The 6 phases of business research

The goal of business research phases is to help organizations or brands make informed decisions.

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Are you thinking of bringing a new product to the market? If so, you are surely wondering what price to set for sale, which segment of the population to focus the marketing campaign on, or if there is any other brand that could be your competition. Indeed, it can be a process full of doubts, but the good news is that the path can be cleared. As? Following the 6 phases of business research

Business research is a systematic process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting relevant data to better understand the market in which a company operates. Ultimately, the goal of business research phases is to help organizations or brands make informed decisions. 

If you want to know what each of the phases of commercial research consists of , then keep reading as we tell you. Go for it! 

Definition of research objectives 

You cannot start commercial research (or any type) without knowing the objectives you want to achieve with it. You have to clearly and concisely establish the goals and objectives of the study, what you hope to achieve or how far you want to go. These are some elements that you should take into account when setting the objectives of commercial research:  

  • Clarity: They should be clearly defined and easy to understand, with no room for ambiguity or misinterpretation. 
  • Specificity: they must focus on the aspects of the research topic that they intend to study, answering “what” or “which” questions. 
  • Measurability: they must be formulated in a way that allows their measurement and evaluation. 
  • Realism: They must be achievable within the limitations of the study, including time, resources and feasibility. 
  • Limitation in time: they may have associated calendars or deadlines to indicate when they must be reached. 

Research model design 

The design of the research model is where you will include the entire plan that will guide the study, the methods and techniques that you will use to collect and analyze the data, and the necessary resources. We give you more details: 

  • Data collection methods: Determine how data will be collected (surveys, experiments, observations, interviews, etc.). 
  • Sampling: select a representative sample of the target population. 
  • Data collection instruments: create or select tools such as questionnaires or surveys. 
  • Data analysis: define statistical or analytical techniques to analyze data. 
  • Schedule: Establish deadlines for data collection, analysis, and communication. 
  • Resources: Determine the resources needed (funding, staff, equipment, data access). 
  • Data and reporting presentation: plan how results will be communicated. 

You must keep in mind that there are several research designs, such as experimental, survey, participant or non-participant observation, and cases. Choose the design that best suits your objectives. 

Data Collect 

If in the previous point, you already established the methods by which you are going to collect the data, then the time has come to put it into practice and then draw conclusions. You must design the questionnaires or interview guides, that is, create specific tools according to the research design to collect information from the participants. 

Keep in mind that the sample must be representative of the target population you defined. Additionally, it verifies the quality and accuracy of the data collected so that the research is valid. And a reminder: do not ignore ethical issues, ask for informed consent before collecting data and ensure that people’s rights and privacy are respected. 

Analysis and interpretation of data 

Data analysis will help you categorize, manipulate and summarize data to meet objectives, recognize patterns and trends, and make informed decisions. These are the steps that you must take into account for interpreting data, once you have collected it: 

  • Organize and clean the data: it is essential before starting to interpret it. 
  • Identify variables and relationships: analyze the variables present in the data and look for possible relationships between them. 
  • Use statistical tools: apply analytical techniques to extract significant information. 
  • Contextualize the results: interpret the findings in the context of the problem or research question. 

Presentation of the results 

The time has come to show the findings found. As? Well, everything will depend on who you will show them to and how much information you want to include. Typically, business research results are presented as a report, although you can also make a poster, white papers, oral presentations to an audience, or graphic slides.  

However, the most important thing is that it includes the objectives of the research, the methods you used, the results obtained and an analysis based on the initial hypotheses. A tip: use visual resources to present the data in a clear and attractive way. 

Decision making 

Now is the time to take the last step: make decisions regarding the initial objectives. These decisions may be related to the marketing strategy to follow, product development, resource allocation or price. In any case, the decision must be based on solid data and be consistent with the needs of the company. 

Finally, we share with you some very useful tools for decision making: 

  • Decision matrices: compare alternatives based on specific criteria. 
  • Cost-benefit analysis: evaluating costs versus benefits. 
  • SWOT analysis (weaknesses, threats, strengths, opportunities): evaluate the internal and external factors that affect the decision. 
  • Decision-making models: use techniques such as the decision tree or multi-criteria analysis. 

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