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Important decisions should be made on evidence not assumption!

The economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are far reaching and continuously evolving with the second lockdown recently announced. Whilst we are all living in a time of considerable uncertainty, market research professionals have an ongoing, important role to play in partnering clients in offering sound, evidence-based advice.

From a public sector perspective, there is a critical need to understand community perceptions and behaviours to more closely match service provision with the developing needs of the population. Through genuine, open and consistent dialogue, we have found engagement can be very effective and result in actionable insight to take forward. Clients may not need the same information as before the pandemic but there are still important decisions to be made over the coming months, which should be made on evidence not assumption. Using iterative and sensitive research approaches, we have experienced a surge in response rates across methodologies with the majority being receptive to taking part in something that potentially makes a difference. We recently partnered Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership in consulting residents to understand the impact of the pandemic to date via a large-scale postal survey with optional online completion. Response far exceeded initial expectations facilitating a thorough exploration of findings. As a research professional, this was the optimal scenario - significant engagement from residents and a robust dataset that allowed us to explore opinion at such a critical time. The sentiment of which was echoed amongst the client team and 60 stakeholders across Surrey via a Microsoft Teams debrief session.

Lake’s professional approach to this Covid research project has been a key factor in its success. From the outset, they aimed to work with us to design a survey that was both comprehensive and inclusive, balancing the data requirements of teams in the NHS and local authority. By combining a postal methodology with a ‘push to web’ feature we managed to achieve a high response rate which has allowed us to perform a much deeper analysis than first envisaged. Throughout the project, Lake worked to understand the priorities of the multiple organisations with a stake in this project and ensure that these priorities were reflected in the final outputs. Consequently, the value of this project has far outweighed our original expectations.” Head of Research, Surrey County Council & Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership

Over the coming months, we will continue to partner our clients to understand how their requirements have changed and how we can help. We still have a critical role to play and are proud of our work making a difference to our clients and the communities they represent.


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