sum of all parts make up the entire intention, without losing hold on the research’s primary objectives. 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 an online opinion survey or a hypothesis testing methodology with multiple phases, it must be managed systematically and follow strict procedures to ensure all steps of the research are carried out efficiently. All whilst importantly adhering 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. Breaking down the process into smaller, more 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 an advantage, as research doesn’t always go as scheduled. Timings will frequently need to be compromised 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 focused at all times and makes firm rational decisions.
A good researcher sees more than that which is directly in front of them. This means that they are watchful and have an inherent instinct to see 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. Therefore, it is important the results remain independent and that insights are built upon the facts and figures. Not influenced by preconceptions, pressure, favourites, labels or trends. Successful researchers are established in evidence and produce insight and strategies.