Reliable evidence-based solutions are important to decision makers in the community sector as often the resulting activities are subject to public opinion and community investment. These are often quite distinct from customer studies where commercial transaction has taken place. Community studies tend to focus on the broader community’s views about an organisation and its reputation and which may include its product or service offering.
Types of community research that ASR has conducted recently include:
- Music offering from a national radio network across a range of music types.
- Community views on the future of a rural town
- Community views on parking near a beach
- Community views on users of a children’s wading pool
- Community usage habits and preferences relating to fitness, exercise and aquatic venues
- Community views on environmental priorities relating to catchment management plans for a large city
- Reputation of a utility provider within a region
- Community views about a proposed water storage dam
- Potential uses of fishing licence revenues
- Proposed changes to fishing bag limits
- The value of coastal areas to communities
- Major city park - users and usage
- Community views on science
- Community feedback on energy ratings of heating & cooling appliances (5 star).
The challenges with regard to community research are ensuring representative and therefore non-biased samples as well as sufficiently large samples for confident analysis; current and comprehensive contact lists; and addressing all key concerns within questions presented. Before conducting large scale surveys, pilot testing and qualitative discussion groups are essential for this type of research.
Data collection methodologies vary and range from physical intercepts, such as in parks and at beaches, to discussion groups, phone interviews and web surveys, or any combination of these techniques.