Editor’s note: Brett Hagins is senior partner of Research Innovation and ROI, a Plano, Texas non-profit organization.
While I was discussing demonstrating return-on-investment from research with a vice president of research for a large retailer, he suggested including a question as part of an annual assessment of the research department:
What was the biggest decision that research influenced for you this year?
It is common to assess satisfaction with project work and to do some kind of assessment of the relationship between research and key stakeholders. However, the kind of question posed above begins to document the impact of research on the business.
If stakeholders are not able to articulate a decision influenced by research, then it suggests that all of the charts, graphs, slides and surveys may not be accomplishing their ultimate purpose.
This is an initial step to begin the process of demonstrating ROI from research. Companies that have not developed this process have a much more difficult time defending their budgets and preserving their staff.