How can we lift non-researchers up?


How can we make it easier and more effective for non-researchers to obtain the insights they need?

There are more non-researchers doing research than ever before. And let’s face it, the advancement of free, digital tools is a big enabler. Customer-facing teams are also being asked to think in a research way. Yes, it’s wonderful to have more curious colleagues!

And yet, the democratization of sophisticated tools can lead to misleading or just plain inaccurate data. Just because anyone can do a survey does not mean that everyone should, or understands the right and wrong ways—or times—to do a survey.

For example, a survey is a totally separate function than, say, a card sort. But if you only have access to a survey interface, or you don’t even know that a card sort exists, you're going to use a survey to solve every problem. In contrast, a well-trained researcher knows which approaches are best and will consider where you are in the process, the decision you’re trying to make, type of evidence desired, sample availability, and more.

How can we lift these non-researchers up? Should we, could we, do something more? If so, what? And who are "we"? Researchers? The companies building these tools? Schools? What’s your take?

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