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Research

As you will see in the Projects section, we have been engaged in a variety of research and analysis. much of it as part of larger projects. Among them are the following ongoing projects and broad categories:

Bestseller Lists—since 2001, we have maintained a database of the weekly bestseller lists of New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. It was initially constructed to provide analysis for Tyndale House Publishers (Wheaton, Illinois) and, in 2007 continued with reports for Simba Information (Stamford, Connecticut) and its monthly Book Publishers Report e-newsletter. BPR ceased publication in December 2013, so we are currently looking for new clients who could make use of this research. See the Bestsellers section for more details, including the current Top-25 lists, and examples of research reports under Bestseller Insights and Trend Graphs.

Religion in America—In 2012 Stu Johnson was the lead author of a report on the Religious Publishing Marketplace in America, produced by Simba Information for Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. The chapter on Religion in America, a summary of survey research, some of it going back many decades, was compiled solely by Stu and subsequently extracted as a separate report that he intends to update annually. See the Religion in America page for highlights from the PowerPoint® presentation from the original report. (The 2014 edition will be available by the end of the first quarter).

Content research and fact checking—the internet has provided us with a tremendous resource for doing research, but it takes time and a sense of how to trust the results. We can help you collect information and data, or fact check material you already have in hand.

Demographic studies—there is a treasure trove of information on the U.S. Census Bureau, Dept. of Labor and many other websites, but it can often be difficult to know how to find exactly what you need or how to interpret what you do get. In addition to gathering relevant data for you, we can also provide analysis and develop charts or full reports.

Data analysis—a number of clients have asked for help with particular data analysis projects, usually because they do not have anyone in-house with the skills to do so. While large-scale enterprise level data systems are beyond our scope, we do have expertise in spreadsheets and databases (Access and MS-SQL) commonly encountered by our clients. This has enabled us to make sense of methods and interpretation, including the client's understanding of the appropriate technical, statistical and ethical use of data.

Survey research—Opinion polls and surveys have become a prominent part of popular culture. Unfortunately, reporters (and their audiences) often do not understand survey techniques and basic statistics. We can help develop, interpret and report surveys for organizational use. For larger studies and those involving sampling of the general public, we'll refer you to companies who specialize in that type of work. We can, however, help you interpret and deploy the findings of such studies.

Economic Data—because of his involvement as a member of the Housing Commission for the city of Wheaton, Illinois, Stu Johnson has prepared annual studies of economic trends particularly related to the 65+ population. Involvement with two senior websites and the Living Longer & Living Better™ book project have extended the focus to the "second half" population (50+). Other projects, such as a study and recommendations on salaries for DuPage Airport Authority (as a partner in RDI Business Solutions), also involved use of Census Bureau, Labor Department, and industry data.