The use of tense in writing up market research results

This blog post has been written as part of a project I am working on to produce a series of short books that will act as guides to different aspects of market research. The specific post looks at two key aspects of writing up market research results, i.e. differentiating between the ‘facts’ and the judgement/opinion elements, and using past, present, and future tense to make reporting clearer and more actionable. I am very keen to hear other people’s views on the advice in this post – all contributors to this series will, of course, be listed and thanked. Market research results consist of two elements, which we can loosely call: Facts Judgement/opinion We can argue about the meaning or existence of facts, but in this case I am talking about the material revealed by market research that is not disputed. For example, we might find that 75% of the sample said they were male. The term judgment (or opinion, or insight) covers things such as: How good/appropriate you think the research was. What you think the research means. For example, you might discover that trial is an important driver of purchase. What you think the client should do. For example, […]