Sometimes our clients know exactly what kind of research or evaluation they want. They know the cities in which they want to field, the questions they want to ask, the size of the sample they need, and so on. For these clients, we become good executors, implementing the research and/or evaluation process according to their specifications.
Other clients may be somewhat less sure of themselves. Perhaps some organizational issue or opportunity has been observed but not yet verified, and they are seeking the insight which research or evaluation can provide. Perhaps they know what they need to find out, but are not sure how to do so, given a limited budget and severe time constraint. Perhaps they are so close to the findings they hope to see, that they need the objectivity of an outside professional to avoid the risk of analytical bias. For clients like these, we become problem-solvers, which is really the role we find most challenging and therefore most gratifying.