Center for Innovation Research

Methods and Tools

iLabs utilizes a variety of research techniques to understand and provide recommendations on organizational concerns.

Marketing Research
This is a systematic process used to understand a variety of market issues. It links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information. This information is then used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the methods for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes data, and communicates the findings and their implications.

Economic Impact Study
This is an assessment of the economic benefit or contribution of an industry, event, organization, or investment to a defined region’s economy. The benefits can be measured in both dollars and jobs. Economic impact studies use direct benefits and indirect benefits, such as secondary jobs and incomes that result from the direct benefits. Indirect benefits are determined through the use of multipliers.

Survey Methodology
This is the use of surveys and survey instruments administered by mail, phone, electronically, or in person to ask questions of a subject group. Survey administration is preceded by detailed survey development and testing, as well as the selection of sample size and subject group. Responses from the survey are statically analyzed to enable informed decision making.

Focus Group
This is a qualitative research process used to obtain detailed information on a particular topic. Focus groups generally include 8-12 participants who are led through a discussion of a particular research topic by a trained moderator. Several groups will be held separately to evaluate services and test new ideas. The results will be analyzed to provide initial insights into attitudes and feelings on specific issues that can be further researched.

Competitive Analysis
This is a method to assess of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors. Assessments are conducted using metrics to compare attributes such as product lines, pricing, technical capabilities, quality, sales, and profit. Competitive analyses are useful in understanding the industry and gaining insight to issues of strategic planning.