Research is about much more than carrying out surveys. What do you survey? How do you know?
Good research is goal oriented, so places value on insight rather than mechanics. It understands the tools of analysis, but does not mistake those tools for the research.
My specialism is town and country - the urban environment and the rural world that sits, often uncomfortably, alongside it.
Generally, my research work is carried out in partnership with Ramidus Consulting, mostly in the form of area studies and sector studies. We care deeply about our towns and cities, and not just the big metropolis but also the forgotten and neglected corners. One way or another, we all depend on our physical, economic and social landscape.
We have worked for the Greater London Authority, London boroughs and small and medium size towns across the country. We have worked for investors, local authorities and regeneration specialists.
We do it all, from the nitty gritty to the big questions.
I believe that a scenario building approach, informed by robust quantitative and qualitative analysis rooted in the real world, is the most powerful approach to knowing what is going in.
I am wary of dogma and, as JM Keynes put it, when the facts change my opinion changes.
I've been at the centre of debate about forecasting methods - see this example - and keep myself up-to-date.