Assessing how trends in China will likely affect your venture, project, or policy requires a deep understanding of the Chinese economy, government, and society. This knowledge is necessary but not sufficient for optimizing outcomes. At OTM, in addition to deep experiential and theoretical knowledge of China, we employ a customized combination of proven research methods to provide you with high-confidence, evidence-based recommendations. Below please find descriptions of our core methodologies. For more information, please contact our founder and head of research and strategy, Josh Dorfman: ijdorfman(at)protonmail(dot)com

Population Survey

All successful ventures, projects, and policies target specific populations. We help you survey a refined and representative sample of your target population. We use proven question formats to triangulate categorical data on respondent eligibility, behavioral patterns, experiences, and perspectives. This broad data set serves as the baseline for the more targeted methods described below.

Ethnographic Interviewing

Following analysis of survey data, we interview another representative sample of your target population. We use a semi-structured format to take a deeper dive into trends revealed by the survey and give interviewees the opportunity to express viewpoints not captured by survey questions.

Decision Modeling

Humans are creatures of habit. This also applies to corporations and institutions. Analyzing past decisions produces high-confidence models of future decision-making. We create predictive models, using all available records, legal proceedings, and, whenever possible, interviews to gather data on specific decisions made by your target population. Please click here for a case study of this method in our blog.

Social Network Mapping

Understanding the connections between people is vital for the success of your venture, project, or policy. Yet, it is not enough to know who is connected to whom. More important is to understand the nature of these connections. How enduring are they? What is most commonly exchanged? What special skills or access do the people in a network have? To enable our clients to take full advantage of this information, we use a combination of ethnographic interviews and social media analytics to create a broad and holistic social network map for all key actors in a target population. Please click here for our blog post on the particular importance of social network mapping in China.

Risk Assessment

Cost-benefit analysis is vital for deciding if and how to move forward with your venture, project, or policy. We advise all our clients to hire a good financial analyst with knowledge of your sector to conduct the quantitative aspects of this assessment. Yet, understanding the qualitative and less tangible risks is equally important for producing an optimal outcome. What effect will cultural factors have? Can you make strong connections to the right people? Do past decisions suggest that future decision-making will be in your favor? What are the potential unknowns? To answer these questions, we use the methodologies described above to make high-confidence risk assessments.

Impact Assessment

Return on investment is vital for determining whether your venture, project, or policy has met its intended goals. As with cost-benefit analysis, a sector-specific financial analyst is best suited to assess this quantitative metric. Yet, understanding the qualitative and less tangible impacts is equally important for assessing success and improving future outcomes. We use a follow-up survey and ethnographic interviews to measure the impacts on your target population. Have they benefited? What would they like improved? What additional network contacts would enable these improvements? Has their decision-making changed due to your efforts? We use our rigorous methodology to answer these questions and provide you with a comprehensive impact assessment.