Introduction to market research


Introduction

We conduct more research than we are aware of. On many occasions we consult with posters, social media or ask friends and family before we purchase or recommend a product or a service.

Research at its root is all about seeking out facts and opinions to facilitate sustainable decision-making and to reverberate knowledge acquisition. When we scroll through reviews, comparing laptop capacity and prices online, we are interrogating and triangulating facts and opinions. In the article, I introduce you to the basics of market research.

 

Market Research

Market research is driven by curiosity, risks, uncertainty, and continuous improvements. The primary objective of any market research is to capture and understand the perspectives and behaviours of a desired target group. For instance; Have you ever been presented a questionnaire about the product or service in your regular grocery store?

Market research is the process of gathering and interpreting data about customers and competitors within an organisation’s operations grid. It aids organisation’s to understand (potential) audience behaviours and perceptions, as well as, the positioning and the impact of value proposition. Market research is carried out for one or more of the following;

 

(1) Market penetration

(2) Risk management

(3) Product development

(4) Market development

(5) Diversification

 

The end deliverable of any market research takes the form of reporting for the attention of the directorate and stakeholders, and often for or as part of the decision-making process.

 

Types of research and research data

The prerequisite of any research involves establishing the groups and methods of investigations. Upon planning, there are two types of data that an investigator can gather during market research – primary and secondary data.

Data is reusable, and can be gathered for different, yet, related purpose. There are two types of data collection scenarios, (1) Primary and (2) Secondary data.

Primary research requires the collection and analysis of new data and information.

Secondary research requires retrieving and working with existing data.

 

Data is raw facts collected for reference or analysis

— My Little Oxford Dictionary 2003

 

Primary data

This process of gathering first-hand information is called primary data collection. Primary data can be collected using the techniques below.

  • Questionnaires
  • Focus groups
  • Observations
  • Experiments

 

Benefits Drawbacks
Relevant to business Time consuming
Up-to-date Expensive
Findings closed to competition Results may not be open

 

Secondary data

This process of gathering existing information for research is called secondary data collection. Secondary data can be collected using the techniques below.

  • Market/Research reports
  • Trade journals
  • Government statistics
  • Sales and customer records
  • Books
  • Academic and scholarly publications
  • Press releases

 

Benefits

Drawbacks

Swift to conduct Data may be out-of-date, not relevant
Readily available Expensive
Competition may not have access to the findings Requires interpretation and analysis
Easy to collect Pseudo-science and persuasive data

 

Primary and secondary data collection can be conducted online and offline or both. Depending on the research method, they can be employed simultaneously during investigations.

 

Approaches

Quantitative research

Quantitative market research is associated with numerical data and often collected from large groups. This type of data is often collected online and offline through questionnaires.

Qualitative research

Qualitative research associates with opinions and behaviours, trend and perceptions. In my experience, the qualitative approach is fun and much more useful than the quantitative approach. It is also flexible, allowing room for in-depth investigations and triangulation.

 

Sampling Methods

Once data types and methods have been established, a sampling method facilitates the investigation. Sampling methods reduce the effects of the iron triangle on a research project. It is condensing the representative group into manageable chunks for eased processing.

Cluster sampling: Cluster sampling: The use of random sampling from a specific area or segment.

Convenience sampling: When the researcher relies on a group of willing volunteers. This method often results in bias.

Systematic sampling: Every nth person from the respondent group is selected. This technique can be costly if the samples are widespread and diverse.

Random sampling: Everyone in the population has an equal chance of being chosen to be in the sample.

Quota sampling: People in the sample are chosen to reflect the proportions of different groups in the target market.

Stratified sampling: Firstly, the appropriate market segment identified and recruited, following, the final sample is randomly recruited from the selection.

 

Final Word

Research is an important arena of human evolution. Market research is collecting data about customers, competitors and market trends for internal use. Today, we can conduct research offline and online, and there are more channels for data collection.

Market research is the first step for any business or product development. Market research assists an organisation with risks and uncertainty.

 

Digitization of Hubert Ogunde Memorial School


Hubert Ogunde Memorial School was found in 1995 by Bose (Ogunde) Oloyede and the Montessori-based institution is named after her father, Chief Hubert Adedeji Ogunde, D.Lit. Dr Ogunde was a Nigerian actor, playwright, theatre manager, and musician, he found the first contemporary professional theatrical company in Nigeria, the African Music Research Party, in 1945. Hubert Ogunde changed the name to Ogunde Theater Party in 1947 and Ogunde Concert Party in 1950.

