Research is not an isolated process, it is usually being undertaken either to help decision making in the organisation or to facilitate business processes - often the selling or marketing processes but may be any business process.
In the discussion of the uses of research, constant reference was made to how the market is structured and the market dynamics, that is, how the structure is changing. The sections on segmentation and customer decisions offer some background to how the information may be modelled to help focus on the information required from research and the impact on strategy. The section on branding also discusses some of these factors.
At a fundamental level, an organisation should have a clear basis for competing - one which will enable it to obtain better returns than their peer group.
Research techniques are also very effective in developing profiles of operational systems, helping to model the processes and determine best practice. They can provide a valuable input to the planning process and shareholder value exercises, and have been used very effectively in the development of expert systems or the knowledge base of an organisation.
Many of the techniques used for data mining, business intelligence and CRM (Customer Relationship Management), as defined by the IT industry for their own purposes, are techniques that researchers have always used to extract meaningful information from large data sets.
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