Research value

Control Engineering has a long history of researching the industrial automation market. What began years ago with our monthly Product Focus feature (now known as Product Research to underscore the articles' research component) has blossomed into regular surveys of our readers on nearly every topic relevant to the industries we cover.

By David Greenfield, Editorial Director December 1, 2005

Control Engineering has a long history of researching the industrial automation market. What began years ago with our monthly Product Focus feature (now known as Product Research to underscore the articles’ research component) has blossomed into regular surveys of our readers on nearly every topic relevant to the industries we cover.

Key to the success of this research is you. Which is why I would like to thank you all for all the time you’ve taken and insights you’ve provided us recently in the numerous surveys we’ve conducted.

It’s important that you know the impact of your participation in these surveys. First and foremost, you should be aware that the input you provide has a great effect on the editorial direction of Control Engineering .

Though our editors regularly attend industry trade shows and conferences and speak directly with engineers and vendors, what we hear in those conversations is largely anecdotal. This sort of input helps nudge us in the right directions and sometimes even leads us to out-of-the-way story ideas to cover. But it doesn’t set our course.

What helps direct our editorial agenda is the quantifiable response we get from you via our surveys. Your feedback provides us the insight we need about what your concerns are and what topics you would like to see covered on a large scale.

As I write this, we are conducting a survey on automation-to-enterprise connectivity and its impact on engineers, which will form the basis of a four-part series of articles in 2006—all directed by your survey responses. Another survey we just released for response deals with best practices surrounding process instrumentation and controls.

Your participation in these surveys also affects the industrial automation marketplace. Many automation providers look to our surveys in tailoring their products and services. Our research provides these vendors with broad insight into the industry that only a group with the varied engineering and manufacturing expertise that you— Control Engineering ‘s readership—can provide.

More surveys will be coming soon to ensure that we stay in tune with you. If you have already received a number of these surveys, I thank you for your input and encourage you to continue to provide your valued response. If you haven’t received one of our surveys, when one comes your way, please keep this column in mind, as I hope it helps explain the reason we do so many of them and their value to us and the industry.

David Greenfield, Editorial Director

dgreenfield@reedbusiness.com