Why we support GOW at IFB Gaming


It is almost that time of the year when we get together to reinvigorate our shared vision for a prosperous, fairer, disinterested future society where everyone can reach their full potential.

Every October, during Black History Month and immediately after Libraries Week, the Online Centres Network review our shared goal to tackle digital inclusion in England, and we use the opportunity to encourage more organisations to join the cohort while supporting more citizens to get online.

The Online Centres Network

The Online Centres Network is a cohort made up of thousands of grassroot and hybrid organisations amalgamated by Good Things Foundation to tackle digital and social exclusion in England and Wales.

The Online Centres Network achieves its purpose by providing people and organisations with the insights, skills and confidence they need to fully participate during technology-adoption maturity and beyond.

The Online Centres Network has supported over 13 million people in England and Wales, Australia, Kenya and IFB Gaming diversified to Nigeria in 2020 to support education through the Digital Inclusion Tour.

Get Online Week is a key part of our design and work at the Online Centres Network. In addition to supporting people with digital skills, it is also an essential motivator for the organisations that constitute the cohort. For instance, during the lockdown, member organisations were able to access funding and devices and broadband to support people and organisations in our communities through the Online Centres Network.

British Council ISA at Scholars’ Crest International School (Connected Educator Programme)

Get Online Week

Get Online Week is a digital inclusion campaign by Good Things Foundation. The campaign sees thousands of local events take place each year hosted by community organisations, giving everyone the chance to find the support they need to improve their digital skills and get motivated to learn more.

In 2007, a date in October was first marked out to bring digital inclusion to national attention in the UK – and Get Online Day was born. In 2010, and for every year since, the campaign became a week-long, annual celebration, 

According to the figures released by Good Things Foundation in 2020, 400 community organisations in the UK held events for people with low digital skills, reaching over 20,000 people. This year’s Get Online Week campaign will take place from 18 – 24 October 2021, and you can be part of it too.

IFB Gaming

IFB Gaming is a hybrid games-based research and learning organisation focused on the intersection of play and lifelong learning and social inclusion.

At IFB, we believe that if people, communities or organisations don’t “mix” and “play” (integrate), then their ability to continue to learn in the future will evaporate and they risk being excluded.

IFB Gaming met Good Things Foundation at the launch of WebRoots Democracy at Whitehall in 2015 but we did not become a member of the Online Centres Network until 2018. Meeting Helen Milner, founder of Good Things Foundation, set IFB up for an epic digital transformation journey. At the time, she was basically doing what we were doing in gaming paradigm and with gaming clans and communities at University in real life, and with real organisations and charities.

Through the Online Centres Network, IFB Gaming has worked with prominent organisations and trusts such as NHS Digital, HMRC, Smartlyte, Learn For Life Enterprise and Park View Project.

Since joining the network in 2018, IFB has participated in four (4) Get Online Week campaigns and we are currently a health and wellbeing specialist within the network.

IFB Gaming joins the Online Centres Network (Get Online Week 2018)

Benefits of being part of Online Centres Network

Being a health and wellbeing specialist at the Online Centres Network could easily lead to the assumption that it is a mandatory campaign and as such we are obliged to participate. No! That is not the case and you can get involved too. All you have to do is follow the instructions to become a member of the Online Centres Network and register to either host an event and/or simply support the campaign.

Below, I impart four (4) benefits of joining the network as experienced through my leadership at IFB Gaming.

1. Focus – Being a member of the Online Centres Network provided a focus and guiding point for IFB Gaming as we navigated the transition from longitudinal virtual ethnography to a hybrid learning and research organisation.

2. Awareness and reach – Being a member of the UK Online Centres Network has provided us with a conduit to channel our uniqueness and offerings to the English communities and lawmakers. The Online Centres Network creatively creates a voice for the thousands of grassroot organisation in the coalition.

3. Further B2B and B2C opportunities – Being a member of the network has exposed IFB to sophisticated business conduits and prominent personalities in England and Wales and in Australia. Through the Online Centres Network, IFB Gaming has been able to access new business opportunities bringing opportunities back to English communities and to the organisations that serve these communities.

