4 Ways to Add Insights to Market Research Reports

"Here's your raw data and a pie chart, my work is done", said no market research firm ever. At least not a good market research firm or one with passionate employees. The whole idea behind market research is to provide clarification, insights, and takeaways from statistics.

The data is the end of the story, it's the beginning.

Perhaps no step of the market research process is more fun than writing a report and running analysis. All of the hard work and sweat that went into collecting hundreds or thousands of survey completes, all of the fine tuning with programming, all of the client communication through the kickoff and meetings has led to now.

It's your time to shine. As I've said before market research is a very service-oriented business. The report is the one tangible deliverable and product that client's will walk-away with and keep. It is the final step of the market research process and one that will make a lasting impact.

Okay, back to the report.

Finally you have a chance to get your hands dirty and dig into the data. When I say dig I mean really dig. A few charts and graphs is not enough, the best market research firms and analysts want to peel back a layer, and then another layer, and another layer.

4 Ways to Add Insights to Market Research Reports

When it comes to market research analysis, this movie quote always hits home with me. It's from the movie Moneyball. This interaction below is Billy Beane, the A's General Manager discussing his first assignment with Peter Brand, his new Analytics guru hire.

Peter Brands first assignment was an easy one for an Analytics guru. Provide an evaluation on 3 of the A's players.

Peter Brand: "Hey, Billy. I wanted you to see these player evaluations that you asked me to do."

Billy Beane: "I asked you to do three."

Peter Brand: "Yeah."

Billy Beane: "To evaluate three players?"

Peter Brand: "Yeah."

Billy Beane: "How many did you do?"

Peter Brand: "Forty seven."

Billy Beane: "Okay."

Peter Brand: "Actually, fifty one. I don't know why I lied just then."

As a market research firm and analyst, we always should provide more to our clients. That client could be your sales team, your manager, or your customer. We ask more from our market research and we think you should too.

By the way, if you're looking for 4 market research lessons from Moneyball, here you go.

Our market research firm serving Buffalo and Upstate New York knows how to dive deep into analysis and provide you with another level of insights.

Here are 4 ways your market research firm should be providing additional insights into your market research report. This additional analysis provides organizations with new takeaways and action items that may not have been evident with basic analysis.

They include the incorporation of cross-tabulations, secondary research, industry benchmarks, and prior market research studies.


All summary reports from a market research firm should offer question-by-question results. For example here are the results from Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. However, are you left wondering how Q1 responses would look compared to those who answered "yes" or "no" in Q3? This is what is called a cross-tabulation or cross-tab.

Cross-tabulations are often run for demographic questions like age, income, geography, gender, customer versus non-customer, etc. These cross-tabs provide additional insight as another layer to the market research analysis.

For example, did you know customers who have been with you longer than 10 years rate your customer service higher? What about customers who left you in the past year were significantly more likely to rate shipping time lower in satisfaction. Or did you know those in the Northeast parts of the U.S. are significantly more likely to use competitors than those in other regions?

These are all examples of findings generated from cross-tabulations in a market research report.

Secondary Research

First off, if you are unfamiliar with the term secondary research, read more here.

We make it a point in our market research firm reports to conduct some secondary research as part of our analysis. We like to find comparison points or similar studies conducted to the custom study we just completed for a client. This additional research can either confirm some of our findings or provide a new perspective on what was thought of as the norm in the industry.

Either way, if there is market research completed on a topic, we can find it. Our secondary research helps us add more depth and perspective to our market research reports.

Industry Benchmarks

"That's great, our NPS is a +24. But how does that compare to all organizations? How does that compare to our industry?" A client would ask this question every time unless they are provided with more context.

Context is vital in market research and so many market research firms fall short here. A number is just a number unless you have something to compare it to. Awareness of 67%, is that good or bad? Customer satisfaction at 78%, is that good or bad?

Our survey platform allows us to compare our clients to a rolling 12-month benchmark for key metrics and KPIs in market research including net promoter score (NPS). Our team also has several resources which offer industry and peer comparisons for those KPIs.

This adds context to our market research reports and helps our clients understand where they sit on the bell curve for each statistic and metric we report on.

Prior Market Research Studies

We don't have experience for nothing. Whether through dialogue or in a report, we use our past industry comparisons and experience to help our clients understand perspective. Although all data, statistics, and recommendations remain confidential with each client, our market research firm learns from each and every project we complete.

We don't call it research for nothing.

Not only do we implement these best practices into our process but we can also replicate these best practices to format a better report, adopt a process to create a better report, or better understand what works and what doesn't. Past experience is another feather in a cap to provide additional context and insights into a market research report for a client.

This experience is acquired over time regardless of how new a market research firm is. If a pilot switches from Delta to American Airlines are they forced to retrain or not use any of the training and flight tips they earned from their decades of experience with Delta? Doesn't make sense right?

Market research firms utilize the background and experience of each and every employee to help their clients interpret and understand the data. The combination of past education, past client experience, and past training is what makes each market research firm unique.

Looking for 6 tips to create a better market research report? Learn more from our Research Analyst, Emily Palermo in the short 4-minute video below.

Drive Research is a Buffalo Market Research Firm.

Contact Us

Drive Research is a Buffalo market research firm serving Western New York, Central New York, and the Capital District. Our Upstate NY company offers are variety of market research services in several industries. Questions? Contact us at 315-303-2040 or email us at [email protected].

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