Research is the foundation of knowledge, but analysis gives it wings.

— Dr. Debasish Mridha, author & physician

Certain research skills are universally valuable in almost any professional job. These skills help you gather, evaluate, apply, and communicate information effectively.

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Knowing how to conduct research and analyze data is one sure way to rise from newbie to expert in the workplace!

1. Gathering Information

The ability to search for and locate relevant information quickly is important.

An anime character is typing quickly and windows with data are opening on top of one another .

This includes using search engines and databases, as well as surveys and observations to find the data needed for your work.


Flaticon Icon A marketing associate is researching market trends for a new product launch. They use online databases, industry reports, and social media analytics tools to gather data on consumer preferences, competitor strategies, and emerging trends in the target market.

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  • Find a specialized database for your field and learn how to use it.

  • Learn how to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to refine your searches.

2. Assessing Sources

Being able to evaluate the credibility, reliability, and relevance of sources is essential.

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This vital research skill helps you avoid using inaccurate or biased information in your work.


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As a journalist, you're writing an article about a controversial topic. You evaluate sources, checking their reputation, independence, and the quality of their research to make sure you're presenting a balanced and accurate story to your readers.

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  • Use fact-checking websites to verify information like Snopes or

  • Lean on experts and colleagues who can share their insights.

3. Evaluating Information

In an increasingly data-rich world, understanding data collection, analysis, and interpretation matters more than ever when it comes to your research skills.

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Data literacy and critical thinking skills are key to success.

Together, these research skills make it possible for you to collect and analyze data, make informed decisions, and communicate findings effectively.


Flaticon Icon A software developer encounters a challenging bug in a software code. The developer systematically analyzes the problem, reviews relevant documentation, and brainstorms with colleagues to identify the cause and implement a solution.

Level Up Your Research Skills

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  • Learn data analysis software like Excel, Python, R, and Tableau.

  • Visit Kaggle and join competitions where you can practice data analysis skills with real-world projects.

4. Making Informed Decisions

Making data-driven decisions is a sure way to be more effective at your job.

A computer screen showing data for website users over the last 7 days. Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Using data to inform your next steps will help you make more confident decisions.


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A junior financial analyst is creating financial reports for a quarterly board meeting. They gather financial data from multiple sources, use Excel to analyze the data, and create visualizations to present key insights about the company's performance to senior management.

Level Up Your Research Skills

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  • Read real-world examples of data-driven decision-making in your field.

  • Learn from your successes and failures, and refine your approach.

5. Communicating Information

The ability to communicate your research insights clearly and persuasively is what separates you from the crowd.

President Obama dropping a microphone during a speech.

Whether through written reports, presentations, or verbal discussions, strong communication skills lead to a meaningful impact on your workplace and your career.


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A project coordinator needs to update the project team on the status of various tasks. They prepare a brief project update email, highlighting progress, issues, and upcoming milestones in a clear and organized manner, making sure all team members are on the same page.

Level Up Your Research Skills

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  • Record yourself presenting and watch it to evaluate how you could improve.

  • Watch people you consider good presenters and notice what makes them great.


Sarah works as a marketing manager in a technology company. She's been asked to launch a new product in a highly competitive market. To create a successful marketing strategy, which research skill is most essential for Sarah to employ?


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