A professional researcher is an essential position in any type of business, researching customers, the industry and the market to help a company to create an effective marketing strategy or business plan.

What is business research?

Business research is the process of carrying out research with the aim of helping with the launching or general operation of a company. A business researcher is responsible for gathering data and using it to make business decisions, plans or predictions. The tasks that a business researcher carries out may include the analyzing market trends, collecting of information about consumers and making comparisons with industry competitors.

Business research types

There are several types of business research that a company may hire a business researcher to perform. Some of the most common research types include competitive analysis, consumer data, financial analysis, industry research, market analysis and product research.

Competitive analysis 

A business researcher conducting competitive analysis must research the businesses that are in the same market or industry as their company. Carrying out an analysis of the competition assists companies in finding ways in which they can grow or improve. For example, a more efficient marketing campaign could be designed after analyzing the campaigns carried out by competitors.

Consumer data

Consumer data can be gathered during any part of the business cycle and used to target audiences, refine current systems, or launch a new product line. For example, customer feedback surveys can be used by a business to plan extra services they can offer that their customers may desire.

Consumer data gathered by a business researcher can also be used by a marketing team to refine or develop marketing strategies based on data such as the type of customers buying certain products.

Financial analysis

A financial analysis entails evaluating the existing financial processes of a company and can include reviewing cash flows, costs and profits. An example of this is analyzing a current financial statement by examining profits and costs and assisting business leaders in uncovering areas where costs can be reduced.

Industry research

Industry research involves business researchers looking at the industry as a whole. It is a good idea to conduct industry research when entering new industries or beginning a new company. Business researchers conducting industry research perform an analysis on the current strengths, weaknesses and trends within their industry to make growth plans and predictions.

Market analysis

Market analysis is similar to industry research but is focused on the current trends within a specific market. This analysis provides a better understanding of the market’s possible rewards and risks and is usually carried out when a company enters a new market.

Product research

Product research refers to testing a new product design. New products are often tested before release so the design can be refined and any problems can be corrected before it hits the mass market.

Product research can entail consumer surveys, focus groups and test launches.

Consumer surveys involve companies asking for feedback from existing customers on new product designs. A select number of people can be gathered into a focus group to test a product or answer questions, and a product can also be tested by having samples released to a particular group of consumers.

This type of business research is normally carried out in the early stages of production to guide improvements. Numerous tests may be used during the development process  to ensure that accurate data is gathered.

The importance of a professional researcher in business

A professional researcher can helps managers and owners make crucial decisions. Areas for growth and improvement can be identified when more information is available about the strengths and weaknesses of the company.

A professional researcher in business can help a company at almost any stage. Professionals who are about to start a brand-new company can use market research to target any potential gaps in the market and design products that customers need. An existing business can carry out research to find areas for improvement, such as getting customer feedback and then implementing changes based on this data.

How to become a professional researcher in business

Those who are interested in becoming a professional researcher should consider a DBA programme, such as the online program offered by Aston University.

It is a good idea to complete an undergraduate degree in a field that is relevant to your goal and then gain research experience within the industry by taking on a role such as a research assistant. It can also be useful to undertake some postgraduate studies depending on the particular field of research you are interested in entering.

Advantages of using a business researcher

There are a number of advantages to employing the services of a professional researcher in business. A business researcher is able to assist a business in identify improvements and opportunities, such as refining a new product before it is released to potentially earn higher profits.

Researching customer and market information can help a business gain a greater understanding of its target audience. Market research can help a business create a more efficient market plan that is more effective at reaching customers.

A business researcher can also help a business to minimize risk by researching its industry and competitors and creating more effective business plans.

Another advantage is that business research can be used by investors, managers and owners to make both operational and financial decisions, such as expanding the market of their company after an analysis of the current market.