Models & tools
We have several techniques for assembling, collating, analysing and interpreting the information we gather during research.
- Data are stored in a variety of formats - spreadsheets, databases, mindmaps, text documents - in a manner dictated by analytical need. Bespoke knowledge management structures are developed to ensure intelligent links between research questions, evidence gathered and intended outputs
- Much of our analysis is conducted by individuals, who are given the time and room to tackle the questions raised by any given piece of research in a manner that is shaped by that research. We consider it exceptionally important to allow proper time for deep thought: our working practices are significantly shaped by the need to allow high quality thinking time
- We also put great store by the importance of team-level analysis, and make extensive use of structured brainstorming sessions. Clients frequently participate in these exercises. We use a mix of techniques - mini-presentations, mind-mapping, flip chart exercises and so forth - to both pool and organise our collective insights
- We interpret the term 'model' widely: we make use of entirely conceptual models for the purposes of organising analysis; we use behaviour change models, process models and similar architectures to structure everything from data collection through to reporting; and we develop quantitative models in order to analyse data, or produce projections.
- We do not use any proprietorial models; nor are we doctrinaire in our choice of methodological approaches. We seek to balance our passion for the principles of sustainability with the pragmatism required by the need to conduct outcome-oriented research within finite times and budgets.
- Since much of our work is concerned with making propositions for 'what to do next', we make considerable use of the techniques of scenario planning and horizon scanning. On occasions these techniques are the basis of standalone projects; often they are incorporated as elements within a wider programme of work.
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 [...]