4. Exposure to funders and investors – Being a member of the UK Online Centres Network has exposed us to funders and investors that we could not have imagined and designed for. Pre-membership, community and hybrid organisations in our sector often competed for the same fund-pot, and often for identical objectives – social and digital inclusion. Since becoming a health and wellbeing specialist for the network, we have been exposed to funders, investors and lawmakers that we did not imagine possible, at least, not any time soon.

IFB Gaming was able to out tablets during the lockdown

The pandemic inherently catalyses technology-adoption maturity ushering in the new decline that puts on the path on new AI (Artificial Intelligence) making social integration an utmost priority. Today, 3.7 billion people are digitally excluded worldwide (ITU, 2020) and over 13 million people in the UK lack the digital skills they need for work (Lloyds Consumer Digital Index, 2020).

Hidden Middle (Future Dot Now)

A lack of digital skills and access can have a huge negative impact on a person’s life, leading to poorer health outcomes and a lower life expectancy, increased loneliness and social isolation, less access to jobs and education. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s how vital digital and social integration are to the nations health and wellbeing. Personally speaking, I think the work that we do at the Online Centres Network is essential. Organisations such as the Online Centres Network are as important for reporting at the top as they are for accessing excluded communities and citizens at the bottom, but we cannot do it alone.

Learn how you can get your organisation involved on the Online Centres Network’s website.

Simple tips for parents/guardians of young gamers


The New York Times published a pretty bleak look at what quarantine induced screen/gaming time is theoretically doing to kids in January of 2020. But this is not a new topic or issue. Silent movies were said to provoke crimeViolent TV and, later, violent video games said to cause violent crimes. War games have been said to cause mass-shootings.

In fairness, every generation has its own social and moral panic about emerging technologies and technology adoption, and it is far from over for video games and gaming discussions.

The issue is that no one actually keeps their eye on the ball. As each new technology comes out, we forget the last one. In recent years, we have been easily excited and distracted by emerging technologies, rhetoric, and ‘experts’, most of which has now come to light following the sudden manifestation of COVID-19. It is therefore pivotal to maintain focus and not only see the pandemic as a disruption, but also as an opportunity to bridge certain gaps and re-calibrate for tech-adoption maturity and beyond. In the article, I address a concern from a parent in London below.

as a parent with an artistic child I see him losing all his other interests, if I let him play everyday there would still be an argument when it’s time to stop! I personally worry about too much time staring at a screen.

A Concerned Mother

Gaming is a joint leisure time activity for many people around the world. When humans share leisure time activities together, they often initiate, build, and foster diverse social relationships. For more on the social and economic side of gaming, read my top tips for parents and guardians here and the socio-economic benefits of gaming and eSports here.

Contemporary online gaming devices are not so different from a personal computer or a smart phone and the internet. Contemporary gaming devices and access are pretty much portals to infinite social worlds, applications, and engagement.

At IFB, we believe that computer games (digital games or video games) are great and as we approach tech-adoption maturity and the final phase of the 4th industrial evolution, more and more things will be game-like. Have you played a game on Facebook recently and shared with your friends?

We have found that many people believe that there is a scientifically established relationship between violent video game play and violent crime, when in fact there is no research to indicate such a link. There is also strong misperception that just because someone plays a lot of video games, they are addicted to them. Disregarding the fact that there is currently an open debate as to whether or not video game addiction exists at all.

Pre pandemic, WHO classified gaming as a mental health disorder. Some leaders openly voiced their concerns for gaming addiction and its inherent link to violence – for example, the mass shootings in the USA. In the UK, the top mental health nurse has warned that video games are pushing young people into ‘under the radar’ gambling. It is far from over for gaming, but for now, here are some simple tips for parents and guardians of young gamers.

Simple Tips For Parents & Guardians

Be aware of the 3Cs, communication, connections and context of communication and connections during multiplayer-online gaming.

Off-line, use framing to focus on time and activity planning and management more than screen-time.

Gaming must not be his/her only social, playtime and relaxation activity.

Be present and interested and participate when he/she is gaming.

Finally, it costs to purchase a v-box for a young person every week to play video games such as FORTNITE. This partnership and privilege should be positively framed and transferable to developments at home and in real life.

