One of the things I love about market research is that it allows you to professionalize your curiosity. To me, it is art and science, you begin with a blank canvas — the subject matter — you must then develop an unbiased result by asking the correct neutral and un-leading questions that will elicit responses that, with the appropriate sample size, will be representative of the population studied. Market research should be methodical and consistent and the process should always be more important than the result. When you find yourself hoping for a specific response this will leak into your research and weaken the result by instituting the researcher’s bias. A market researcher should not be trying to prove anything. A market researcher should also be aware that misleading results are entirely possible — for a variety of reasons. Asking someone what they shipped, bought, what they paid, what they sold it for in a vacuum without questioning the responses, meaning asking many questions of an appropriate population and cross checking everything, will lead to skewed results. The joy in market research is in the process, not in being able to announce the results.