Carine Research

The business of getting a better question to answer

Apr. 16th | Posted by 0 comments

Photo by Constance ArdIf ever there was a time to hone your skills at getting to the essence of the matter, it is now.

With information users overwhelmed with information overload, and needing to sift through too much irrelevant material to find a few nuggets of insight, the ability to drill down to the essence of the matter, is a valuable skill.

In early 2014, for a case study on The importance of getting the research brief right, I interviewed information professionals working in diverse environments including an ASX listed company, the oil & gas industry, a global engineering consultancy, and a single office law firm.

The case study was commissioned for the Ark Group publication Corporate Libraries: Basic Principles in a Changing Landscape.

One of the case study participants hit the nail on the head when she remarked that the research brief process was all about ‘being in business of getting a better question to answer’.

In today and tomorrow’s technological landscape, information professionals need to be adept at a range of skills that add to their ability to get the research brief right, including:

  • promoting the value their research has delivered to work projects
  • excellent communication skills to build rapport
  • understanding the information-rich work environment in which colleagues work and the frustrations they experience finding information
  • linking colleagues to information and experts
  • analysing and distilling information results
  • presenting information findings that add insight to the research
  • coaching on research skills and how to use and get the most from a company’s online resources
  • time and project management
  • knowing when to stop.

In an information-rich work environment, the ability to promote and publicise the value of the research brief, adding insight to research findings, and delivering concise answers to complex questions, is just as important as getting the brief right.


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