When most people hear the words research and statistics, they go running for the hills. Conducting research and gathering statistics can seem overwhelming to some, and totally boring to others. But research isn’t as scary as it seems. Research is about gathering information. You probably do research in your everyday life. For example, if you’re buying a new fridge, you have to find out who sells them, compare prices, decide on dimensions, and how economical it will be to run. Researching your local alcohol issue is no different. Having statistics and information at your fingertips is extremely useful:
- They can confirm whether your perception of the problem is accurate or not. For example, you may have noticed a few unruly people leaving your local pub every Thursday. Does this mean there are lots of people in your community drinking at harmful levels? Research can confirm or dismiss this perception.
- They can help you find out what’s causing the problem. Knowing the details of a problem will help you develop solutions.
- Statistics speak volumes. If you can easily demonstrate information using research, you’ll appear knowledgeable and credible which is just what you want when looking for support.
- Research can be used to raise awareness in your community about the issue.