The Montessori institution opened its doors to the first set of intakes at a rented bungalow of five rooms located at Ishasi Road, Akute, Nigeria on the 15th of March 1995. The school which was designed to provide pre-school, as well as, functional primary education for children aged 2 – 10 years, had only 9 pupils at the time, and one teaching assistant.

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How to support a colleague with mental health


1 in 4 of us will experience a health and wellbeing issue this year. Choosing to talk health and well being can break down barriers and can change lives and improve our communities at the same time.

1. You don’t have to be an expert – Just being there means a lot. You don’t have to have all the answers.

2. Ask questions and listen – Asking questions shows that you care and want to know how someone’s really doing.

3. Keep it simple – Small actions can make a big difference. Chat over a cup of tea & biscuit, take a walk or send a text.

4. Don’t try and fix it – Resist the urge to offer fixes and solutions. Often, listening will suffice.

Starting a conversation doesn’t have to be awkward and it could make a huge difference.

Top 7 Cybersecurity risk predictions for 2021


As the end of 2020 draws closer, it is imperative for both organizations and individuals alike to reflect and gear up for cybersecurity and cybercrime in the new decade. Organizations and individuals should consider new and innovative approaches, but most importantly, a pro-active and deliberate approach that’s deliberately directed to identify, capture and neutralize threats is essential. Considering the frequency and sophistication of hacking and ransomware attacks in 2019, not to mention, the pandemic and urgent adoption of remote learning by organisations around the world – skilled resources and smarter measures should be of consideration in the new decade.

For this reason, I distilled 30 independent reports dedicated to cybersecurity and I have compiled the 7 most interesting projections in this article.

Internal/External Sabotage – The global proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) and connected devices, usage of public cloud, PaaS (Platform As A Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure As A Service) greatly facilitates business and enables rapid growth. Concomitant, and often unnoticed, is the increase in an organization’s external attack surface. As you cannot protect what you don’t know, the vast proportion of these digital assets are not properly maintained, monitored, or protected in any manner. The situation is exacerbated by rogue mobile apps, fraudulent, phishing, and squatting websites, detectable by properly implemented domain security monitoring that now starts paving its road to popularity among cybersecurity professionals. As organizations upgrade their IT and leave behind a trail of obscure digital unknowns, whether in-house or external, the easier and faster it is to break in. According to CSO Online by IDG, 61% of organizations experienced an IoT security incident in 2019.

Compliance Fatigue – The mushroomed regional, national, and transnational regulatory and political climate may exacerbate compliance fatigue among cybersecurity professionals. 2020 may just be the year when current cybersecurity compliance begins to erode and start its rapid downfall. In light of the slow judicial system on one side, and insufficient cybersecurity skills and scanty budgets on another, cybersecurity professionals may start flatly disregarding the wide spectrum of superfluous regulations. Thankfully, in the UK, GDPR data subjects are empowered with a bundle of rights to control their personal data and its life-cycle.

Third Party Breaches – In 2019, many businesses displayed a high level of proficiency and specialization by concentrating all available resources to attain excellence in a particular market, playing ti their strengths. To achieve this, they outsourced most of their secondary business processes to skilled suppliers and experienced third-parties, thereby reducing costs, increasing quality, and accelerating delivery. Cybercriminals are well aware of this low-hanging fruit and will continue to purposely target this weakest link to get your data, trade secrets, and intellectual property.

Enterprise collaboration – According to ImmuniWeb, over 21 million of valid credentials were exposed on the Dark Web in 2019. The dark web is increasingly becoming popular and fashionably lucrative for rogue individuals and criminal enterprises. In 2021, we may witness new enterprise models and ways of working via the dark web. To this end, organizations may need to invest in understanding the dark web, and counter and mobile-based applications that deter or directly attack cyber-threats.

The Cloud – In July 2019, the world media reported a breach of Capital One, being presumably the largest data breach within the US financial sector and affecting approximately 100 million individuals in the United States and 6 million in Canada. Reportedly, the attacker exploited a mis-configured AWS S3 bucket to download extremely sensitive data that was left unattended. There are already signs that suggest that cloud mis-configuations will expose millions of records in 2020 and beyond. In 2020 and the foreseeable future, cloud security incidents will stay atop of data breach root causes. Furthermore, we are yet to experience an attack on the cloud providers and applications such as One Drive and Google Drive and many trusted brands for that matter. Will cybercriminals exploit this trust in 2021?

