Case Study Format - Everything You Should Know

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Updated Sep 14, 2021
Case Study Format - Everything You Should Know

If you need to create a new business or reformat an existing one, you should study the interest market in detail. A case study will help you in solving this issue, in which you need to study and analyze the following information:

  • Analysis of factors determining market demand.
  • Determination of market size.
  • Analysis of the dynamics of market development, trends, growth potential, opportunities, and threats.
  • Price in the market.
  • Analysis of sales geography.
  • Sales structure by distribution channel.
  • Major market players.
  • Analysis of consumer preferences.
  • Analysis of the raw materials market: dynamics, prices.
  • Analysis of production: dynamics, geography, largest manufacturers.
  • Export analysis: dynamics, geography, largest exporters.
  • Import analysis: dynamics, geography, largest importers.
  • And also make a forecast of key market indicators.

Case studies can be powerful promotional tools that can help your business. But figuring out how to write a case study can be tricky. To help you get started with case studies and success stories, we've put together the basic steps you'll follow to create a quality document that you can use as a template in the future.

What Is a Case Study?

A case study is a piece where the company tells about how the client managed to solve their problems with their services and product. Each paper has its structure: the beginning, the central part, and the ending. But one unique element that must be present is the character with which you uncover the story and his problems and how he overcame them.

If the writing of a case study was carried out correctly, the reader will feel like the main character and understand how he can solve it by the end of the story. Your story should be tailored to appeal to a specific audience. With your product's help, buyers should understand how they can achieve the goals you described in the document.

For case study examples, companies often use stories about how they achieved success through cooperation with a supplier, business partner, or client. This document may contain information about what data the client came to you with and what results he received at the output. That is, the growth of the client is described according to a particular scale. The document may also contain a graph showing how you attracted potential clients and income growth for a certain period. Whichever way you choose to showcase your accomplishments based on a product, you must come to be selected and trusted by thousands of people. If you do everything right, you will be able to affect the business's income positively.

How Long Is a Case Study Analysis?

The volume of research data can vary from 5 to 20 pages. The fact is that most of the information is written in the main paragraph. If you need to describe the research in detail, then there will be more pages. If you need a college or university project, then more often than not, it is enough to cover the topic without details, and there will be fewer pages.

What Are The Objectives of The Case Study?

Such research aims to reveal the product's content and what results it can bring to society. Case study as an independent research strategy involves obtaining marketing information that cannot be found by other research methods.

Methodologically, a researcher's work using a case study is most similar to a researcher-historian work who somehow miraculously managed to be present at the most interesting historical event. His actions will cover as many sources of information as possible to collect many facts and evidence. At the same time, understand what happened in the company thanks to the service or product, and try to explain what is happening with a scientific document.

If we briefly summarize the features of a case study, then in theoretical terms, it is:

  • firstly, the presence of a program, a research project;
  • secondly, a clear statement of the initial research questions;
  • third, the ability to change the focus of research depending on the material received.

Different Types of Case Study Analysis

There are several types of case studies, and each of them has its peculiarities. Some types are aimed at substantiating a hypothesis and thesis. Other types aim to provide detailed information on a product or service and how they relate to the customer. Let's study each type in detail to understand which one should be used when writing a document.

Basic Case Study Types:

  1. Key cases are based on those topics that are primarily of interest to the researcher, for which he has enough information and can reveal the subject in full. Additional research is not necessary; the data accumulated over the years is quite suitable to draw up a project.
  2. Outlier cases aim to address questions that other organizations have not yet explored and provided answers to them by demonstrating the product or service. Most researchers are confident that this method is perfect for those organizations that want to be open in their specialization.
  3. The knowledge case study is a document in which an expert must investigate the data he will receive during the study. To do this, you need to draw up graphs, charts, tables and find authoritative sources of information to confirm the theory.

Case Study Forms

In addition to the fact that there are different types of research data, there are also case study forms. Let's take a closer look at each of them.

The illustrative form is descriptive. The author's document is necessary to describe the situation, product, services, phenomenon, event, problems, and explain their features. If there are problems, then find solutions. With the help of a simple case, it is necessary to describe the elements that will be clear to all readers in detail.

The exploratory form aims to find as much information as possible for the primary investigation. If you have difficulties with this assignment, we advise you to seek help from experts, and they will be able to draw up the appropriate type of paper. Our writers will be able to pick up information, questions, types of measurements so that you can create your project without difficulties.

The cumulative form aims to allow the researcher to summarize the information collected over the years from various sources. How does this form stand for, and what is its peculiarity? The main difference is that a researcher may not spend money on experiments but take ready-made information and compare it with his product or service. Thus, based on the previously obtained information, a person can write his document according to the same algorithm only by substituting his data.

The necessary form is suitable for those researchers who want to determine the cause of the problem and the effect. To resolve the situation, it is essential to study many sources of information. If you have a dubious statement during the creation of a project, this form of research will help you find facts to confirm your words.

