Friday 2 February 2024

Setting the research goal


A project starts by understanding the what, the why, and the how of your project. What does the company expect you to do? And why does management place such a value on your research? Is it part of a bigger strategic picture or a “lone wolf” project originating from an opportunity someone detected? Answering these three questions (what, why, how) is the goal of the first phase, so that everybody knows what to do and can agree on the best course of action.

The output should be a clear research aim, a strong grasp of the context, well-defined deliverables, and a plan of action with a time frame. The appropriate location for this information is then in a project charter. Naturally, the duration and formality might vary throughout projects and businesses. This component of the project will frequently be led by more senior staff since during this early stage, commercial acumen and people skills are more crucial than exceptional technical ability.

Spend time understanding the goals and context of your research

Research Goal Importance

  • Outlines the purpose of the assignment clearly.
  • Essential for understanding business goals and context
  • Continue asking questions and examples until understanding business expectations.
  • Identify project's fit in the larger picture.
  • Understand how research will change the business.
  • Understand how results will be used.
  • Avoid misunderstanding business goals and context.
  • Many data scientists fail due to lack of understanding.

 Create a project charter

 A project charter requires teamwork, and your input covers at least the following:

  • A clear research goal
  • The project mission and context
  • How you’re going to perform your analysis
  • What resources you expect to use
  • Proof that it’s an achievable project, or proof of concepts
  • Deliverables and a measure of success
  • A timeline


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