What's secondary vs. primary research? Let's use cake as an analogy for information.
What if the grocery store cake doesn't meets your needs?
First, do secondary research to see what information is already available.
Next, do primary research to fill in the gaps and answer the questions you still have.
Top 5 Ethical Research Guidelines
1. Think from the participant's perspective.
2. Introduce yourself and the research.
3. Be careful with personal health questions!
4. Consider confidentiality and data security.
5. You might need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.
Comparing 3 Research Methods
Three common research methods are surveys, interviews, and focus groups. For more information on these, and other research methods, see: Chapter 2 of The Handbook for Market Research for Life Sciences Companies.
|Survey||Participants are asked to respond to a pre-defined series of questions. Can include both open- and closed-ended questions. Can yield a mix of quantitative and qualitative feedback, depending on how the survey is designed. Can be conducted in-person, by telephone or mail, or online.||
|Interview||One-on-one conversation between the researcher and the participant. Usually involve open-ended questions. Yields mostly qualitative responses. Can be conducted in-person or virtually. Option for audio/video recording of responses.||
|Focus Group||Discussion of a topic amongst a small group of participants. The researcher facilitates the groups’ discussion by asking questions and observing responses. Yields mostly qualitative responses. Can be conducted in-person or virtually. Option for audio/video recording of responses.||
What should my sample size be?
A sample is a portion of the larger population that you are researching. There is not one, “standard” sample size that applies to all primary research projects. A sample size that is too large may present issues regarding time and money, while a sample size that is too small may invalidate your results. Use your best judgment when determining your sample size.
For more information, see: Chapter 1 of The Handbook for Market Research for Life Sciences Companies
Top 5 Survey Tips
How do I get people to take my survey?
Consider these tips to avoid common pitfalls and design a survey that increases the response rate:
For more information, see: Questionnaire Design: How to Plan, Structure and Write Survey Material for Effective Market Research
Primary Research Tools
Access: UCI - Current Affiliates
Provided by UCI's Office of Information Technology (OIT). A sophisticated survey solution available at no cost for current UCI faculty, staff, and students. With Qualtrics, people can easily create, manage, and share surveys; collect, analyze, and export data; and produce reports.
Multimedia Resources Center (MRC)
Access: UCI - Current Affiliates
A/V equipment & mobile devices for recording interviews, available for check out by UCI students, faculty, and staff.
Included in the Google Drive office suite, Google Forms features all of the collaboration and sharing features found in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Choose from a range of question options, from multiple choice to drop-downs to a linear scale. Add images and YouTube videos, or page branching and question skip logic.
"Basic" plan features allow you to create an unlimited number of surveys with up to 10 questions and 100 responses per survey. Choose from 13 different formats for your survey questions, including multiple choice, text box, matrix, NPS, and A/B comparisons.
Questionnaire Design: How to Plan, Structure and Write Survey Material for Effective Market Research
Explains how to plan, structure, and compose the right questionnaire for the research you are undertaking. (Copyright 2018)
The Handbook of Market Research for Life Science Companies
(Don't let the title fool you! This book is helpful for ALL industries, not just life sciences.) Tips, models, and tools entrepreneurs can use to collect, interpret, and present their market and integrate it into their business plan. (Copyright 2017)
Market Research in Practice: How to Get Greater Insight From Your Market
Introduction to market research tools, approaches, and issues. Offering a clear, step-by-step guide to the whole process. (Copyright 2013)
Understanding Business Research
A comprehensive introduction to the entire process of designing, conducting, interpreting, and reporting findings in the business environment. (Copyright 2012)
Encyclopedia of Research Design
Covers the spectrum of research design strategies, from material presented in introductory classes to topics necessary in graduate research. Provides summaries of advantages and disadvantages of often-used strategies. Uses hundreds of sample tables, figures, and equations based on real-life cases. (Copyright 2010)
Talking to Humans
Offers a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development, an indispensable skill for vetting and improving any new startup or innovation. Explains how to structure and run effective customer interviews, find candidates, and turn learnings into action. (Copyright 2014)
Testing with Humans
The follow-up to Talking to Humans (above), this book takes you beyond customer discovery, teaching entrepreneurs, innovation teams, and product teams how to use experiments to drive faster, more informed decision making. This concise, practical guide will help you answer the questions “Should we do this?” or “Am I right about this?” (Copyright 2018)
Members of non-profit or educational organizations may request a free digital copy of the book.
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