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Frequently Asked Questions about Market Research

CyberEdge Information Services, Inc. (CEIS) provides market intelligence based on research and experience. We focus on the visual simulation, virtual reality, and interactive technology markets. Since 1990 our analysts have attended conferences around the world, met the leaders in these fields, visited labs, factories and sites where these technologies are used, written about the field, and been quoted in dozens of mainstream publications. By combining this experience with traditional research tools, we are able to provide both public and proprietary information that is not found anywhere else.

This FAQ will answer some of your questions about market research and our methods and capabilities

To discuss your personal requirements or questions, please contact us at research at cyberedge.com
or call +1 510 419-0800.

Topics

Q: What comprises market research?
Q: How would my company use market research?
Q: What is the process of conducting a research project?
Q: What are the research deliverables?
Q: Where does CyberEdge get its information?
Q: Who does the research?
Q: How reliable is the information?
Q: What does market research cost?
Q: Who has access to your research?
Q: What reports does CyberEdge make publicly available?

Q: What comprises market research?

A: Market research is the gathering of information related to marketing. This information can relate to historical, current or future requirements. The type of information collected is highly dependent on the ultimate use of the information. Both objective (numerical data) and subjective information (anecdotal or narrative) can be collected and analyzed. Here are a few examples:

To determine how well products meet the needs of customers, a Customer Survey will ask current users of the products about their experiences with the products. The questions may ask about the user interface, reliability, ease of use, how well the products meet expectation, how the products compare to competitive products, whether the feature set meets expectations and needs, and other similar questions.

To assess the attitude of customers and potential customers toward a company and its products, an Attitude Assessment Study will ask people in the target group about their opinions of the company and its products, what they think of competitors, how they use the company’s products, what they think of the company’s service, and other questions designed to elicit relevant personal attitudes and opinions.

To determine the feasibility of developing a new product, a Technology Assessment helps assess the current state of the art of a certain technology, and provides a roadmap for the future direction of that technology. We can look at existing technologies or just test the feasibility of a new idea, from a technological or user acceptance point of view.

To test a new product concept, a focus group can be convened to discuss the product in a neutral setting. A Focus Group provides subjective feedback by providing a directed discussion of topics a company is interested in learning more about. Typical Focus Group topics include discussions of new product concepts, features of a software applications, attitudes toward a company or industry, assessment of user experiences, customer requirements and attitudes, or testing a new marketing message.

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Q: How would my company use market research?

A: Companies use market research for a variety of purposes. In most cases, research is used to provide a factual basis for decision making. This can include determining which of several product concepts is most viable, testing marketing messages or positioning, determining brand recognition, understanding customer requirements, providing competitive analysis, assessing the state of a new technology, providing marketplace analysis, or providing sales people with knowledge of their customers and competitors.
Market research is one part of a unified marketing system that enables organizations to move forward with more knowledge of a market or situation than they would otherwise have.

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Q: What is the process of conducting a research project?

A: Research projects take as many form as there are needs and customers. Each project done by CyberEdge is custom designed to provide optimal return on investment to the client. However, the basic format of a research project is similar in most cases.

When you work with CyberEdge on a project, we will uses these procedures to determine your requirements and deliver tightly-focused information that you can act on quickly:

  1. Assess your need for information to determine what data will provide the required understanding.
  2. Discuss with you the relevant aspects of your industry, marketplace, and competition.
  3. Design a preliminary research plan.
  4. Explain the preliminary plan and discuss it with you. Create a final research plan based on that discussion.
  5. Implement the research plan by collecting data, analyzing that data, and writing a report.
  6. Present the report to you and answer any questions left at that point.

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Q: What are the research deliverables?

A: Research deliverables are generally a printed report. Frequently, this report is supplemented by a database of relevant information, including URLs that provide backup data. Other information can be delivered as needed, and can include virtually any type of media, including images, animations, video, audio, or verbatim transcripts. Written reports are typically delivered on paper or as Adobe Acrobat files. Other information is delivered in the most appropriate media, often on CD-ROM.

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Q: Where does CyberEdge get its information?