Importance of Analysis of Content

Writing a case study is difficult, even for an expert, let alone a beginner. The problem is that this work requires precision, and there should be no errors in the elements. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the details of the work well before proceeding with the content analysis.

If you are part of a large corporation or form and, at the same time, create a case, then you would not be able to make mistakes. The thing is that you have a great responsibility for the financial and legal side of the organization. If you are just students who were assigned this task, then in your case, you will only lose points if you make a mistake. But we have developed a guide, thanks to which you can work with project details without any problems:

  • collect as much information as possible about the person, organization, situation, problem for which you are writing a project;

  • Describe the issue accurately and clearly. This is the first and foremost important for the reader because he must find a problem and solutions with the help of your service or product;
  • include charts, tables, graphs that visually demonstrate your results and data;
  • create questions and find answers. When reading the document, the reader will indeed have some misunderstandings, so you will get ahead of him and give answers to questions;
  • at the end of the document, make a list of sources so that at any time, each reader can understand where the information came from and trust in your words.

Writing a Case Study Analysis

A case study analysis is a document in which you describe any problem in an organization. Then indicate alternative solutions and effective ways to get rid of the problem using your service or product. In this case, it is necessary to find evidence, draw up quantitative data, tables, and graphs. Let's take a closer look at how the process of creating a case works.

Preparing The Case

Before starting work, it is necessary to prepare all the project elements and concepts as it contains the document. A plan will help you in this situation. The plan is a scheme of the case built based on the author's intention and determined the future text's main content. In the course of work, the plan may undergo certain changes and refinements. This is due to the desire to present your statement in the complete form.

To prevent mistakes when drawing up a plan, remember:

  1. Each point of the plan should reflect one of the essential micro-themes of the statement.
  2. The division into points should be carried out based on proportionality; that is, the volume of all points of the plan should correspond to the whole topic's content.
  3. The plan's points should not coincide with each other (the material of one section should not fall into another section to prevent unnecessary repetitions and confusion).
  4. The plan should preserve the continuity and subordination of the sections.

Read and Examine the Case

During your research, you will be dealing with a lot of information. Therefore, when studying the material, it is advisable to highlight essential elements and emphasize essential facts and data. When writing work, you can refer to the material and find information in a few minutes instead of re-reading it again.

Focus Your Analysis

When you analyze your research, you need to find three or five key issues. Then give answers to such questions: Why did the problems appear? How do issues affect the organization's performance? Who is involved and is responsible for the problems? If you were able to give answers, then feel free to proceed further. If you can't find the answers, you may need to change the theme of the project.

Uncover Possible Solutions Needed

To find solutions to problems, you need to think about such points as your own experience, other researchers' work, and discussions in the organization. With these elements, you can get closer to solving the problem and finish the project faster.

Select the Best Solution

When you have a list of several ways to solve the problem and do not know which one is best to choose, we advise you to do the following actions. In each situation, write the pros and cons. Where there are more disadvantages, the solution is not suitable. If you still have

a few solutions and do not know how to do the right thing, answer the questions. Is this solution realistic? Can everyone achieve it? Then you have one ideal solution.

Drafting the Case

The above information is necessary for those students who do not know how to get started. After you have completed each step, you can begin creating a draft of your case study. Below we have described the elements that must be included in the document.

Introduction

In the introduction, you should inform the reader of the issues that are addressed in the document. Formulate the thesis to be proved or refuted. It should be no more than two sentences. The introduction should be ten percent of the total content. Write only brief information about the topic; results and methods of implementation should not be here. You should interest the reader, and if you describe everything at once, then your document will not be interesting to read.

Background

In this part, you need to describe the information, data that you received during the study. This can also be expressed with the help of a graph, and below, you can find out what each number means. Demonstrate your knowledge of the topic, share exciting information that has not yet been written by anyone. This paragraph should take up the most space, so try to state the information in as much detail as possible.

Evaluation of the Case

When you describe each problem in the central part, then in this section, you need to write the most exciting parts of the research. Here you can assess the situation and find solutions. In addition to the fact that you will find answers, write down what you should not do, thereby saving the reader from future mistakes.

Proposed Changes

When the reader knows about the problems and solutions, then advise him of one most effective method in this situation. After giving a recommendation, explain why you think this solution is the best fit. To assure the reader of the truth of your words, this can be done with evidence. Such evidence can be your personal experience, the work of other researchers, discussion topics.

How Should a Case Study Be Formatted?

First of all, you must decide in what form you will create a project; it can be:

  • Downloadable PDF is the most widely used document and it is easy to open in any browser.
  • Website Page is most often used by companies that have a website and there they post such information. If you are a student, then such a format will not suit you. If you are a beginner expert, then you should know how to prepare for work without distracting other employees with questions about where to place the article.
  • A Slidedeck is a document that can be made using PowerPoint, where all the information will be placed as a slide, and it can be shown on a larger spotlight in front of an audience.
  • Videos are most often used by both students and expert, it is very convenient to tell you about the research if you have many listeners. But at the same time, you must understand that the quality of the video should be high, so make sure that you were shooting with a good camera.