IFB Gaming joins FutureDotNow Coalition


It delights me to announce that IFB Gaming has joined Future Dot Now Coalition.

Building the digital and data provisions, accessibly and capabilities of BAME communities is key to our digital transformation. However, we do not always have to wait for the problem to escalate before we start any planning process. The pandemic has created a sense of urgency highlighting that old ways may not suffice for the future and that we should amplify digital inclusion and eradicate data poverty. But no one organisation or government or community can do it alone. This is why we are delighted to take the pledge and join Future Dot Now coalition to tackle digital inclusion.

Digi Evol 2019

Future Dot Now is a coalition of organisations focused on boosting the UK’s workplace essential digital skills. The coalition is championed by Liz Williams MBE who is also the Founder and Chief Executive of Future Dot Now. There are currently 133 members, including organisations such as Good Things Foundation, IBM, Microsoft, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, and PwC, in the coalition.

Fostering a digitally-enabled culture is crucial to our success as a nation, which is why we are proud to join the Future Dot Now coalition, to share insights that will help other members while also learning from the other fantastic organisations in the coalition.

About IFB Gaming

IFB stands for International friends bureau. IFB is a games-based research and learning organisation focused on the intersection of play and lifelong learning and digital inclusion.

At IFB, we extract the elements that make gaming paradigm engaging, alluring, fun and social for digital and non-digital product and service. IFB was formalized in 2019.

What being part of the coalition means to us at IFB Gaming

Based on our market positioning as a games-based and bridge research and learning organization, the coalition will support our mission realisation in the following ways.

  1. To gain support from big names (individual and organizations) already tackling digital inclusion in England & Wales
  2. To share insights and acquire new insights and know-how that will be tailored to digital inclusion from the bottom-up
  3. To bring the coalition up-to-date on the benefits of Gamification and emerging trends
  4. To create new awareness programmes for the wonderful application readily available for Third Sector organisations and community organisations
  5. To share new opportunities and devise conduits that will continue to manifest the UK as the number one through strategic partnerships in the commonwealth
  6. To promote the Essential Digital Skills Framework in BAME communities and from the bottom-up
  7. To support organizations with volunteering opportunities in the community
  8. To provide free and affordable workplace digital training and products for the members of the coalition

EDS – Essential Digital Skill Framework

The Essential Digital Skills Framework (above) outlines five key skills and provides examples of tasks that people should be able to complete to demonstrate each skill. Each skill has a distinct focus, but the fifth skill – being safe, legal and confident online – is also embedded across the other four. Read all about Essential Digital Framework on Future Dot Now’s website.

EDS framework was particularly effective during our Digital Inclusion Tour (when we supported 10 schools and 200+ teachers with remote learning and digital inclusion) in 2020. The headteacher of Hubert Ogunde Memorial Montessori school shares her experience in the YouTube video below.

The pandemic has highlighted old gaps and exposed new gaps. The thing is, there is a lot of work going on in UK communities similarly focused on a prosperous, connected, fairer, and a sustainable digital economy. However, a lot of the work often exist in silos and largely go unreported and unaligned to systemic conduits.

I am convinced that we now need a robust, comprehensive and circular strategy held together with strategic partnerships and deliberately driven from the bottom-up with humans/communities at the core.

According to the City of London News Room, the UK is at the forefront of the digital revolution, with the pace of growth for technology, media and creative businesses outperforming the wider economy. Yet the speed of change is leaving many behind:

  • 53% of UK employees do not have the essential digital skills required for the workplace
  • 4.1 million adults in the UK are still ‘offline’, with 75% indicating that ‘nothing’ could motivate them to change
  • 11.3 million UK adults still lack the essential skills to access the internet, communicate and solve problems online

The Future Dot Now coalition have therefore committed to the following pledges – and are encouraging other organisations to join in and do the same. Only together, will we successfully develop fluid, connected and sustainable solutions that are fit for the task and challenges that lay ahead.

The Foreign Office 2021’s Integrated Review: Yay or Nay?


