DECODING THE DNA OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research involves questioning what you do. It comprises systematic observation of information to find the answers with an objective of bringing appropriate changes that will increase the effectiveness of professional service.
Recent trends in research can be seen in field of marketing. To name a few are:
Gamification: the use of game mechanics for a non-gaming context to engage the end users. This can be applied to increase user engagement, timeliness, learning, record user response etc. Users can be encouraged by giving virtual currencies, leader boards etc. Gamification can be seen extensively being used in social networking sites to encourage user participation.
Eye Tracker: This involves tracking the eye of a user for the point of gazing. This methodology is used in visual systems, product design etc. A heat map is generated based on the visual exploration pattern. Hot zone being the area where the user focuses its gaze more frequently.
Fig1.1 Heat Map generated for a web page.
There is a plethora of marketing companies that provide gaze tracking analysis for websites. One such company is EyeQuant which received half a million funding and has Google among its clients. Eyequant is a neuroscience company that uses ongoing brain research for predictive actions. Through a study firm busted the assumption “seeing as it’s selling” which proved people aren’t attracted towards face or large text instead they were more attracted towards small texts, which tended to catch their eye.
Research comprises of following steps:
Analyse and process being two different terms. Analyse refers to application of mind to identify the trends occurring in a given data set, whereas Process means application of statistical tool to transform data from one form to the other.
Acquisition of data from primary and secondary source is observation. Primary source is when data is recorded from the personal experience of the respondent and secondary data is when data already exists. Observation is necessary to formulate the hypothesis. Key to observation is that it should be free from any bias. Intuition and biases play a key role. Intuition is something that can be gained through experience whereas biases is inclination. Intuition can be applied while conducting research process.
Observations can be of types:
- Structured – for descriptive research
- Unstructured—for exploratory research
- Participant Observation
- Non- participant observation
- Disguised observation
Next step is interpreting the collected data which may then be followed by the strategy to draw the hypothesis.
“The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution”
Steps in research process:
I. Problem discovery
II. Research method
III. Research design
V. Data gathering
VI. Data processing and analysing
VII. Conclusion and report
Above steps can be divided in two phases. Phase one consists of steps 1-3 and phase two consists of steps 4-7. Phase one should be allotted 70 % of the time and phase two consists of 30% of time allotted for the research process.
Problem discovery: It is the most crucial step. It determines what you want to find. Careful analysis may reveal the difference between a problem and a symptom. The way we formulate the problem determines the consecutive steps. Stakeholders can be included in order to come up with an effective problem.
The methods employed to carry out the research encompass this step can be descriptive or quantative. Research design is the conceptual design how the research will proceed. Few points that may be included:
1. Objectives of the research study.
2. Method of Data Collection to be adopted
3. Source of information—Sample Design
4. Tool for Data collection
5. Data Analysis– qualitative and quantitative
Sampling consists of who will be surveyed, how many will be surveyed, how will be sample selected etc. Samples can be probability or non-probability samples. Next step is to collect the data from which the inference has to be drawn from.
Processing and analysing data involves set of operations that can be used to summarize the collected data. Operations can be editing, classification, tabulation etc. based on the sample size data can be analysed either manually or using computer. After this all the findings has to be documented.