Market Research Tutorial: Market Research Analysis

The second aspect of data processing is rudimentary market research analysis. For the vast majority of studies, this analysis is quite basic. But don't be fooled, even though it is basic, it can produce amazingly valuable insights into your markets that will help guide your organization to greater profitability. And that's what you're doing all this for, right?

Like any other discipline, market research has its own language and this stands forth most apparently in market research analysis.

You may have heard reference to cross-tabs, short for cross-tabulation tables. They are also referred to as data tables or tabs. Despite the jargon, cross-tabs are a powerful analytic tool.

Think of cross-tabs as a matrix, much like a spreadsheet. The questions and response categories are listed as rows and selected response categories from key questions are listed in the columns. Heck, we could try to spell it all out here in words, but, as they say (who's they anyway), a picture is worth a thousand words. So here's a picture of a cross-tab to show you what a cross-tab give you in terms of analytic power.

You can instantly see from this example that while 20% of females are very satisfied with Product K, only 14% of males are very satisfied. Potentially valuable information, to be sure.

You may have noticed the terms "Top Two Box" and "Bottom Two Box" in the cross-tabs. These refer to the sum of the percentages that gave either a 4 or a 5 (the higher and highest score) or a 1 or 2 (the lower and lowest score). This tells you what percent of customers are satisfied and what percent are dissatisfied.

For most projects, the only market research analysis needed is cross-tabs. Be sure, however, to put careful thought into which questions to put in the "banner" (that is, the columns). Our advice is to look at the freqs and to take the key questions based on your objectives and use these for banners. Don't pick too many or you'll simply drown in data.

Once you've produced and studied your cross-tabs, you're ready to proceed on to writing your report and/or presentation. The next, and final section addresses this final part of the market research process.

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