The Pandemic has certainly changed the face of society as we know it for the foreseeable future. Although ‘cataclysmic’ in nature, the Pandemic has not only disrupted every walk of life, it has also exposed certain societal gaps – that should be addressed. The inherent lockdown has highlighted certain health and learning inequalities and we are keen to support the public and emergency services to bridge and close the gap and to build an inclusive UK that works for everyone. This is why we welcome the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Integrated Review Report, 2021.

The Integrated Review

The Review is a comprehensive articulation of the UK’s national security and international policy. It outlines three fundamental national interests that bind together the citizens of the UK – sovereignty, security and prosperity – alongside the UK’s values of democracy and its commitment to universal human rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and faith, and equality. (GOV.UK)

The latest report (2021) stresses the importance of deepening the UK’s relationships with allies/partners at home and around the world, as well as moving more swiftly and with greater agility.

The report suggests:

  • an emphasis on openness as a source of prosperity
  • a more robust position on security and resilience
  • a renewed commitment to the UK as a force for good in the world
  • an increased determination to seek multilateral solutions to challenges like climate change

Achieved by:

  • Sustaining strategic advantage through science and technology
  • Shaping the open international order of the future
  • Strengthening security and defence at home and overseas
  • Building resilience at home and overseas

Read the full report here

The final report is the product of a year of work that included government agencies and consultation with a wide range of external organisations and thinkers through a call for evidence. The call for evidence was initiated on the 13th of September 2020, and it is part of a wider effort to ensure the Integrated Review is informed by a strong and diverse evidence base. The report sets out a vision for Global Britain up until 2025. Read the call for evidence with the link.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REVIEW

Read the full report here

Broadway Junior School, Apapa

The Benefits of The Integrated Review

The review informs the UK’s future policy-making for all government departments. It will also inform future spending reviews, offering further and improved opportunities to align resources with sovereign ambition and values over the long term. The Government has promised to ensure that all Government and Third Sector instruments will work together, coordinated by enhanced strategic capabilities at core, to achieve the set objectives.

Abroad, there are also benefits for the Commonwealth Nations that we serve dearly. For instance, the Union Jack fly next to the Nigerian Flag in 26% of Private (and Montessori) schools in Lagos State, Nigeria – and the British Council is actively Connecting Classrooms in the country. This is where our interest lay.

Connecting Classrooms at Scholars’ Crest International School, Lagos State

Hubert Ogunde Memorial School, Ogun State

What it means for IFB Gaming

In 2020, we supported 10 private schools and 100+ teachers with digital inclusion and remote learning design in Nigeria. This year, we have partnered with NHS Digital and we actively supported the usability testing of the COVID-19 content on NHS.UK and GOV.UK websites in March, 2021. We aim to amplify our calls for partnership in the coming months with the next call scheduled to begin in the first week of May (the 4th).

At IFB Gaming, the report supports:

Continuity and Sustainability Planning – Something reassuring about knowing that there is support for our Commonwealth (West Africa) programme back at home in the UK

Connectivity and Reporting – Opportunity to once again align our activities and field operations to national goal and value system.

NHS Digital has taken that all important first step – we should now follow NHS Digital’s foot-steps.

Cohesion & Integration – There a lot of work going on in our communities but they often exist and achieve in silos ending up unreported

Following our collective experience of the Pandemic at home and abroad, we welcome the holistic focus on strategic partnership and allies and we hope that our collective efforts are diverse and positively-deliberate with solid evidence-bases.

We especially welcome the development because of the continued focus on evidence, education and science and technology. This inherently has its own benefits as the UK finally withdrew from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community at the end of 31 January 2020.

Scholars’ Crest International School, Lagos State

Become More By Championing Digital: Home, Community & Workplace


Hello Everyone! I hope the Holiday is being friendly to you. It was no doubt a challenging year for many people and personally speaking, I was unable to build on the successes of 2019. That said though, while the pandemic was disruptive, I think you may find that it also presented opportunities for new, further and continued learning in many arenas of life.

Though the lockdown restrictions have been significantly relaxed in many Nations, the unpredictability and uncertainty surrounding the Pandemic and expected-vaccine remains. So, try to imagine how I felt when I received an invitation to join a prominent community called Become More Tribe right at the end of the year. I was well chuffed!!!

