Understanding the concepts and language of financial reporting
Whether you are an executive, manager or professional, you may need to evaluate a customer, plan new projects or policies, or simply deal with the financial aspects of your role. To be effective you'll want to be able to use the language of accounting.
Making the Microchip - At the Limits III is an overview of the semiconductor processing industry. This video course provides a comprehensive view of the complex manufacturing steps using non-technical terminology and analogies.
How do you get soft data and discern what is relevant?
You can use an outside firm or do it yourself, but the outside firm is likely to get better quality soft data. I find a great source of soft data is former employees after clearing the fact that they are not legally restrained. 95% of them will be free to talk to you. Another source is field service people. You also need to learn how to properly interview customers. There are approaches and a set of questions you can ask that will lower the possibility of them lying to you. If you want to do it yourself, I suggest you go the web and find several books on it -they are available.
I've had good success with focus groups. If you have a good facilitator, the right people there, and ask good questions you'll get real quality data. The quality is built-in if the questions are related to the end results you are seeking.
I totally agree. Be aware that focus groups can be quite expensive, but they are good.
Remember the relevance of the data may not be what you planned, but what the market really thinks. There are often surprises.