Have you been challenged to find reliable data about your market? You want to know what percentage of plaintiff attorneys handle personal injury cases in your state, for example. You are curious because you suspect this is an untapped market. Or you want to learn more about the field of legal nurse consulting. What’s a typical hourly rate?
Begin with asking the right questions. First, find the ideal source by asking the following:
- What are the qualifications of the person who collected the data first?
- What sources do they use?
- Can you check the source for yourself to ensure that it has been reported correctly?
The sources below are typically trustworthy. However, it would be best if you recognized potential bias when others report their findings.
Websites that end with .gov are typically accurate with the information they provide. However, these tend to be unbiased with the information they collect and report. They understand how important it is to be accurate in what they share.
While some industry associations may contain information biased toward their industry, their methods of collecting the raw data are usually reliable. Therefore, you can typically trust an industry association for accurate data. Examples would be the American Association for Justice or Defense Research Institute.
If you are searching for information about legal nurse consulting, check the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. (I am a past president of this organization.)
Generally, business magazines are well known and not advertorials in disguise. They will have accurate information that you can use to get started with collecting your data. If nothing else, they may lead you to more sources. Determine whether the American Association for Justice or Defense Research Institute have physical magazine or online information for their members only. Look at your local bar association to see what type of news it shares.
Academic institutions and websites that end in .edu can be relied upon. As a result, they are likely to produce accurate information collected ethically. You can find the information online, plus you can visit their libraries in many cases. Did you know that you can access academic information and scholarly information via Google Scholar?
Search for information about legal nurse consulting on the websites of the schools that offer degree or certificate programs. Be wary of data that comes from a source whose primary goal is to convince you that it is easy to become a legal nurse consultant, or tell you that any nurse can be successful, and that attorneys are eager for your help. In fact, they are sitting in their offices waiting for your cold call, cold letter, or cold email. Not so. This rosy picture is designed to reel you in.
Sources like The New York Times and other reputable newspapers are great places to start your research. However, take caution with opinion pieces. Slanted and biased opinion pieces can get you started if they list their sources so that you can verify. Typically, newspapers have fact-checkers, so you can be assured that the information is accurate most of the time.
Third-Party Research Groups
Some companies do research independently for various industries and information. These are excellent sources to look for information about your industry. It can help answer your questions. One very reputable group is Pew Research Center.
For the most part, well-credentialed and well-connected individuals known as experts in their field are reliable. Therefore, this is a great way to get the right information for your research, but the primary data is more beneficial.
Identifying reliable data for your research about your market is an essential step to conducting market research. In this digital age, content is easily available. However, take caution when you are researching data. Can the source data you find be backed up in other publications? Finally, verify the data collected. It’s your reputation on the line.
And take advantage of the data you can obtain through online networking. Be sure to get a copy of my latest book, Networking for Legal Nurse Consultants. I spend an entire book going through the ways you can get data and more importantly, work.
Order the book here.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs to obtain more clients, make more money, and achieve their business goals and dreams.
Pat’s related websites include the continuing education provided on LNCEU.com, the podcasts broadcast at podcast.legalnursebusiness.com, and writing tips supplied at patiyer.com.