Password reuse and Phishing – Even if the passwords found or purchased by the attackers on the Dark Web are invalid, they provide a great wealth of ideas for ingenious social engineering campaigns, facilitate phishing and smart brute-forcing attacks. There are already creative and innovative methods being exploited within certain industries, e.g. fingerprint scan, and facial and voice recognition. But, even if many organizations finally managed to implement a consumable Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems, with strong password policies, MFA, and continuous monitoring for anomalies, few external systems are included in the safeguarded scope. Such grey-zone systems range from SaaS CRM and ER Such grey-zone systems range from SaaS CRM and ERP to elastic public cloud platforms. According to DBIR, phishing was responsible for 32% of data breaches and 78% of cyber espionage in 2019.

Ecommerce and targeted-ransomware – According to IBM, the average time to identify a breach in 2019 was as high as 206 days. Still, even worse, such attacks are infrequently detected both due to their sophistication and lack of skills amid the victims, eventually being suddenly reported by security researchers or journalists and flabbergasting the data owners. 2021 will see a significant increase in organized ransomware activities under the umbrella some sort of support or professional service. They are often deployed through Trojans (through an email attachment) and they are extremely difficult to detect or prepare for.

History has shown that the period from the moment when an attack is launched to until when it is detected has the most devastating impact. Organizations and individuals should consider new and innovative approaches, but most importantly, a pro-active disposition, deliberately directed to identify, capture and neutralize cyber-threats before manifestation.


3Ps for powering up action in small communities


In the article, I discuss 3Ps framework for powering community action and how I used the 3-step change framework to support charities and community organizations at Southwark’s Brandon Estate.

Power Up People and Businesses: is about building digital confidence, so that people are motivated to learn and keep on learning, and apply digital skills efficiently in daily life and work.

Power Up Provision: is about improving what is already offered by embedding digital into existing programmes, so that digital literacy and skills is not silo-d and continuous learning is nurtured.

Power Up Places: is about connecting community organizations, service providers and others to provide individuals and businesses with the a collaborative atmosphere. Digital inclusion has proven to be a viable catalyst for local economy development.

[Good Things Foundation & J.P Morgan, 2019]

3Ps

3psforpoweringcommunityaction

P.U.P & Brandon Estate

Brandon Estate is a social housing estate in Southwark, south London. The estate is situated to the south of Kennington Park – it sits between Oval and Walworth road. The estate was built in 1958 by the London County Council.

1. Powering Up People – UNFREEZE

Mobile tutoring & Get Online Week 2018:

  • I joined the UK’s flagship Online Centres Network in 2018
  • I initiated new mobile tutoring based on data and concrete evidence
  • I drove interest and awareness by integrating with Voicebox Cafe
  • I formed strategic alliances with a local charity, a local business and the local library to unite mobile learners at the library for Get online week 2018

2. Powering Up Provision – TRANSFORM

Introducing new organization to Online Centres Network:

  • I removed existing silo walls by negotiating and introducing a new umbrella brand and supporting board
  • I united another local business and Latin America People’s Disabled Project (LADPP) with existing alliance to execute an integrated Get Online Week 2019
  • I introduced Rachel Leigh Community hall to the UK’s flagship Online Centres Network

3. Powering Up Places – REFREEZE

Get Online Week 2019:

  • I coordinated the new centre’s transition with the sectors dedicated network specialist
  • I recruited volunteers and initiated digital champions training for the new centre – Rachel Leigh Centre
  • I handed-over the new centre to the capable hands of Rachel Leigh and new digital champions

Benefits of using technology for small business


Technology is changing the community we live in, it is changing the way we work, it is changing the way we communicate, it is changing how we do business – it is changing our lives.

In the article I impart with my top 5 benefits of adopting technology for small business and community organizations.

