Most market research culminates with a report of the findings. It’s important to determine how you’ll organize the data even before you start collecting it, so that you’re sure that you’re using the right methods to gather the data. The report should be useful for you to use when you are trying to create products, market products, or otherwise communicate with your audience. Here are some tips.
How Will You Use the Data?
The way in which you will use the data matters a lot in terms of how you’ll organize it. For example, if you are conducting research that will help you create a brand new solution for your audience, then you’ll want to organize the data for internal use.
The Type of Data
Some types of data will work great in a spreadsheet, others in a pie chart; some will be best reported in writing within a report. You’ll need to determine by type of data how you’ll best organize it.
What Are You Trying to Impact?
If you’re trying to determine how you can affect your revenue, then you’ll want to study issues that you can impact like click-through rate, sales conversions, traffic and more. Ask yourself what results you expect and then move from there.
What Impacts Your Goals?
Sometimes the things we do impact what we are hoping to change. For example, if you want to make more sales, but you don’t create or hire someone who has experience making amazing and high converting sales pages, you might not succeed.
Create a Logical Naming Convention
One thing that can be irritating when it comes to organizing data is being able to find it when you need to use it. Thankfully, you can figure out a logical naming convention to use so that when you do a search for the information on your computer, Google Drive or Dropbox, you’ll be able to locate the information easier. Set up a naming convention that includes the subject matter keywords, data, and results and discovery information.
Clean It Up
Once you collect data, you’ll need to determine what data is useful and what is not useful. Determine which data is important for you, is easily quantifiable, and allows you to make good decisions. Throw everything else out, because you don’t need it.
Mix It Up
Use different methods for demonstrating the data that you need to understand and that others in your organization may need to understand. Write out in words what it means, as well as show it pictorially via graphs and charts.
Include a Table of Contents
For the main report you want to include a table of contents, because that is also a good way to allow search for the information within the document. If you also include keywords, you’ll be able to easily find the document when searching.
Organizing your market research data is an important part of conducting market research. Without being able to easily understand and interpret what the information you’ve gathered means, it’s essentially useless. The process of organization will help you to better understand and put to use your hard work.