The primary aim of our community research is to help charities and community groups to serve the needs of its community (through identifying any short falls in provision). Our community research services are usually delivered with the support of as many local services providers as possible.
The general aims of our community research services are usually:
- To deepen the understanding of a local area
- To ensure that the research identifies real needs
- To create a sense of local ownership and participation and avoid duplication of provision
- To give local people a say in the future of their community
- To explore potential new areas of service
The research can also help the research commissioner to deliver their mission whilst they engage with the community through the project.
Our research services are scoped to be as comprehensive as possible, identifying all relevant information and ensuring that the research questions asked are appropriate to the community. Usually the research is undertaken in six phases with each subsequent phase building on the intelligence gleaned in the preceding phase and becoming more focused. The stages are:
- Phase1: Inception
- Phase2: Desktop research
- Phase3: Stakeholder focus group
- Phase4: Community engagement
- Phase5: Final debrief
- Phase6: Implementation
Phase 1: Inception meeting. The purpose of the inception phase is to lay strong foundations for the project by agreeing the scope of the research with key local stakeholders.
Phase 2: Desktop Research. The purpose of the desktop research phase is to give a context for the project, identifying demographics, key statistics, any obvious strengths and weaknesses in the area and uncovering which agencies are already active in the region.
Phase 3: Stakeholder Focus Group The stakeholder engagement phase translates the broad-brush strokes of the desktop phase into what is happening on the ground through the work/experiences of key corporate agencies in the area: what are the challenges that stakeholders face? What are the areas they think require investigation? What are the ideas they have for service development? What do they want to find out from individuals?
Phase 4: Community Engagement. The community survey, uses all this information to establish key areas of interest from individuals. It asks for their perspectives on a range of issues. When the answers to the questions are taken as a representative sample of the community, it can be a platform on which to develop policy and new services.
Phase 5: Final debrief. This method of research results in action! Having collected all the information, there is a need to confirm our understanding of the issue(s) and explore potential projects, ensure that people are supportive of the ideas and begin to prioritise potential future projects. The final report will be put together professionally so that it can be presented to prospective funders/investors in support of any applications.
Phase 6: Implementation. The research will encourage well crafted community projects that are desired by and aimed at transforming the local community.
Business or Charity Research
The Imagine business research service is tailored to the type of research required for starting or running any kind of business or charity. Our slogan ‘Turning knowledge into action” is so appropriate to our business service. Our service is focused on two areas. New or existing organisations.
Starting a new enterprise requires research to understand:
- Is there a market for the business idea?
- The potential target customers
- The customer demand
- The competition that offers similar products or services
The research methods we adopt are relevant to the size of the organisation and the type of information needed. For example, a business commissions research so that its products and services are relevant to their current customers’ needs. To gather information that could make the company more profitable. Research is often conducted to discover their customers’ feelings and experiences when using their products or service.
The methods we use to gauge your customers satisfaction may be questionnaires, interviews or focus groups. Researching public data can provide businesses with relevant local statistics. Research used for advertising purposes is common because marketing budgets are usually tight and must be spent carefully to increase sales and brand recognition.