As well as the collection of primary data, another vital feature of our analytical capability is the robustness of our desk research and the gathering and processing of secondary material.
Web searching & libraries
- We make extensive use of the internet for the purposes of finding relevant research evidence. We have sophisticated systems for ensuring that search techniques are appropriate to the research question in hand and that search terms are tracked and recorded
- We use a broad mix of subscription services, libraries and our in-house expertise to ensure we obtain robust and reliable access to relevant research material
- We read innumerable papers, journals, reports and even books. (As Hector Cyr put it in Lake Placid: "Well, they conceal that kind of information in books")
- We frequently undertake large and challenging literature reviews covering multi-disciplinary issues.
- We use a variety of triangulation techniques - multiple search terms, expert interview, citation tracking - to ensure robust and exhaustive coverage
- We devise bespoke data-capture proformas for each literature review, as well as co-moderation among researchers, so as to ensure consistency of interrogation and data collection
- We access and deploy published data and statistics from a variety of sources, on the basis of project need
- Data on a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues are used for providing context for other material; for detailed sectoral and trend analysis; and for specialist analysis such as carbon footprinting
I had the pleasure of joining some 300 researchers and academics from around the world a couple of weeks ago to discuss the latest thinking on persuading consumers to use less energy. The BEHAVE2014 conference took place in Oxford at a time when it is increasingly appreciated, by businesses, governments and civic society, that any [...]
We had a conversation in the office the other day about herd behaviour and the difference between football and cricket crowds. Why is it that spectators at a football match can occasionally get aggressive and abusive, but spectators at a cricket match tend to act more like naughty schoolboys: boisterous but essentially good-natured? It’s a [...]