Business Services GroupThe Bureau of Business and Economic Research performs applied research projects for business, non-profit agencies, and government entities. The research may be primary where we gather and analyze new data, or secondary research where we search for existing studies and data. All types of entities come to us for information needed to make important decisions.

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Research Assistance

General Business Research:

Many owners of small and medium-sized businesses “fly by the seat of their pants” when it comes to understanding their customers’ needs, the competitive environment, their own levels of customer service, effectiveness of their marketing programs and advertising campaigns, etc. Others have fairly good informal procedures for making some of these determinations. Many cannot afford the cost of hiring outside consultants to conduct research for them. BBER can assist these owners in devising and modifying methods for obtaining this critical information.

Research for “problem solving”:

Sometimes questions arise that are “outside” the normal course of activities for private business or governmental agencies that we can help to solve. For example, an agency came to BBER and indicated that a land owner had claimed that a proposed roadway alignment was impacting lot sales. They didn’t know how to determine if there was any validity to this claim, and if there was, the “degree of impact” that had occurred. We assisted them in determining what information would be needed to answer their questions, how to collect this information in a way that would not bias the responses, and worked with them to collect and analyze the data. Another agency came to BBER wanting to determine how their clients were faring after they left support programs provided by that agency. One problem was that these clients, after leaving the support program, were no longer “in touch” with the agency, so communication was an issue. A second problem was to determine which metrics might be measure “how they were faring.” BBER worked with this agency to find answers to these questions and to implement the research program to actually answer these questions.

Research Design Assistance Process:

BBER research design assistance generally starts with helping clients to answer these questions:
  • What are the research goals? How will the information be used? What decisions may be driven or influenced by the results?
  • Where does the information reside? What other information might provide similar value?
  • What are some of the alternative methods that could be used for collecting the information?
  • How can bias in the research / data collection methodologies be avoided or mitigated?
  • Which analytical methods will be used to “process” data?
  • Which entity(ies) would be good collaborative partners?
  • What benefits and costs are associated with various data collection and analytical methodologies?
  • How can the value-to-cost ration be maximized?