5: Wonder Sourcing Standards

The purpose of this module is to teach you to think like a Reviewer and Editor!

If you learn to think like a Reviewer and use this approach in your Sourcing work, it'll be easier to determine how to ensure your work earns 5-stars from the quality team every time.

Sourcers should always work with the final deliverable in mind.


Ultimately, by tuning in to Writers’ feedback, you can develop an instinct for providing the the material that a Writer needs to compose killer research.
 


SECTIONS
1. Source Relevance 
2. Source Recency
3. Source Notes: Identifying Key Data
4. Summary Note: Putting It All Together

 

OBJECTIVES
1. Recognize sources that thoroughly and completely answer the client's question
2. Incorporate recent data from sources that are less than 2 years old (24 months)
3. Write source notes that highlight the details & location of key info & explain how it answers the question
4. Write a summary note that describes how all the sources fit together to fully address the request


Ready?  

Let's dive in!
 

Source Relevance

Overview

First, make sure all of the sources you use are relevant. 

Each source needs to directly answer at least one part of the client's question, or help you triangulate information to answer the question.When combined, your sources should speak for themselves in their relevancy and accuracy. 

The idea is that Sourcing should be robust and cohesive enough for a Writer to completely answer the client's request with relevant examples, specific calculations, and the most up-to-date, pertinent information. 


HOW MANY SOURCES SHOULD I INCLUDE?

You're not expected to include every single available source on a topic, but you should include all the sources that a Writer would conceivably need to answer the client fully.  

As the Sourcer, you're the ultimate information-gatherer.  The onus is on you to build an iron-clad foundation of totally applicable material that hits on every nuance of the question.

Examples

Read through the below research briefs to get a feel for how perfectly relevant sources set the stage for iron-clad research.


"Help me build a case on why Vegan protein is better than Whey protein."  

http://bit.ly/2ilx3l0  


"Why do people in Italy buy chewing gum?" 

 http://bit.ly/2fWUsYo

Review

When you're choosing which sources to use, ask yourself these questions to ensure they are all relevant and help to answer the client's question!


1.  Does this research help the client with their stated (or implied) goals?

HOW DO I DETERMINE A CLIENT'S GOALS?

The client's objectives are hashed out through the Interpret request-writing format: http://bit.ly/2yB3hOW  

Interpreters summarize that information in the "Client’s Ultimate Goal" and "How the Client will Use Our Research" sections. This high-level view of the client's end purpose for the research will help you strategize your search methods.  


2.  Do the combination of all my sources answer all aspects of the client's question?

HOW DO I MAKE SURE I ADDRESS ALL ASPECTS OF THE CLIENT'S QUESTION?

The more granular details of the client's question are digested using the same Interpret process.  The "Wonder’s Job" and "Research Criteria" sections tell you, the Sourcer, what information you are expected to find, outlining all exclusions, inclusions and other research parameters. 

The "Response Format" section tells you  how to structure the final product.  This will depend on the client's preferred deliverable or the format that's most suited to the data (spreadsheet, narrative, etc).  


3.  Is the research in these sources credibly presented?

The information must be communicated clearly, calculations explained, assumptions noted.  These are best practices that build client trust and minimize the risk of miscommunication and faulty assumptions. 


4.  Are the conclusions drawn in the research logical?If an objective party picked up the research, would the cadence and progression of the writing make sense?   Does this research have the level of depth the client expects?


A good exercise is to pretend you're the client and ask yourself these three questions:

❐  Do I feel like I got my money's worth? (robustness)

❐  Do I trust the analyst that this is the right answer? (credibility)

❐  Would I want to work with this analyst again? (satisfaction)

Source Recency

Overview

Next, make sure all of the sources you use are relevant. Wonder defines a "relevant" source as being 2 years old or less.


WHAT IF THERE ARE NO APPLICABLE SOURCES WITHIN THE LAST 2 YEARS?

