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When you commission research, what should you look for in the reports you get? (08 Oct 08)

What consultants should do with all the information you have paid them to collect – and how to measure how good a job they have done

I recently asked delegates who had been on our research courses to give us some help on a new course we are developing, How To Write A Research Report.

Well, I was staggered!

We were simply swamped with replies - and thoughts on what makes a good research report. It really was gratifying for me as week after week I slave away on articles and hope they are doing some good.

(If you do find them helpful, please don’t be afraid to let me know - every bit of encouragement helps! And if you don’t, please let me know where we are going wrong.)

I will share with you next week some of the ideas that people sent in but in the meantime one email that caught my eye was from John Gaddes, Research Officer for Northumberland County Council.

It was a very precise list of things John looks for in the reports he gets when he commissions research. I think it is simple, helpful, logical - and makes excellent sense. Why not use it next time you receive a consultant’s report so you have something to measure it by?

Here are John’s thoughts and I really would like to thank everybody else who sent ideas, as there were heaps of other good tips there as well.

“There are a number of things I would look for in an ideal research report especially when I commission research consultants:

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When you commission research, what should you look for in the reports you get?