  • Potential for increased growth: through increased productivity and the ability to reach new customers and new markets easily
  • Customer transaction benefits: by doing more online, small businesses can offer a a greater variety of products and services, provide faster service, save on shelf space and operational cost, and compete on price
  • Efficiency savings: through reductions in staff time spent on processing transactions, building and estate management, and postage and packaging
  • Innovative and new ways of working: by adopting new technology that enhances the offer to customers, develops new products and services and improves competitive advantage
  • Supporting entrepreneurship: entrepreneurship can extend opportunities for all, regardless of background, with positive impacts into disadvantaged communities to local business

Digital technology is no longer new, yet it continues to constantly evolve and extend its reach. Despite widespread internet access, there is a deep divide between those who have the digital skills and confidence to benefit from the internet and those who do not.

For instance, the rollout of Universal Credit (UC) in the UK expose the link between digital disadvantage and poverty relief. It highlights the importance of essential digital skills to access benefits and comply with conditionalities. A longitudinal study conducted by the UK’s DWP, Department of Works and Pensions, found that:

  • only half (54%) were able to register their claim unassited
  • three in ten said that they needed ongoing help with their UC digital account

[DWP, 2018]

The business benefits of RPA – Robotic Process Automation


Organisations can now intelligently optimise how work gets done – by humans working with robots – across the enterprise from a central end-to-end platform. This enables organisations to effectively automate tasks, streamline processes, increase employee productivity, and ultimately deliver more satisfying experiences. The way business achieve this is through Robot Process Automation.

RPA, Robot Process Automation, is a simple but powerful procedure with huge commercial and business benefits. RPA allows organisations and individuals to develop software-based bots that support scale and assist teams to automate business processes. You can think of the bots as your new digital workforce.

The bots are your employees, you can train them, and show them what to do and they will do it with 100% accuracy all the time.

RPA vs Traditional Process Automation

RPA, Robotic Process Automation comprehends the actions of the user at interface or UI level, which means the technology used and any underlying applications take the back seat. RPA takes a fraction of time to implement.

Traditional process automation rely on programming. Traditional process automation employs APIs, Application Programming Interface. During traditional process automation, the technology and underlying systems are in the front-line of service.

So, why embrace Bots?

Below, I present 10 generic reasons why you should embrace bots:

  1. Bots can learn
  2. Bots can be cloned
  3. Bots can be scaled
  4. Bots are code free
  5. Bots are Agile
  6. Bots are non-disruptive
  7. Bots are non-invasive
  8. Bots encapsulate an end-to-end experience
  9. Bots can scale on demand
  10. Bots possess infinite elasticity

Business benefits of Robot Process Automation

  1. RPA will improve process and turn-around speed
  2. RPA can scale capacity on demand
  3. RPA improves audibility
  4. RPA reduces risk by maximising accuracy
  5. RPA maximises availability
  6. RPA can be used to develop or support business intelligence
  7. RPA optimises human and labour investments
  8. RPA improves business process compliance
  9. RPA improves business controls
  10. RPA improves employee morale
  11. RPA will support and accelerate digital transformation

Bots execute at the fastest possible phase, never slowing down or taking a break. I want you to think of bots as members of your digital workforce. RPA improves agility and efficiency because it saves time, space and place. Robotic Process Automation allows humans to concentrate on what really matters.

Why closing Maddock surgery is bad for the community’s heath


Maddock Way Surgery

Brandon Estate’s only GP surgery, Maddock way surgery, is set to close at the end of March.

The borough’s CCG’s (Clinical Commission Group) PCCC’s (Primary Care Commissioning Committee) has asked patients to register at another local practice. Local people have also been advised to register after an upcoming consultation with residents and stakeholders. The consultation has been scheduled for the 28th of January 2020.

A critical success factor lay in the notable lack of interest from any other surgery or group to plug the gap the closure leaves behind. Locals are not aware of any active procurement consultation, and according to local paper, (Southwark News), the surgery is considered too small for any sustainable impact on community health and local economy. Thankfully, the same paper recently reported that “another GP practice has now expressed interest in the space and will pitch its business case on the 28th of January”.

But what do local people (young, middle-ages, and elderly) think? My work on the estate reveals the reservations below:

  1. The surgery’s proximity to local shared services, its location, and the ease of use.
  2. The surgery is old, unhygienic, and the service is poor.

Though many of the discussion surrounding the closure remains silo-d, a report from Southwark Primary Care Commissioning Committee, indirectly highlights the surgery’s unsustainability – both financially and non-financially.