A: We obtain information forma a variety of sources. Each research project is designed to obtain information in the most direct and rapid manner, while ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the information.

Our resources include the Internet, public and private libraries, personal contact, and polling of targeted population groups. We make use of primary research, which is based on data that we collect from original sources, and secondary research, which is based on studies done by others.

Primary and Secondary research are based on these types of sources:

Primary Research

  • Surveys of any scale, conducted by mail, e-mail, web site, or telephone
  • Focus groups
  • Delphi polls
  • Personal discussions with industry leaders

Secondary Research

  • Surveys of published research
  • Library searches
  • On-line searches
  • Journal surveys
  • Conference proceedings
  • International governmental publications
  • Unpublished sources
  • Patent searches

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Q: Who does the research?

A: CyberEdge employs researchers with knowledge of the target industries. Teams are assembled on an as-needed basis, which helps to reduce overhead and the cost of our work. Our Chief Analyst is Ben Delaney, president of CyberEdge Information Services, who has more than 30 years of experience in computing and high technology. He provides hand-on leadership for all CyberEdge projects.

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Q: How reliable is the information?

A: Each type of research and each study population provide differing levels of reliability. No study, no matter who does it, is 100% accurate. Part of our research design process is to determine the reliability requirement and estimate how well it can be fulfilled. We provide reliability information on every project as part of the final report.

Objective, primary research can be provided with a higher level of certainty than can subjective research. This is because of the nature of objective data – based on questions like, "How many widgets did you purchase last year?" – can usually be reduced to numbers which we can analyze statistically. Subjective information – based on anecdotal responses to questions like, "What else about the product do you like?" – is more difficult to quantify and the reliability is often unsure.

Reliability can range from unknown to 95%. Reliability is expressed as a "confidence level," also called "margin of error". Confidence levels are expressed as a two-part statement. For example, our recent public study, The Market for Visual Simulation/Virtual Reality System, Fourth Edition, has a 95% confidence level of ±5.9%. That means that we are sure that 95% of the data is accurate to within ±5.9%. We use industry-standard method to analyze our data and provide confidence levels based on those standards.

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Q: What does market research cost?

A: Like any customized product, market research costs can vary significantly. Costs for proprietary research depend on the amount of data to be collected, the difficulty in finding and collecting the data, the type and depth of analysis required, and the amount of time in which to complete the project. Typical costs for proprietary research start at around US$5,000 for a simple project.

Syndicated research is similar to proprietary research, except that the design specifications and costs are shared by several companies. Syndicated research is especially useful when a project is so large that no one company wishes to pay the entire cost. It is also useful when a consortium or partnership requires intelligence, and allows the members of the group to share the planning and expense. Syndicated research, like proprietary research, is never publicly shared – only the participating companies have access to the results. Cost for syndicated research typically start around US$75,000.

Public research reports allow our clients to share the cost of research among many purchasers, and receive a work product that would otherwise cost many times the selling price, but is less tightly focused to an individual client’s needs. For many clients, our public research provides enough information to meet their needs. Our public report prices start at around US$1,500.

We also offer semi-custom research, which is based on taking a new look at the data used to build one of our public reports. For example, one client who bought The Market for Visual Simulation/Virtual Reality System, Fourth Edition, asked us to dive deeper into the information to provide a closer look at one product category. The second report augmented the first, and was used by their sales force to great advantage. Semi-custom research is priced based on the time it takes to do, and starts at around US$2,000.

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Q: Who has access to your research?

A: Proprietary research is not distributed to anyone but the client who paid for it. Occasionally, we arrange with a client to use data collected for them as part of a public report. In that case, the client pays less for the work, and any information that could be damaging to the client, or advantageous to its competitors, is withheld from public distribution.

We also provide research publicly. These reports are available to anyone, but the data itself is our exclusive property and is not released.

In most cases, we do not release raw data to anyone. This is to protect our pledge of confidentiality to our respondents. This policy ensures that our respondents can be confident that they will not be identified, and thus they are willing to provide confidential data that is statistically valid, but cannot be linked to an individual or company.

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Q: What reports does CyberEdge make publicly available?

A: Reports available now are listed on our report page. Click here to see our current reports.

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