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Dimensions of Business Research

Business information can be attained from internal sources,Dimensions of Business Research Articles as well as external sources. The type of sources or the mix of the various types of sources applied would depend upon the particular business situation faced by the organization or a situation which the organization seeks to address. Business research is a part of the entire business information system and is aimed at generating information regarding a specific business situation through research methods. As such we can see that business research is applied research. Research is a systematic way to collect, analyze and report data and findings.

Business research is not always collecting information from scratch; much of the data used in business research should be made available in historical and internal records of the company. Wise organizations do not like to lose information, information gathered is stored categorically, hence wise organizations integrate their business research activities with their entire information systems.

Companies generally seek to fetch information on following business aspects through research:

Industry situation: industry characteristics, trends, mergers, acquisitions, diversifications, market share analysis, industry beta etc.

Price: competitor pricing, market and sales potential, cost and profit analysis, elasticity of price etc.

Product: new product concept testing, brand name generation and testing, market testing, testing for existing products, packaging design studies, competitor product analysis.

Distribution: location studies of plant and warehouses, channel performance studies both domestic as well as international, channel coverage studies.

Promotion: motivation research, media research, copy research, advertising effectiveness, competitor advertising studies, public image studies, salesforce compensation studies, salesforce quota studies, salesforce territory structure, studies of effect of introducing discounts and deals.

Buyer Behavior: brand awareness, preference and attitude studies; purchase behavior and intentions study; segmentation studies.

Generally business research involves the following stages:

Understanding the situation: business situation can be a problem or opportunity; the situation needs to be taken into cognizance in all its aspects. It is best to detail the situation properly before starting the research.

Statement of the research objective: the research purpose needs to be stated in clear terms. It should take into consideration the situation for which the research is being conducted. The statement of purpose should not be vague but concrete; its scope should be delimited. It should be stated how the research will address the situation in its each particular aspect.

Data Collection Plan: once the objective has been stated in clear terms the data and information requirements required for attaining the objective need to be specified comprehensively and clearly. Availability of required data in internal and historical records need to be checked, sometimes most of the data are internally available and only minor external information are required to update the data; yet sometimes a lot of primary research may be involved. For collecting primary data the appropriate tools and methods should be employed and thisĀ would depend upon the nature of research objective. The primary research design should be based on comprehensive knowledge of research method, methodology, approaches, tools and techniques and their selection should be based on the objective, resources and constraints. The entire primary data collection and analysis process should be conducted as a project and using project management techniques like PERT or CPM the entire blue print of the plan should be charted out. uch detailed planning is necessary to be prepared and arrange for each and every requirement in advance and also to adhere to time and monetary limitations.

Data Analysis: the data so collected should be analyzed for implications, each implication should be stated in concrete quantitative estimates as far as is possible, through research it should be possible to know not only what can be achieved or done but how much of each that can be achieved or done. Data obtained from research can also be used for forecasting future trends or in simulation models.

Presentation of data: business data is best presented through tables, charts, graphs and figures so as to enable swift information interpretation. Advanced data presentation tools have great significance in research and should be used to present data in novel ways that can convey correctly and quickly.

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