In some instances, recent data will not exist, so you’ll have no choice but to provide sources that are older than 2 years. If this is the case, you must directly address this in your source note and explain why this is the most current version of this data or why the data is still relevant.


Here's a great example: 

“This source shows that the market size of sneakers in the US is $2.5B. The source is from 2014 because this report is only published every 5 years.”

Ultimately, the goal here is that clients are confident that their research is anchored in the latest and greatest information possible on a given topic.

Examples

Read through the below research to get a feel for how appropriately-dated sources build a foundation for timely, recent data that accurately address a client's question.


 "How much time is wasted by people looking for Netflix movies to watch?"  

http://bit.ly/2yzjyV4


  "How much alcohol is consumed each night, worldwide?" 

http://bit.ly/2l0SVTM

Review

1. Google Search Filter

Unless otherwise instructed, set your search engine parameters to the past 24 months. (Tools >> Custom Range)  If your search isn't returning the info you need, it's fine to remove the filter and see what you can dig up.  If there are sources that you deem relevant despite being a tad dated, be sure to note this in the source note. 

This is your one opportunity to defend any outdated sources, so make sure that your reasoning is sound and logical. 

Don't worry, you can learn more about search tools in the "Building Sourcing Speed" module!


2. Source Subject Matter

In corner cases, the client request and related subject matter dictates whether an on-the-fence (barely outside of the two year range) is legitimate.  For example, if the question deals with the tech or media industry, the client is probably only going to be satisfied with the most cutting edge info. However, if the client's question involves a look at historical info, then dated sources are most likely going to serve the research best. 


3.  Elusive Source Date

Sometimes a source date isn't readily apparent.  This is where your investigative skills get to shine!   In some cases, the date is buried in the URL

Example: 

fakesite.com/fakearticle/10-1-2017OR

The date is tucked away at the bottom of the article 


Example:  inside a graphic or photo

Sometimes you can simply use the Ctrl+F function to search for the most recent year mentioned within and make an educated inference about the source's publication date.

Source Notes: Identifying Key Data

Overview

For each source you list, you will also include a 'Source Note'. 

These source notes are brief, but point out the exact location of the key points of data you are referring to, and the significance of that data within the context of answering the client's question.


Always ask yourself: 

Do your source notes highlight the details and exact location of key information, and briefly explain how it answers the question?  


SOURCE NOTES

Each source note must help a Writer understand and find the key value (figure, insight, fact, etc) of the source at a glance and explain how it answers the client's question. Source notes also need to help the Writer track that info down, whether it's buried in the body of the text, tucked away in a bulleted list, or hidden in an infographic.  

Ultimately, it's the Sourcer's job to highlight the key nugget of info, point to it's location, and explain why it's relevant to the client's request.  

Don't forget to confirm that the source date is within the requisite 2 year timeframe.  


Bonus points for listing the date in your note; the Writer will love you for it!

Examples

Let's take a spin through below examples to illustrate the idea of stellar source notes.  


A great source note earns a thumbs up, and a bad source note earns a thumbs down.


⇨  “On the third page, this report cites the market size for U.S. sneaker sales as $5 billion. The source is dated 2017.  👍

⇨  “Here's a general summary of the sneaker market.  This should be helpful.”  👎

⇨  “The source was published in Auguest 2016. According to the infographic on page 2, the three big trends in food delivery are mobile ordering, payment via iWatch, and drone delivery.”  👍

⇨  “This article discusses a few recent trends in food delivery. Read through for more details. 👎

⇨  "This is a whitepaper from March 2017 that talks about on how our realities are constructed by internet algorithms.  Altogether, compared to reality construction by traditional mass media, algorithmic reality construction tends to increase individualization, commercialization, inequalities and deterritorialization, and to decrease transparency, controllability and predictability. See paragraph 7 for context."  👍

Review

Before you finalize your source notes, make sure each of them do the following:

-In 1-2 sentences, please directly answer the client's question

-Where did you search and why?  Please explain.