Before I proceed, I want to apologise because I cannot tell you much about the learning organisation’s culture and structure, except for the wonderful work Become More Tribe does in Nigerian communities epitomised by its successive reach, outcomes and impact. However, having followed the learning organisation with passionate-inquisitiveness for several months, I am convinced that Digital Champions can learn more and further benefit from Becoming More. Digital Champions can systematically support any holistic initiative aimed at helping our communities to become more and better.

So, why am I so excited about Become More Tribe?

You are probably wondering, what is so exciting about being invited to a group? I know, people are invited to and join groups every other day.

In 2020, I supported 10 schools and 100+ teachers with digital literacy, digital inclusion, digital literacy and remote learning. For optimal goal and benefit realisation, I employed a concept called Digital Champions. It was highly successful. However, bringing into the context the unpredictability of the pandemic and geographical disparities, I have struggled to visualise a continuity plan with an happy ending favourable to all the stakeholders.

Digital Champions are often appointed by their network, communities or by their workplace to help them promote the benefits of learning technologies and an inclusive and blended learning-organisation. Digital Champions are people of all ages and from all backgrounds and communities.

They help others understand the benefits of using the internet and technology and can show them how to do simple things online that can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Read all about Digital Champions with this link.

Mrs Yinka Ogunde

Firstly, Mrs Yinka Ogunde, who I have mentioned severally in my discussions champions the initiative. Mrs Yinka Ogunde, a dedicated Educator, Mother, Wife, and passionate Lifelong Learner was recently, and in my opinion, rightly, credited in Nigerian media for her role in the continued transformation of the country’s education system.

In my last tele-conference, here, I exclusively gave a shout-out for her work in Nigerian grassroot communities. In the same video, here, I impart with my concern that while there’s a lot of work focused on a prosperous, equal and fairer Nigeria, there is not enough connectivity, downwardly impacting collaboration. Please watch the tele-conference here and do let me know what you think – thank you!!

Becoming a member of Become More Tribe exposes me and my team to like-minded persons and relationships and fundamentally, collaborative spaces where “we can continually expand our capacity to create the results we truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where we are continually learning how to learn together” ~ Peter Senge.

Secondly, and perhaps most important to me, I do not want Digital Championship to become a fad. Joining Become More Tribe can creatively elongate the sustainability of Digital Championship in Nigeria. You can revisit the first Digital Champion Meeting in Lagos State here.

FREE Digital Skills For Beginners

Thirdly, the UN suggests that there are three levels to Social Sustainability, namely; Digital Inclusion; Digital Integration; Digital Cohesion. In my experience working in England & Wales, Nigeria, Kenya and Australia, I find it pivotal to understand the three stages, know your current stage, and to know when to move from a stage to the next. The thing is, we have now reached tech-adoption maturity in our respective countries. The maturity was unwittingly escalated and catalysed by the sudden emergence and swift spread of the Pandemic. At Digital Nation NG, we are now at Stage II of the UN’s Social Sustainability Framework and we couldn’t have asked for a more promising start to (Digital) Integration than an invite to become more with Become More Tribe.

Fourthly, educators played a pivotal role during the peak of the Pandemic in several countries. In my opinion, they were as essential as many tagged groups of essential citizens during the peak of the Pandemic. Suddenly, there is a certain sense of urgency that CPD – Continuous Professional Development and PDP, Personal, as well as, Professional Development Planning can no longer be treated as a luxury, it has become a must. In response to this knowledge, Digital Nation NG initiated the Connected Educator project in December 2020. Through Become More Tribe’s thought-leadership and outreach, Connected Educators can actively participate and strategically inform Knowledge Exchange, Knowledge Management, Policy Development.

Finally, all the above are inherently and readily available through Become More Tribe: a shared and mutual sense of space, culture and purpose. As the name may suggest, Become More Tribe empowers people to become better and they also empower the people with the tangible and intangible resources and know-how to empower other people.