When you decide on the format, you should know the elements that your work must contain:

  • The title is the first page that contains a topic or case study problem.
  • The executive summary is the section of the document with which you will summarize the research content.
  • Introduction. Use this element to interest the reader.
  • Problem is a few sentences will be enough to describe what you encountered while researching.
  • The solution is a section in which you describe how to solve a problem using a product or service. Explain what value and benefit it has for the world.
  • The results of this section are best written in percentages and explain what they mean.
  • Conclusion is a section in which it is necessary to summarize all previously written information.

Things to Avoid When Writing Your Analysis

When writing a case study, common mistakes should be avoided:

  • Do not use spoken language. Even though your research may be based on real events, it is worth sticking to a formal presentation of thoughts;
  • Write statistics. Their absence may indicate that your research may be erroneous. Statistical data must be expressed using percentages, tables, graphs;
  • Do not write too much in detail. If, during your research, you came across multiple issues, then it’s best to highlight the main ones because some may not deal with the project at all and distract the reader’s attention from the principal thing;
  • Use only those methods that correspond to the actions. Some students may describe the methodology, but they completely forget that some points may not check to the steps, then the reader has even more questions;
  • Use real means of collecting information. Besides the fact that you will use different information sources, do not forget about such collection methods as questionnaires or surveys. This will help you gather even more facts.

Comprehensive Tips for a Case Study Analysis

A case study is a rather complicated piece with many nuances, and often due to certain shortcomings, this may affect the result. We want to give some essential tips on how to create a project properly:

  1. Consider your research objectives carefully. Any research and subsequent analysis necessarily arise from a specific issue of the company. This may be a lack of market awareness, falling sales, or insufficient growth in market share for a product. Understanding and accepting the main problem is necessary to break it down into main goals and objectives.
  2. Always keep your audience in mind. For the research results to be beneficial, it is necessary to interview the target audience. If you are not careful about the choice of people for the interview or survey, this can significantly distort the conclusions, and their basis will be ineffective for the company.
  3. Consider research before starting to create. Unfortunately, this is often thought about after the end of the project. And this is often the cause of frustration. Think about how you want to use the research data, what indicators you would like to see, and the results' structure and format.
  4. The methodology is essential. It only seems that the polls are no different from each other: there is a questionnaire, there is a respondent. The choice of the type of study, the type of sample, how participants are selected is critically essential. At this stage, it is laid down how accurate and objective the data is to be obtained. Whether the final report will describe the real picture of the market, or will it be suitable only for describing a small group of people far from your actual consumer.

A Marketing Case Study

Conducting marketing case studies is an essential component of the analytical function. The lack of such research is fraught with the most unfavorable consequences for the firm.

Marketing case studies involve the systematic collection, processing, and analysis of data on those aspects of the company's marketing activities, within which decisions should be made. Also, the analysis of the components of the external environment that impact the company's marketing activities.

The following tools can be used for a marketing case study:

  • survey - in direct contact with representatives of the target group;
  • observation - obtaining data without direct contact with the research object;
  • experiment - changing one or more critical parameters of the system under study and fixing the effect of these changes on the object;
  • simulation modeling - building a mathematical model of the object of research and determining on its basis the factors that affect the result of the system;
  • method of expert assessments - a survey of experts and analysis of their opinions.

The data obtained are summarized and analyzed using general scientific methods and statistical analysis tools. These can be theories of queuing and other areas of logic, mathematics, psychology, sociology.

Why Create Marketing Case Studies?

All successful companies today owe their market position and competitive advantage to marketing case studies. More precisely, the knowledge gained from these studies and the actions taken afterward on their basis.

Thanks to the marketing case study, in the 21st century, we see companies operating in established markets created decades ago and new companies developing new products and new markets larger than traditional ones. All this has become possible thanks to research: collecting and analyzing market information and searching for new solutions to humanity's existing problems.

It can be safely argued that no company that wants to succeed can exist without a marketing case study. Such projects provide pivot points for further actions in the market.

A Business Case Study

To develop a business, you need to research your target audience. Which, for some reason, ended up in your offline store, website, or mobile application. To better understand user behavior. In a business case study, there are several main ones:

  1. Field research is a marketing project of the direct and comprehensive study of the research object in real market conditions.
  2. An in-depth interview is a qualitative research method in the form of a one-on-one conversation with a respondent according to a previously prepared script with a recording on a dictaphone.
  3. Desk research is a collection, study, systematization, and analysis of secondary information about the market, obtained from available sources.

Whichever method you use for research, the main thing is the result. Now that you have enough theory, you can get to work. Use our tips, and you will manage to create a great project.

Angelina Grin
Creative Writer and Blog Editor

Work, study, play, party, love, move, go, improve.