It’s not the data (however big) that helps us make better sense of the world, understand our customers better, find new markets, sell more, or grow our businesses. It’s the synthesis of the data – what we do with it, how we shape it, where we find connections – and our “knowledge goals”, that make a difference. Knowing what we want to do with the answers, how we want to use them, and why they’re important to us, will help us have a richer understanding of the people we’re investigating in our research. Before adding yet another question to an overly-long survey, or jumping in like Columbo with a “just one more thing” query, ask yourself these things:
- What will I do with this answer if I get it?
- What decision will I be able to make?
- What action will I be able to take?
- Will it harm the relationship with the respondent in any way (abusing their time, being irrelevant, or being invasive for a purpose which we haven’t been transparent about)?
If you have good answers for those, and you’re still comfortable asking, by all means, go for it. Then use what you’ve learned wisely and do something excellent for the person responding. That is why you’re asking, isn’t it?
I’m Megann Willson, and with my partner, Steve Willson, we’ve been helping PANOPTIKA’s customers see everything they need to know to make better decisions for richer customer relationships, for over 18 years. You can also follow us on Twitter or connect on Facebook or LinkedIn. And if you’d like to join our community to have the conversation come right to your inbox, there’s a button below that will do the trick.