Connecting Educator’s Connecting Classroom Project at Scholars’ Crest International School, Omole, Lagos State

I truly believe that Become More Tribe will breed new life into our programmes at Digital Nation NG. At Become More Tribe, we can participate with agility and independence, as an individual or as an organisation while developing meaningful, constructive, reinforcing and purposeful relationships and a shared sense of place and culture.

At Become More Tribe, we will also be exposed to the latest industry news, trend, and policies and we can actively participate in policy development through purpose-driven and person-centred social research and innovation.

I look forward to 2021 and to learning from, as well as, working with a group that continually strives for a fairer, prosperous, equal and sustainable Education in Nigeria. You may have heard the saying “Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change a Nation” ~ Nelson Mandela

Gamification and the many attempts to scale and define it


Sebastian Deterding defined gamification as ‘the use of game design elements in non-game contexts’. His definition is most widely used definition. It’s often recommended by professionals and scholars as it captures ambiguity and complexities.

History of Gamification

The use of game thinking has been around for as long as man was required to formulate plans and strategies to make ends meet.

Although it’s impractical to track its origin to a fixed time and space in evolution, McGonigal was able to trace game-use in non-game context back to 546BC. Furthermore, many scientist, such as Albert Einstein, when he suggested the games are a superior form of investigations. 

Consider the following examples by Yu Kai Chou and this article published in the guardian on how video games are contributing to science, with examples.

Finding a Definition

Though Oxford dictionary condenses Gamification to;

 the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service…

…and Deterding’s definition (2011) is widely employed and accepted…

The earliest attempt to scale Gamification is seen in the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) where he described an emerging type of engagement. According to Mihaly; 

“… during this kind of highly structured, self-motivated hard work we regularly achieve the greatest form of happiness available to human beings; intense, optimistic engagement with the world around us” – Flow 1990.

…It was not until 2002 that a solid definition manifested…

In 2002, Nick Pelling proposed the first definition, though impressive at the time, Gamification did not become a buzzword until Gartner added it to the hype cycle in 2014. Following Deterding’s contribution, there have been several attempts to claim definitive rights to Gamification.

They include;

photo
Gullietta @UoP

Nick Pelling 2002 –  Applying game-like accelerated user interface design to make electronic transactions both enjoyable and fast.

Yu-Kai Chou 2003 – The craft of deriving all the fun and alluring elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities.

Andrzej Marczewski 2005 – The application of game metaphors to real-life tasks to influence behaviour, improve motivation and to enhance engagement.

Peter Jenkins 2010 – The use of game design metaphors to create more game-like experiences.

Sebastien Deterding 2011 – The use of game design elements in non-game contexts.

George Cotcha 2016: The concept of applying game mechanics & game design techniques to engage & motivate people to achieve their goals.

Brian Burke (Gartner) 2014 – The use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.

Kevin Webarch 2010 – The use of design techniques from games in business or some other context.

Michael Wu 2015 – The use of game attributes to drive player-like behaviour in non-game context.

Karen Cham 2017 – At Gamification Europe 2017, professor Karen Cham defined gamification as a design mechanic, she said it is …

“… the implementation of game-style incentivisation mechanics, such as motivation, jeopardy and reward, into non-game environments, such as business and services, to increase engagement and/or performance – often as part of CX, UX and EX”.

 

How Gamification works

Gamification involves selecting from an inventory of mechanics to plan and configure a product or user journey/s. There are 13 primary game mechanics, the popular game mechanics are points, badges, levels, rewards and leaderboard.

Gamification provides several benefits; however, much depends on the mix that is used, how it’s used, and the vendor/s. Like traditional project management, it’s pivotal to investigate and seek expert advice before venturing into any Gamification project.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Introduction to market research

(1) Market penetration (2) Risk management (3) Product development (4) Market development…


Introduction

We conduct more research than we are aware of. On many occasions we consult with posters, social media or ask friends and family before we purchase or recommend a product or a service.

Research at its root is all about seeking out facts and opinions to facilitate sustainable decision-making and to reverberate knowledge acquisition. When we scroll through reviews, comparing laptop capacity and prices online, we are interrogating and triangulating facts and opinions. In the article, I introduce you to the basics of market research.

