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Review of existing research for information relevant to a project's needs.


  • To identify specific or useful qualitative or quantitative data relevant to project needs.
  • To develop an understanding of current policy and business needs.
  • To identify gaps in existing data requiring further research.
  • To understand how a project may contribute back to a larger body of knowledge.

What you get

  • Collated list of available source data relevant to project needs.
  • Summary of insights drawn from source data.


  • Provides clarity on what work has already been done, to avoid duplication of effort.
  • Provides an awareness of methodologies or approaches that have been tried before.


  • Quality of insights depends on the relevance, timeliness and transparency of source data.
  • Relevant source data may be missed if time for searching and consulting is not adequate.


When reviewing data it’s important to assess how the data was gathered. Knowing how to assess the conclusions reached in published research is an important skill. All conclusions should be critically examined before use in reports.

Toolkits and resources

Reviewed 29 April 2020

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