Case Study: The art, the do’s and don’ts
I recently had the chance to watch Brad Pitt’s classic film, Moneyball. While the story inspired me about how a manager turned the fortunes of a baseball team with a limited budget, the part that excited me the most was about data analytics. The analytics were effectively explained in the entire film and were vital as a part of tactics by Pitt for his team’s success. It is this very reason why I believe data analytics holds the most value when taking upon a decision. But how did I jump to this conclusion? The exposition of how data analytics in selecting the players were shown in the film as the most important factor for the team. This is what a case study actually is, getting the general public’s attention to a feasible solution.
Unlike social research-based environments, case studies for a software company are their brand ambassadors. The brand is the solution that is unique and it distinguishes from company to company with respect to industrial conventions, and standards being followed. Moreover, the technologies being applied to develop a solution form the basis of the case study. The purpose of this blog is to give a brief overview of the art of writing a case study, the do’s and don’ts while writing down a case study.
The art of writing a case study:
Let us begin with the simplistic approach. In writing a case study, the first and foremost thing should be identification. Have you identified the reason to go for a case study? If you are certain that the issue exists and needs to be addressed in a certain way through a certain logic, then lay down the main postulates about it. Once the problem is identified, it should be clearly put forward and a rationale should be laid down to highlight the cause.
Then comes the solution. The solution requires identifying the pros and cons for e.g., software solutions for an application can have the pros of usability and design, but the cons they carry in most cases is the security, privacy, and other ethical considerations for the users. It is important to address how this can be resolved with your case study and how it is different from other solutions in the same domain.
Let us focus on the DOs and the DONTs while writing a case study:
Do’s in a case study
- Format matters: keep the readers interested using an appropriate format for e.g. one good way is to use infographics to create an interest with those who are reading
- Keep the tone simple
- Keep the target market in your mind all the time
- Lay emphasis on the problem at hand
- Be specific on how your solution addressed the problem
- Numbers do matter, create an impact by stating how figures changed for e.g. the sales of your client improved from 5% to 20% after your solution was utilized
- Recommendations are good, but only recommend which you can logically back with evidence or a conceptual framework
Don’ts in a case study
- No flashy words or sentences while explaining the dynamics of the case study as it gives a sense of the tone of product promotion or marketing, focus only on the solution
- Don’t promote yourself. The case study is about your client or your product, not how good you are
- Avoid suggestions that may create confusion for the reader
Content matters. Write relevant content only. Specify how you solved a problem that helped your client or customers. Your case study is your ticket to win new clients, it can win you, customers, it certainly boosts your credibility, so place the case studies on the forefront of your portfolio.