Personally speaking, closing Maddock Way surgery jeopardises our collective effort and achievements on Brandon Estate, till date – Here are my 3 top reasons why:

1. Opportunity cost – Some have reported that the “closure would ‘save £21,000 a year“, while some suggest that Maddock Way’s surgery closure can “potentially deliver savings of £17,282 a year for reimbursable rent” and “£4,000 per year for rates”. The thing is, no one can say for sure if the decision is good or bad, it depends on the next-steps. Let’s not forget, Southwark is one of the few boroughs in the UK still employing Pharmacy First, only!

2. Elderly and ageing population – Although young-people have said that they prefer the service of Commercial Way surgery, while some are not aware of the surgery. The nearest surgery is seven minutes’ walk away from Brandon Estate, the closure of Maddock surgery would have a negative impact on the estate’s ageing and elderly population.

3. Social prescription & shared services – As I mentioned earlier, Southwark still employs Pharmacy First. From a geographical perspective, Maddock Way is a fine blueprint for any future social prescription and shared service design. This is due to the location, and proximity to local services and supporting community organizations.

The decision has come at a pivotal point. At a time when the community looks to put violence of recent years behind and build on a better 2019.

Personally, I hoped to see more local organizations connect to provide new shared and social prescription services. I hoped to see Google Digital Garage’s route-master buses on Maddock way supporting locals with technology.

Southwark is one of the few boroughs in London and the UK still employing Pharmacy First only. At the moment, it is quite difficult to ascertain whether the closure is for the better, or for the worse – at least, until we know more about potential take-overs and the vision of any take-over.

We did it!! Appreciate the local MP, Neil Coyle, for his support and good work in the community.


Feature course – Improving your health on-line

There are lots of ways you can use the internet to support your health. You can make appointments online, order repeat prescriptions and find advice on specific symptoms and conditions.

EXPLORE FREE COURSES ON LEARN MY WAY

Further reading

In loving memory of Charlotte Huggins – Brandon Estate


Charlotte was taken from her friends and family on the 1st of January, 2019. She’s widely believed to be the first knife-victim of 2019. A local man street-named Chucks has been jailed for 20 years the crime.

Charlotte was a truly wonderful and selfless person. She was kind, a happy and bubbly person, and she was approachable. In a community where the majority exist in silos, I couldn’t have pulled off a successful Get Online Week in 2018 without the support of local people, such as, Charlotte and Lilly.

No matter who you ask, they have the same things to say about Charlotte – she was simply a wonderful person! A lens we shared when I walked into the Heart of the Community in October to meet the team deliberating Charlotte’s memorial (below).

Rachel Leigh Community Centre is now a UK Online Centre

Charlotte’s departure should serve as a reminder of the damages violence causes in our homes, communities, and society. A reminder that more should be done to protect children and women in vulnerable and digitally-excluded communities.

Charlotte Huggins 1985-2019

In contrast to 2018, there were only 2 fatalities on Brandon Estate in 2019, below:

  1. Charlotte Huggins;
  2. Clinton Evbota.

Finally, I want to say an enormous ‘Thank You’ to everyone working towards a safer, prosperous, fairer, equal and a modern Brandon and to those responsible for Charlotte’s memorial. Thank you! Together, we will all achieve more!!

Further reading

What you need to know about volunteering & digital champions


Digital champion is an emerging form of volunteering that reflects contemporary living and technology-adoption maturity. In addition to the expectations of traditional volunteers, a digital Champions helps others understand the benefits of using the internet and shows them how to do simple things online.

You don’t need to be a computer whizz, you just need to have a bit of spare time, enjoy being online yourself, with a passion for helping (and enjoy being around) others.

Digital Champions Meeting | Brandon Estate

GENERIC BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING

  1. Volunteering connects you to others (like-minds) in the community
  2. Volunteering is good for your mind, body and self esteem
  3. Volunteering can advance your career
  4. Volunteering supports lifelong and adaptive learning and development
  5. Volunteering brings fun and fulfilment to ones’ life
  6. Volunteering is a good and tested way to give back to your community
  7. Volunteering gives you access to corporate processes and resources

SPECIFIC BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING

  • Build self confidence and esteem
  • Acquire work-based skills and references
  • Access to free national events
  • Connect with like-minds and make new friends
  • For research, academia, and school work

What it means to be a digital champion

  1. Presentation – PDF
  2. Presentation – Powerpoint

Learn more about school and company visits and book a workshop here