The Strategenics Research and Analysis Lifecycle
Congratulations! You have discovered a great secret to successful research and analysis. Strategenics is publicly releasing some of our valuable intellectual property. We are doing this because we believe in sharing our 5 principal values:
- Smarter through research and learning – We value lifelong learning, education, knowledge and insight. We believe it is our responsibility to help build the shared knowledge of our community.
- Faster through efficiency and agility – We understand the value of time and we actively enhance the speed, agility and flexibility of people, businesses and families.
- Better through ethics and effectiveness – We value ethical practices and we continue to improve the quality and effectiveness of everything we do.
- Together through trusted partnerships – We value long term trusted partnership with our clients, customers, suppliers, partners and employees and we plan for their success.
- Everything we do is driven towards a goal and overall purpose, aligned with Strategic intent.
The Strategenics Research and Analysis Lifecycle™
Strategenics has collected and developed a substantial body of knowledge to improve the return on any investment in research and analysis. Our approach is summarised by the Strategenics Research and Analysis Lifecycle™ as depicted in Figure 1 below.
The Strategenics Research and Analysis Lifecycle™ connects the dots between research intent, data design and collection, reporting and analysis, knowledge creation and research review.
Without clear linkages between each stage of the lifecycle, the overall intent can be lost through random acts of good intentions. The creative mind of the researcher or analyst may diverge into fruitless expeditions. Often good research is laid waste to become shelf-ware or vapour-ware because it does not offer practical links to the real world.
Without management of the research lifecycle, investments in research and analysis often incur overruns in cost and time and may never achieve the benefits stated in the original business case. Or worse. Nobody even questions the value or even measures the return of the investment. What a waste of time and money! If this was a construction project would there be greater financial management? Could these resources be better utilised somewhere else?
The first critical stage of the lifecycle is developing the research intent. This requires an evidence-based approach of opportunity and problem definition, hypothesis testing, and the development of research questions.
The research objectives capture the specific, measureable, actionable, realistic, and timeframed (SMART) purpose for proceeding with a research study. These objectives answer the question – What is the economic value of knowing the answer to this question?
Data design and collection
The second stage of the lifecycle builds a detailed understanding of the research design. The data design and data requirements are developed to fulfil the research intent. An appropriate data management process is developed to manage the required quantitive and qualitative data collection in accordance with desired data quality metrics.
Reporting and analysis
The analytical outcomes form a concrete link between the research questions and research objectives within step 1. Each outcome forms a measurable reporting requirement linked to a real world decision requiring support.
Many research and analysis projects conclude with a simplistic description and interpretation of the data. This is however a premature conclusion. Greater effort is necessary to identify opportunities, perform options analysis, develop decision support systems and provide associated coaching and training. These additional steps help create real knowledge and practical changes in behaviour.
Always start with the end in mind. If you want to know if your research was successful then you need a method for measuring success or failure from the start.
With that in mind, the Strategenics Research and Analysis Lifecycle™ embeds measurement at every stage of the lifecycle. Metrics are interconnected across research intent, data design, quality metrics, and the analytical outcomes. The Strategenics Research and Analysis Lifecycle™ framework allows you to identify corrective action earlier in the cycle and at lower cost than the typical post research review. It just makes sense!