Car Buying and the Research Project
Casey shares from his own recent personal experience of walking through the research process for buying a car. He identified three key takeaways that apply to research of any size.
- One thing was just to prioritize what do I actually need and want out of this car and what don’t I need. You could wind up talking yourself into to paying for things that you’re never going to use.
- Be patient and don’t settle. Once you know those priorities, you can be specific in the criteria you’re looking for. You see a list of 10 of them on a website. Maybe all of them aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, but that’s not the only website that exists. Also, cars are coming and going at various times too. With a little time, you will get a general idea of how common it is to find vehicles for sale with the list of features you’ve decided on and what a vehicle with those features should probably cost.
- Trust the experts. You can get into this place, “How do I know that it’s not just going to fall apart afterwards?” I’m buying this thing and maybe it’s priced well, because of…You start filling in the blanks with terrible things. I brought it in for a pre‑purchase inspection. It cost $60 to do that. Things that they found, that $60 payment versus finding out later there are things that I didn’t account for, that I wasn’t really paying attention to or knowing to look for even and then having that go poorly. It’s investing in finding somebody’s opinion, who knows more than I do, to start with.
Research is more than just collecting information
Research is a process that we all do. Researching a possible vacation, researching purchasing a new product, we all do it to learn to move forward.
Research is more than just collecting information everybody else has gathered and rearranging it. It’s collecting it and making a decision and acting on it or letting that information shape more information that gets acted on.
Who Needs the Research
A key part in thinking about research is thinking about who’s going to use the findings, who cares about the problem.
But research projects and research questions should be set up in such a way as to help have meaningful data analysis on the back end of it. That can be a hard question to answer sometimes. But that’s an important question to be asking beforehand.
What Students Should Ask
As a student’s approaching it, the question they need to ask is, “What is the one thing that I can add to the scholarship in this area?” Pretty much any major work, dissertation type level work, they’re going to need to do that background research to see what has already been done.
From that, they need to be thinking, “What’s the one thing I can add to this? I may take somebody else’s hypothesis or future research idea and actually test it. I might be the one exploring and setting somebody else up to come back behind me and test it. What’s the one thing I can add?”
What Organizations Should Ask
In a business setting, in a ministry setting it’s not that different. There, the past scholarship isn’t published papers in most cases. But it’s other research that’s been done. Its internal metrics that you have and the feedback that you’re getting in your normal feedback loops.
You’re trying to say, “I need to add something to that, to make this decision I’ve got coming up or series of decisions. I don’t feel like my current set of data is enough. What’s the one thing? What’s the main thing that I need to know, to really get to the point of making a good decision?”