From the perspective of the average person, researchers might seem to be teams of professionals in white lab coats whose work results in attention-grabbing headlines about human psychology or the alleged health benefits of coffee.
But in reality, researchers cover an enormous amount of ground, over many, many different subjects.
Their findings reverberate throughout every industry and scientific field, and these findings are rarely explained in detail by news outlets.
Data analyst Ravindra Patel has a real passion for both analysis and research, and though he has conducted research on a variety of subjects, he has a special enthusiasm for research with a direct connection to data sciences.
Patel is a data analyst with Metro One Plus, Inc., and he is extremely knowledgeable in data gathering and analysis.
He has been conducting research of various types for years, but he has a special interest in research on data-driven technology.
“I’ve completed many research papers, but across all of them, the data-related topics have always been my favorite. Currently, I’m mainly focused on data-driven technology, which feeds in well with my professional work as a data analyst.”
Rather than focusing on the content of Patel’s research, this article will consider the hows and whys of his research, and by extension, reveal why many other researchers are so dedicated to their work.
Additionally, aspiring researchers will get a more accurate picture of what research work is really like.
There are many potential sources of motivation for conducting research. Researchers often have specific areas of interest which they want to explore. From there, each researcher needs to find team members and the funding necessary to actually conduct research.
Researchers also need to decide whether to pursue a pet project with a narrow focus or one that will be commercially viable and potentially attract further funding.
It’s rare when a researcher pursues work without taking these factors into consideration. Even so, Patel finds himself motivated by multiple aspects of research, all of which are present regardless of the subject being researched.
“My research is motivated by a desire to learn new things, engage my critical thinking skills, discover creative new ideas, and work with a team of skilled researchers. I find all of these aspects stimulating, and they make the research process very enjoyable.”
While these motivations may not be shared by every professional researcher, they have served Patel very well in his career, setting him apart as being staunchly dedicated to his work, especially within data analysis.
Aspiring researchers may not fully understand their motivations at the start of their careers, but experience could easily bring these to light.
Not all research translates directly to real-world application. For example, certain scientific research studies could produce results that add a crucial piece to a much larger puzzle.
For some, research can be an end unto itself, purely for the sake of furthering human knowledge in relation to a specific subject.
Though Patel appreciates many of the academic aspects of research, he is confident that his research into data gathering and data analysis could be immensely valuable to organizations and private companies as well.
Any group that already has large amounts of data needs to take action in order to extract value from that data.
But the procedures for extracting that value are still being improved and refined, and that’s where research steps in.
“My research into data-driven technology could aid in the process of gathering, analyzing, and drawing valuable conclusions from the vast amount of data available in an organization. I think this is incredibly valuable right now to any organization that wants to get the most out of its data.”
There is a clear profit motive to enhance data analysis methodology, making research into data analysis an intelligent long-term investment for companies that depend heavily on their data.
With the understanding that data holds value, it seems highly likely that more companies will begin to implement data analysis to unlock this value, whether in-house or through a third-party company that specializes in this type of analysis.
Of course, beyond data analysis, research can reveal valuable information to companies and institutions, perhaps even determining whether certain technologies and findings are worth pursuing, and, more importantly, whether they’re worth investing in.
For dedicated researchers, the end of one project is never definitive. Instead, the results often lead to more questions, which then lead to even more research.
If we were to find a rough equivalent in tech, research is more akin to a software release with its many updates than a hardware release that has a longer lifespan.
Hardware products remain static. A company might decide to release a revised version of that product in the future, but the original product won’t change much at all.
But a software release is a ‘living’ product, as it were, with expansive opportunities to update and alter it, based on feedback from users and new ideas from the designers.
New research might drastically change the way we view previous research. In some cases, more recent research might make previous research more or less irrelevant.
But for Patel and many other researchers, this is all part of the experience, and discovering something new is consistently exciting and rewarding.
“Even after conducting ‘successful’ research, there are always reasons to continue that research in some form. It can help find answers to so many problems, fill knowledge gaps, and even change the way that people work to better utilize their talents, time, and resources.”
In data analysis, the possibility of improving workflow and streamlining various processes is highly valuable.
It’s also possible that much of the data analysis work currently performed by employees could eventually be entirely automated, freeing up those analysts to handle other tasks or oversee automated processes to catch and correct errors.
The research paper and its relationship to research itself is an expansive topic that doesn’t bear going into here, but it’s important for aspiring researchers to understand just how important these papers can be.
Research is conducted out of the view of the public eye. It’s only upon completion that the results can be shared with individuals and groups who weren’t involved in this research.
Research papers are meant to summarize findings and present them in a clear and concise manner to readers.
In almost all cases, these papers are submitted to peer-reviewed journals. If selected for publication, a research paper could bring a great deal of attention to the project.
Academics and professionals in the relevant field will be able to examine the findings and form their own opinions on the legitimacy and value of the research.
Composing research papers is a skill separate from the actual work of research, yet it’s essential for achieving effective dissemination of the researchers’ findings.
Perhaps most importantly, a well-written and well-received research paper could attract the funding necessary to continue the research.
Patel shared a key tip for composing an interesting and readable research paper, centered on finding the right structure to keep readers engaged.
“It’s important to keep a kind of flow. Curiosity leads to anticipation which makes people want to see what’s next. In a research paper, I like to keep the reader interested throughout, excited to arrive at the next idea or point. I think this gives a research paper a higher chance of being successful.”
For the scientific-minded among you, techniques for writing research papers may seem ancillary when compared to findings and hard facts, but this step of the process simply can’t be overlooked, especially if you want others in your field to take your work seriously.
When reading published research papers, also consider why some seem to be more appealing or easier to read than others.
Lastly, it’s time to touch on how aspiring researchers can get involved with research.
Also, research isn’t a practical career option for everyone, so getting some early experience in the area can help students and young professionals determine whether this field will continue to be of interest to them.
The idea of embarking on your own research project may seem daunting, and it’s not recommended that you conduct research by yourself, isolated from academic and research institutions.
Instead, Patel encourages young researchers to find professionals with whom they can make connections. That way, they’ll have guidance every step of the way.
“I think a great way to get started is to form connections with university professors who work in a research department. You can also look into various academic and internship programs directly related to research.”
Taking advantage of resources close at hand is easier than starting out on your own, and it’s also a much better way to learn about research procedures and how to navigate specific phases of the process.
Research is vital to the scientific community as well as to many private businesses that want to improve products and services and increase profit margins.
Despite the many research specializations, certain aspects will always remain the same.
Not every project will set the world on fire, but in a purely academic sense, all knowledge is valuable in some way.
For research professionals, every day and every project has the potential to change the world, so this is a field that can be extremely rewarding.