Our Approach

How it Works

Our Approach

Ours is a theory-driven approach to data collection and analysis. For instance, given the unique history of Black people in America, race and perceptions of racism often inform how they respond to campaign issues and candidates.   Any campaign hoping to secure the support of the Black community must first understand this.  We know this because we teach it.  Whatever our clients’ objectives, we make sure to inform them why race and the perception of racism are important to the Black community, especially in how it evaluates campaigns and candidates.

Questionnaire Design Is Critical

 Asking questions the right way, in the right place, is a must.

Whether surveying hundreds (or thousands), or gathering information from focus groups, properly asked questions–in the right place, supply the insights clients want. Often, however, this is not the case. Some practitioners ask confusing questions, ones that are ambiguous at best. Others may ask better questions, but put them in the wrong place on the survey, where the responses will be biased by the questions that preceded it. Our expertise teaching survey methods permits us to avoid such things.

Analysis

Extracting meaning from the data requires understanding why people believe what they do, and behave as they do.

Collecting data is just the beginning, but the work begins in earnest during the analysis. Here, the analyst applies theory to the results as a means of making sense of the data. Theory, in short, guides interpretation of the results. It explains why people harbor the preferences they do, and why they vote consistent with such preferences. As academics who publish regularly, we’re in the practice of doing just this: using theoretically-derived expectations to interpret the results.