It is the case for all professionals that at some point a business issue or challenge will arise in which you will need more information to be able to adequately evaluate and solve the problem. In today’s world of digital information many people operate under the assumption that “I can find it myself or just use Google.” However, it is my experience that actually finding what is needed can be a huge challenge. Being able to identify the right resources and assess the value of the information retrieved is a skill that researchers cultivate.
Creativity and Innovation
Looking at a research problem or a business issue from a different perspective often sheds light on the situation and in some cases leads to an innovative way to answer the question. Coupling creativity and innovation, with critical thinking and data analysis provides a tool set that helps a researcher to be able to question and evaluate information. It is important to look for different viewpoints and then to reflect and synthesize your findings.
Knowledge of technology and how to use it effectively is critical in the fast paced world of business and legal research. More and more resources are being delivered in some type of electronic format, shared digitally or accessed remotely. Not only has this change affected the course of business as a whole, it has impacted the speed at which information is expected. Business involves risk; companies have made bets and failed based on outdated research and bad data.
A skilled researcher has access to information way beyond Google; she has proprietary databases, specialized resources, and the ability to aggregate large amounts of data into a streamlined report. Knowing how to navigate this digital landscape accurately and with lightning speed, is a sure fire way to add value to business or legal decision making. So much depends on knowing how to manipulate specialized technology for high-value, on point research.
Written and Verbal Communication
It is not enough to find information. Executives want and need the answers to their questions summarized and organized in a meaningful way. Business style writing is concise and to the point with supporting references and links to the full-text background resources. In addition, it is so important to be able to articulate findings in a professional manner. Sometimes just being able to summarize findings verbally brings clarity to the written report, and provides data in which decisions can be based on. Do you have the right data to support your company’s strategic direction?