11 signs that you don’t have a research objective #MRX

Earlier this week, I was one of several people who presented at the NewMR training day. If you paid even slight attention to the speakers, you probably noticed that several of us mentioned the same topic.

Every research project must have a research objective.

Now, I know that seems blatantly obvious and you’re probably wondering why would anyone waste valuable seconds even mentioning it. I’m going to hazard a guess that the reason several people brought it up is because several people have recent experiences in trying to conduct research without an objective. As smart as we think we are, it keeps on happening.

Let me tell you that it’s not a good place to be. Much time is wasted, much brain power is wasted, and no matter how hard you work, you never seem to get ahead. So in an effort to make your life easier, here are a few tips that will help you determine whether you have a research objective.

Signs You Do Not Have A Research Objective

  1. Your survey is more than 20 minutes long
  2. You are carefully reading through 300 pages of tabulations and statistical tests
  3. You have spent more than 40 hours analyzing your data
  4. You’ve entered 500 variables in your regression and factor analysis
  5. You’re having trouble writing the introductory page of your final report
  6. You’re having trouble outlining the summary page of your final report
  7. The report keeps getting longer and longer and there is no end in sight
  8. You’ve felt the need to call your client more than 5 times to clarify the data analysis process
  9. You can’t explain the purpose of the research in 140 characters or less
  10. Looking at the data makes you feel confused and disoriented and like the day is never going to end
  11. You’ve actually asked yourself, “What am I trying to do here?”

2 responses

  1. *sigh* so what do you do after you find out you don’t have a research objective? Try and create one from the data you already have?

    1. That’s the point where you go back and read the original client request and see if there’s one hidden in it. Or, ask the client what they REALLY wanted all along. If neither of those work, then you lay on the floor and kick and scream. 🙂

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