Running your own business is a rewarding, challenging, and exhilarating process. With so many key areas to focus on, you will always have plenty to get through in a day and never be bored. A great tip for any business owner looking to succeed is to keep up with the latest business trends. With this in mind, it is worth finding out more about applied research.
Although you might not have come across it before, this is a very important part of modern commerce and something that you should pay close attention to. But what is it, and how do businesses use it to their advantage?
Applied research is in demand in business
There is no doubt that applied research is something that more and more businesses are paying attention to now. This has seen companies across all sectors begin to incorporate it into their strategic decision-making process at executive levels. It also sees workers with skills in applied research become in demand. Due to this, jobs in this field are becoming very popular and offer not only a variety of openings but also attractive salaries.
But just how do you pick up these skills as an employee? The best way by far is to complete a relevant academic course that teaches you applied research techniques. The online DBA at Aston University is a fantastic example and a highly respected course from a top-class university. This degree is aimed firmly at business leaders and comes with a convenient online mode of study.
What is applied research in business?
Of course, before you think about moving into a role that is based in this field or bringing applied research concepts into your own company, it is sensible to know more about it. In short, applied research for business involves gaining new insights on a specific subject in order to achieve future commercial/professional goals.
To first gain the data to draw insights from, research projects are designed to focus on the subject of the research. These research projects can often be quite narrow in what they look at because this allows for highly specialized data gathering.
In turn, this means that the data gathered through applied research should be not only useful but also able to produce maximum results. While you might think that adding animation to your website is a good idea, for example, conducting applied research into doing this first allows you to confirm this before you spend any money on changes.
It is also worth knowing that there are in fact distinct methods of research in applied research. These include:
- Evaluation research, which sees researchers examining data to see what it can tell them about a specific issue.
- Research and development, which is commonly used for developing new products.
- Action research, involves a business asking self-reflective questions in order to improve.
But how do businesses use applied research to their advantage?
An effective way to boost production
This is certainly one way that businesses use this type of research to their advantage. All companies are constantly looking for ways to boost employee productivity and also streamline production processes. By doing this, they can ensure that production levels run to their maximum capacity and that workers perform to the best of their abilities.
But how can applied research help with this? In simple terms, it can see researchers observe the production process and look at the data recorded for actionable insights. This could be which part of the process is slowing things down or which employees are not working to their full capacity. They will then use these insights in order to tweak the production process.
It can help improve customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is very important in business and something that all companies will focus on. If a business’s customers are not happy, after all, they could well start to spend money with competitors! This would see a business lose much of its customer base and pick up a poor reputation in its sector.
Applied research is therefore something that firms will use to their advantage to raise customer satisfaction rates. This could be looking deeper into sales figures, for example, to see which products customers like most to focus on. It could also see a research study completed on which areas of the business score well for customer satisfaction and the reasons why. It could also see research into which areas fall short and why!
By taking the time to perform this kind of research, businesses are able to pinpoint areas of poor customer satisfaction to work on and also areas of high customer satisfaction to highlight. This can see them not only build up a more positive brand image over time and retain customers but also attract new ones.
Developing new product lines/services
When it comes to using applied research to their benefit, many companies will focus on this particular area. There is no doubt that it can really help when deciding which new products to create or which new services to offer. By enabling companies to do this, applied research can help them avoid wasting resources on new products/services that no one wants and show them the right products/services to concentrate on.
But how can this happen? A good example is a company conducting research through focus groups to gain public opinion on possible new products/services. This enables researchers to ask useful questions that can help the business decide if a new service or product is worth developing. As one of the types of research that can deliver useful consumer data, this is hard to beat. Applied research in production may also see multiple prototypes of new products created, which researchers can then test comparatively to see which one is the best to fully develop.
Applied research in business is essential
There is no doubt that applied research is something that has become essential in modern business over time. Without it, companies are simply guessing as to which new products might work or how to improve productivity.
By using this kind of research though, business leaders take away this kind of guesswork from their decision-making. Instead, they have factual data and useful insights drawn from this data to work from. This not only makes applied research a growing part of a business but also makes people with skills in this area highly sought after.