Although we mostly focus on generating ideas and executing the best ideas, we tend to forget research. We forget it because we are too busy, have no time and/or resources or are too focused on internal processes. We are already pretty satisfied if we manage to have discussions with (potential) customers.
However, there is huge benefit in exploring available data on the internet for your specific area of innovation. It is quite simple to find relevant research from universities, writers, NGO's, Think-Tanks and other institutions. Just use Google search and also use the search function of social media (usually that social media info is realtime available).
As I am reading the book “Poor Economics” by Banerjee and Duflo, I noticed a chapter about entrepreneurship. In there it is clearly stated and researched that “microcredit does not seem to lead to a radical transformation in the clients' lives”. Also they highlight “the disappointing effects of the business training programs that many MFI's (Microfinance institutions) have now started....”.
Without this research you might be thinking that microfinance is a good tool to use in developing countries. Research indicated that you have to be careful about the right use and benefit of this tool. This doesn't mean that you should not use it, but that you can know -upfront- what the impact is or can be.
Are you spending enough time on research?
Enthusiasm drives Excellence!