Each user of research data has their own criteria for what constitutes “excellent” research data.
Therefore, it may be instructive to think about who could make use of study data.
• Planners have defined needs for research data in order to identify and address issues in the ways described above.
• Project managers must track progress and evaluate results in order to make necessary course corrections.
• Policymakers, like planners, need to know the nature of the issues at hand so they can devise effective solutions.
· Donors want to help other people, but they also want to get what they want, which might be in conflict with what they’re doing.
· Decisions on where to put money and what to do fall on the shoulders of service agencies like extension and research organizations and input and output marketing firms.
• Scholars are a potentially large user group for research data, yet
• all-encompassing (in its coverage of issues important for a particular decision)
• compatible with prior research (in terms of methodology or scope) and consistent within itself (in terms of facts and conclusions)
• provided in a way that is straightforward and simple to understand, without bogging down the reader with unnecessary information
• related to the issue being analyzed
• Maintaining precision and dependability
• impartial and fair, giving all sides of an issue
• prompt, as in judgments are made at the right moment
• generalizable and applicable only to circumstances analogous to those used to generate it
• aimed at the right people in charge and sent their way
economical, in that it provides research data for as little as feasible compared to the potential advantages derived through better decision-making. Examples of competing priorities include timeliness and completeness. Research design and administration demand a high level of expertise, since they often involve a compromise between competing priorities.