The most important piece of any market research study is the report. Why? Because it summarizes all of what your study entailed and discovered.
The most important piece of any market research study is the report. Why? Because it summarizes all of what your study entailed and discovered. Learn about the most important components to include when reporting market research findings.
At Drive Research, we believe a report should go beyond just spreadsheets, graphs, and statistics.
Through several different report offerings and components, we help you interpret the findings and make decisions in a personalized approach.
This blog post will detail what components are included in a report and how they can benefit your company.
Report Component 1: Recap Objectives
The very beginning of a report will recap the objectives of the study that were discussed early in the project. This section will recite why the study is being conducted and what methodology was used.
Albeit a brief presence in a report, the objectives serve as the foundational piece of any study.
Before you review the results, understanding the initial goals of your study will help you put the data into context and answer key questions.
This will also help you stay focused and organized going forward as you enact decisions regarding your product or organization.
Report Component 2: Key Findings
The body of the report will guide through the data collected from the study and offer the key findings.
The reporting component can be presented in a variety of ways:
- Question by question: The findings will be written in the same order as the questions in the survey. This style is easy and consistent for all surveys but may or may not be the best depending on the scope and objectives of the study.
- Theme-based: Suppose you have a survey that covers a variety of topics or wants to measure items against each other (i.e., a logo, slogan, concept). This is where a theme-based layout would be more appropriate. This will save you time from having to sort through all of the questions to find similar results focused around the same or similar ideas.
- Crosstabs: No matter what style you chose, findings from different demographics in the survey (a.k.a. crosstabs) such as age and gender, can be applied to the report. For example, a crosstab key finding would be sub-bulleted below the overall finding for a specific question or theme.
- Question by Question Format: [Q17] Two-thirds (67%) of respondents selected green as their favorite color. However, females were more likely to select pink as their favorite color (60%).
- Theme Format: Theme -- Colors | Green was the most popular color selected by respondents (67%). Pink was the top answer among females (60%).
Report Component 3: Next Steps
The concluding section of the report provides you with some ideas on what to do next based on the insights and findings. These are simply recommendations we add to give you some direction.
For clients that conduct market research regularly, they tend to have a solid understanding of what the data says and what actions they need to take.
However, companies new to the market research process need more time comprehending the findings and deciding on what to make of them.
We recognize that every organization is different. We try to craft practical recommendations that are suited for your products, employees, and company.
Additional Report Elements to Include
Depending on the design and characteristics of the study, some additional components can be included in a report. These are concise and valuable components that are worth the investment should they fit your study.
- Cover Page: This is where you provide the reader with the first impression of your report. Use a high-resolution picture or background that looks graphically appealing to make sure your report passes the "eye-test" when it's first opened. Your client paid a lot of money for these results, set the tone with your cover page.
- Table of Contents: This provides structure and organization to your report. The larger the report, the more important this is for the reader, especially if the reader is going to reference specific sections of the report down the road and needs to find it quickly. It comes in handy when the client wants to skip to a specific section as needed.
- Infographic or Dashboard: This may be the most important piece of the report. It forces you to take hundreds of cases of data or hundreds of pages of a report and decipher the findings into a one-page graphical element. An infographic proves your ability to synthesize data and pull out the factors that are most important to the reader in a quick and easy-to-read one-page summary using graphics and metrics.
- Personas: Personas are fictional names and faces we apply to some open-ended responses to help you visualize your target respondent or consumer better. The information that is written seems more personable when read underneath a headshot profile versus in a cell on a spreadsheet.
- Text Analysis: Another way to analyze open-end responses is to conduct a text analysis. A text analysis sorts through all of the responses and highlights the most common words/phrases. It also can determine positive, neutral, or negative sentiment from responses.
- Correlation Analysis: A correlation analysis describes the degree of relationship between each variable. Correlation is defined as the mutual relationship or connection between two or more variables. The higher the correlation coefficient, the stronger the relationship.
- Regression Analysis: Similar to correlation analysis, regression analysis focuses on the statistical relationship between two variables. However, it can measure which independent variables have the greatest impact on a topic of interest or dependent variable.
Every report is different, but most include a version of each component. The following report components accumulate all of the questions we ask our clients as they begin the market research process.
- What are you looking to gain and how do you plan on conducting market research? (Recap Objectives)
- What should the results tell you? (Key Findings)
- How to interpret the findings after the study is complete? (Next Steps)
Drive Research is a national marketing research company. We are a full-service agency offering a wide range of market research services. We offer an a la carte approach to our reporting packages including topline and comprehensive options.
Contact us today for a quote!
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As a Research Assistant, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. His intrigue in market research formed during his time at Marist College, where he studied business and entrepreneurship.
Learn more about Justin, here.