This is the first of three posts on the topic “Workflow Internet Research” .
The internet as a seemingly endless research source offers a copious amount of information.
Not much preparation is needed for a quick search, for example, about a current news topic.
However, things are a bit different for more complex tasks. My internet research does not start with the keyboard, but rather with a pen and paper.
In the following, I will introduce you to our current workflow for internet research. We use it daily and constantly optimize it.
Of course, it is also a component of our training offers on the topic of internet investigation.
Here are the individual components:
Workflow Internet Research: Preparation
Effective research begins by answering the following questions:
Identify the Questions That You Need Answers To
Are there exact questions from the customer?
The more precise your customer’s requirements are, the easier it will be to fulfill the assignment!
If there are multiple questions, group them into categories.
Now prioritize the questions in the order in which they should be answered.
Important questions in this connection:
Workflow Internet Research: Assignment Definition
Use the questions developed above to form the assignment for your research. Also, develop an eye for the “most optimal solution” for the assignment and formulate the “Successful Outcome”:
What would the best solution look like if you had all the possibilities, options and time?
This solution is now the objective of your assignment.
I always write a short summary of these objectives in my digital notes. Then I never lose focus on them during research.
Workflow Internet Research: Collect Existing Information
This step is really important! Only once you really see what information you have regarding the topic can you also recognize what you are missing.
Summarize all search information that you have at this point in time for this assignment. Ideally, copy this information into a text editor before you begin with your research.
Divide this information according to entities. Thus, for example, everything about a person, all the information about an address, etc.
You should also take note of the important missing information in this file.
Issue External Assignments
Sometimes external assignments must be issued for important missing information such as address verification or to verify, for example, people. These assignments should be issued directly at the beginning of the research so the results can be included in the further investigations.
One of our important tools to support us in our internet research is Hunchly. This finds, for example, the “hidden” keywords in the source text from the site, highlights hits on each site and automatically saves all visited sites. That is why Hunchly is set up at this point in our workflow and the corresponding selectors are saved.
Note: Another blog post about Hunchly is to follow where I will discuss more details.
So much for today on this topic, below you will find the total flowchart for this process as a graphic. In the next post, it goes on with “complementary keywords” and the “search plan”.
The flowchart on the left shows all stations for our iResearch “cycle” (workflow internet research).
In discussed the first three points in this post, the next two post will discuss the further steps in this research process.
Tip: Click the image to see a larger graphic or you can download a PDF A4 version here.
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