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Commissioned Research

BBBCRI’s research service is available to nonprofit organizations that serve the needs of small businesses and is membership- or non-member-based.  The focus of our research is on applying the research findings directly to a customer’s practical decision-making. Our commissioned research services are: 

  • wholly-paid for by the customer.

  • done in confidence and in an unbiased manner and as agreed.

  • performed in accordance with a Commissioned Research Agreement.

FOCUS GROUP

Consists of a facilitator and participants who are gathered to discuss a topic.  Typically two or more focus groups are used in a given research project.  An advantage of using focus groups is that it provides a social context for individuals to exchange ideas about the desirability of a service rather than maintain a perspective held in isolation.

Example:  
BBBCRI conducted focus groups of small business owners to determine their ideas on ways to make business training more engaging for the participants.

 

Types of Commissioned Research:

SURVEY

A poll in which participants are interviewed, questioned, or observed so that their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are determined to help develop programs and initiatives for members of an organization.

 

Example
Membership organization seeks knowledge about the type of programming its members may desire; survey members’ satisfaction; identify relevant training; identify marketing strategies.

 

PROGRAM EVALUATION

Researcher evaluates the implementation and effectiveness of programs for which funding was provided by a granting agency or foundation.

CASE STUDY

Emphasizes efforts to obtain thorough knowledge of an individual organization, sometimes over a long period of time.  

 

Example:
Researcher demonstrates solution for an SME in a make-to-order industry having problems with customer order inquiries.

 

CENSUS STUDY

Relies on a count of all members of a population rather than a sample.  

 

Example:
A research study of minority depository institutions (MDI) within the U.S. which consists of a complete count of all MDIs through which researchers collect data.

 

LONGITUDINAL STUDY

Researcher repeatedly measure traits of the participants over a period of time in order to trace developmental trends.   

 

Example
NFIB Research Foundation's longitudinal survey titled “Small Business’s Introduction to the Affordable Care Act At Five Years”.  The study measured the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on small business owners and the small group health insurance market.