 

Market Research

Market research is driven by curiosity, risks, uncertainty, and continuous improvements. The primary objective of any market research is to capture and understand the perspectives and behaviours of a desired target group. For instance; Have you ever been presented a questionnaire about the product or service in your regular grocery store?

Market research is the process of gathering and interpreting data about customers and competitors within an organisation’s operations grid. It aids organisation’s to understand (potential) audience behaviours and perceptions, as well as, the positioning and the impact of value proposition. Market research is carried out for one or more of the following;

 

(1) Market penetration

(2) Risk management

(3) Product development

(4) Market development

(5) Diversification

 

The end deliverable of any market research takes the form of reporting for the attention of the directorate and stakeholders, and often for or as part of the decision-making process.

 

Types of research and research data

The prerequisite of any research involves establishing the groups and methods of investigations. Upon planning, there are two types of data that an investigator can gather during market research – primary and secondary data.

Data is reusable, and can be gathered for different, yet, related purpose. There are two types of data collection scenarios, (1) Primary and (2) Secondary data.

Primary research requires the collection and analysis of new data and information.

Secondary research requires retrieving and working with existing data.

 

Data is raw facts collected for reference or analysis

— My Little Oxford Dictionary 2003

 

Primary data

This process of gathering first-hand information is called primary data collection. Primary data can be collected using the techniques below.

  • Questionnaires
  • Focus groups
  • Observations
  • Experiments

 

Benefits Drawbacks
Relevant to business Time consuming
Up-to-date Expensive
Findings closed to competition Results may not be open

 

Secondary data

This process of gathering existing information for research is called secondary data collection. Secondary data can be collected using the techniques below.

  • Market/Research reports
  • Trade journals
  • Government statistics
  • Sales and customer records
  • Books
  • Academic and scholarly publications
  • Press releases

 

Benefits

Drawbacks

Swift to conduct Data may be out-of-date, not relevant
Readily available Expensive
Competition may not have access to the findings Requires interpretation and analysis
Easy to collect Pseudo-science and persuasive data

 

Primary and secondary data collection can be conducted online and offline or both. Depending on the research method, they can be employed simultaneously during investigations.

 

Approaches

Quantitative research

Quantitative market research is associated with numerical data and often collected from large groups. This type of data is often collected online and offline through questionnaires.

Qualitative research

Qualitative research associates with opinions and behaviours, trend and perceptions. In my experience, the qualitative approach is fun and much more useful than the quantitative approach. It is also flexible, allowing room for in-depth investigations and triangulation.

 

Sampling Methods

Once data types and methods have been established, a sampling method facilitates the investigation. Sampling methods reduce the effects of the iron triangle on a research project. It is condensing the representative group into manageable chunks for eased processing.

Cluster sampling: Cluster sampling: The use of random sampling from a specific area or segment.

Convenience sampling: When the researcher relies on a group of willing volunteers. This method often results in bias.

Systematic sampling: Every nth person from the respondent group is selected. This technique can be costly if the samples are widespread and diverse.

Random sampling: Everyone in the population has an equal chance of being chosen to be in the sample.

Quota sampling: People in the sample are chosen to reflect the proportions of different groups in the target market.

Stratified sampling: Firstly, the appropriate market segment identified and recruited, following, the final sample is randomly recruited from the selection.

 

Final Word

Research is an important arena of human evolution. Market research is collecting data about customers, competitors and market trends for internal use. Today, we can conduct research offline and online, and there are more channels for data collection.

Market research is the first step for any business or product development. Market research assists an organisation with risks and uncertainty.

 

How to support a colleague with mental health


1 in 4 of us will experience a health and wellbeing issue this year. Choosing to talk health and well being can break down barriers and can change lives and improve our communities at the same time.

1. You don’t have to be an expert – Just being there means a lot. You don’t have to have all the answers.

2. Ask questions and listen – Asking questions shows that you care and want to know how someone’s really doing.

3. Keep it simple – Small actions can make a big difference. Chat over a cup of tea & biscuit, take a walk or send a text.

4. Don’t try and fix it – Resist the urge to offer fixes and solutions. Often, listening will suffice.

Starting a conversation doesn’t have to be awkward and it could make a huge difference.