Discover valuable insights with CIPFA Research


By N Burrell, Marketing, Research and Analytics

Digging deeper

CIPFA Research has the experience and resources to help public and private sector organisations discover valuable insights in the areas of policy, social and market research.

The big research question: knowing where to start

When you need to understand a topic in more depth, where do you start? It’s a question that preoccupies anyone kicking off a research project. There’s the risk of reinventing the wheel – spending valuable time and resource to build surveys and questionnaires that most likely already exist somewhere else. 

Then there’s the question of best practice: are you using the methodology that’s best for the area you’re researching? Are you using the best data that’s available? And will the final report do justice to your efforts?

Easier research

CIPFA Research was conceived in a period that pre-dated initiatives such as the Best Value Performance Indicators. Its ideas were first adopted by the erstwhile Audit Commission and subsequently the MHCLG (formerly ODPM). Today as part of the CIPFA group, it has access to datasets, expertise and knowledge that are ideally suited to making the research process easier and more effective for any organisation interested in the areas CIPFA covers. Today, as well as central and local government departments, its clients also span health and not-for-profit sector organisations.

As much or as little as you need

What also sets CIPFA Research apart is flexibility. If a client needs it, the team can offer an end-to-end service that starts with programme design and data acquisition, and ends with qualitative and quantitative analysis and reporting. Alternatively, the team can offer specific expertise in areas where a client might need particular help.

As Research Manager Jonathan Gordon says: “Sometimes, clients just need guidance and support around planning surveys, advice on how best to interact with the public or access to tried-and-tested question sets. Or they may need help with web survey design, or printing. We’re not proscriptive: we can provide as much or as little input as they need.” 

Broad spectrum of work

Pointing out that the team is “small enough to care, but big enough to tap into a variety of skill-sets from online and desk research to conversational, qualitative work”, Jonathan notes that this approach brings in a broad spectrum of commissions. “We’ve worked on ‘inclusive economy’ topics for the Cabinet Office, researched the mutual sector and assisted with NHS England’s ‘call to action’ reports. And of course every bespoke project we take on adds to our store of knowledge.”

Regular national surveys

Alongside its bespoke research offer, the CIPFA team produces a series of national reports that are essential reading for professionals involved in the areas they cover. Focused on libraries, archives and finance, their aim is to help readers understand how services are used, who uses them and what users think about them. 

Next steps

To discover more about how the CIPFA Research team could help or to explore the national reports produced by the department:

T: +44 (0)20 7543 5600