Experts and Specialists


Experts and Specialists

One of the most underestimated and, at the same time, invaluable methodologies used in market and academic research is that based on expert interviews.

These are usually carried out on a small, carefully selected, research sample. An expert interview is a discussion with a respondent, who is, as a rule, known to have a great deal of knowledge about the subject of the research.

In business practice, there are two approaches to the implementation of expert research.

  • The first pertains to the search for the expertise possessed by selected experts with wide and diverse competences and experience in a specific industry. “Foresight” of this kind usually refers, not so much to the experience or specialisation of the person in question, but to the market and environment conditions with which he has succeeded in familiarising himself. Examples include interviews with directors of companies and qualified academics.
  • The second approach involves more “specialists” than “experts”. Although the areas of knowledge sought in these are often relatively similar, specialists are more commonly examined in terms of their narrow experience and very detailed knowledge gained through specialisation. This specialist knowledge and experience allows for the measurement of a specific perspective, which is difficult for a “non-specialist”. Examples include interviews with doctors, nurses, installers and developers (on the property market and in the IT industry).
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One important characteristic of the method, which distinguishes it and gives it an advantage over others, is that, in expert or specialist interviews, the questions asked of the respondents not only involve facts or attitudes, but also constitute attempts to explain and predict. It is assumed that respondents with an extensive professional background or good quasi-professional knowledge of a given subject might present interesting analytical proposals or create valuable (realistic) forecasts of situation development.

At PMR, we use expert knowledge in research projects wherever it is helpful. We identify experts both internally and externally. Acting externally, PMR has, and develops, expert and specialist panels which enable us to identify and conduct research with more difficult groups of respondents. PMR sees B2B panels as the future in terms of acquiring difficult or more complex knowledge about constantly evolving markets.
By panel we mean one group of respondents, which may be covered by different surveys, depending on the subject or needs. Such groups may also include “panel research”, with the term “panel” being used here in a slightly different sense, which involves the carrying out of similar measurements at specific intervals, while allowing the observation of changes over time (see Surveys).

Among other things, PMR has a medical panel which is still being developed in Poland. Panel participants are doctors of various specialties and representatives of a group of “other medical professions” (including nurses) who have agreed to take part in PMR’s market and marketing research in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. They also include representatives of opinion leaders, and payer and administration representatives at medical facilities.

PMR also creates panels of specialists who work outside the medical industry, and garners aggregate knowledge of potential industry experts, with whom we cooperate if necessary. Because of its broad knowledge of, for example, the HoReCa and construction markets, PMR has the capabilities and experience necessary to reach groups such as: owners of catering establishments, chefs, shop owners, construction market specialists, architects and project managers, HR and IT staff and accountants. Our internal market experts also talk to external experts, exchanging experiences and creating synergy of “foresight”. Such an exchange of experience and knowledge is also apparent at industry events prepared by PMR (see Industry Events).

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