What’s Your Hypothesis? A Unique Approach to Maximizing the Value of Exploratory Research by Gareth Schweitzer #FOCI14 #MRX


Live blogging from the #FOCI14 conference in Universal City. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.foci14

What’s Your Hypothesis? A Unique Approach to Maximizing the Value of Exploratory Research
Gareth Schweitzer, KELTON

  • how do you turn 8 hours of boring meetings into an interesting 3 minute sound bite
  • storytelling is turning into a buzzword but it is important
  • we use a lot of formulas and slide after slide of methodology – this does not work as a journalist [though we must have some of this as researchers]
  • most people don’t want the entire story, just the end of the story
  • make the story, don’t just tell the story
  • put humans at the center, the truth is in their story, build empathy not necessarily agreement
  • don’t bury the lead
  • know your audience and platform – ask clients how they best process information
  • be timely and stay current, what is the external relevant data
  • manage the moments with humour, occasionally [or take some silly selfies]
  • creative collaborations
  • Hypothesis generation – it is really hard, Keep calm and form a hypothesis, kickoff meetings often start with a couple questions and balloon into a ridiculous number of questions. Why investigate something if you don’t have a well-thought out hypothesis to begin with. looking for the needle takes a long time and doesn’t always end up in insights. if you go in with hypothesis, it narrows the scope of the entire project. takes less time, costs less money, produces deeper and more concrete insights [deeper insights as in make a 3d chart, not a 2d chart. ha ha ha ha🙂 ]
  • be okay with being wrong – be wrong at the start to be right at the end
  • is the purpose of your research to evolve or disrupt – disruptive hypothesis like Dominos pizza “we know the quality of our food isn’t great and now we’re going to fix that”
  • asking questions is easy, generating hypotheses takes a leap of faith [great quote!]
  • when the scope of a project is too big, you need to start with a project meeting to refocus on the key issues, develop an overriding set of main hypotheses

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