-Explain how each of the sources can be tied together to answer the client's question.

-If you made calculations or assumptions, please clearly outline all of them.

Summary Notes: Putting It All Together

Overview

After you list all of your sources and write source notes for each individual source you use, you will write a Summary Note at the end to tie everything together.


SUMMARY NOTE

Your Summary Note is the culmination and cornerstone of the Sourcing process. 

It needs to explain how the sources fit together to fully address the client's question.  No detail should be left unanswered!  


You'll be expected to give a concise statement that directly answers the request, and then explain the logic that helped you arrive at your final conclusion(s).  


What does that look like?  

Some examples include:

-The criteria you used to determine the "top" market players

-The reason you chose certain case studies-the calculation/triangulation you used to come up with a figure

-Basic assumptions you made based on existing researchThis list isn't exhaustive, but you get the idea. 


Finally, you'll be asked to outline the order in which the sources should appear in the final brief and how those sources mesh to create the big picture response.

Examples

Let's take a spin through below contrasting examples to illustrate the magic of fabulous sourcing.  

A good Summary Note earns a thumbs up, and a bad Summary Note earns a thumbs down.

Request 1:  What is the most important algorithm to the internet and why?


Summary Note

 👍"I provided a selection of different types of protocols needing to run the internet (like search engine, security, etc). I would look at each of the different kinds to determine which is the most important one for the internet. You will need to back up your choice for "best" with specifics about why it is the best (or most necessary) and hopefully some of these articles will help. I would start this by outlining what an algorithm is and then go into specifics on what types are used to make the internet function - including details on each type and examples. Then, provide a full overview on the "best one" - with back-up discussion about why it is most important." 

 

Summary Note

  👎"These sources provide good information on algorithms in general.  You can read through the sources to get an idea of the most important algorithm and make your own inferences and conclusions."⇨  Request 2:  How many landlords are there in Kansas City who own 10+ properties?


Summary Note 

👍Although there is no pre-compiled statistic available that defines the number of landlords in Kansas City, we can reasonably estimate the number using the information from the sources provided. Source 1 gives us the population of Seattle (A) which can be multiplied by the national percentage of landlords (B) found in Source 2.  Therefore, A x B = C .  Now we know that there are (C) landlords in Kansas City.  Source 3 tells us that (D%) of landlords in Kansas City own 10 or more properties.  Therefore, we can say that (C) landlords multiplied by (D%) of those who own 10+ properties gives us an estimate for the number of landlords in Kansas City who own 10+ properties (E).  Here's the math:  C x D = E


Summary Note 👎

"I have provided data that shows some relevant numbers regarding rentals, renters and landlords in Kansas City.  There are interesting stats and percentages concerning the housing and rental market.  The numbers I’ve provided may help you triangulate an estimate."

Review

Before you finalize any of your Summary Notes, make sure they do the following:

1.  Do I directly answer every nuance of the client's question? 

2.  Do I explain how the sources fit together to create a cohesive response? 

3.  Do I describe which aspects of the request each source speaks to and in what order they should appear?

4.  Do I clearly explain the logic I used to come to my conclusions (calculations, triangulations, assumptions, criteria, etc)? 

5.  Do I illustrate any calculations or triangulations?  Could I replicate them and get the same answer?


For all summary notes, make sure to:

-Directly answer the client's question in 1-2 sentences.-

Clearly explain the logic you used to come to your conclusion.

-Clearly outline the order in which the sources should appear in the response and explain how they tie together.

Sourcing: Behind the Scenes

How Do Reviewers Rate Sourcing?

Curious to know how Reviewers rate Sourcing jobs?  

As a Sourcer, you're goal is to aim for a 5-star sourcing every single time.  

By incorporating the above tips, you should knock it out of the park every time! 


For a sneak peek into the collective Reviewer mind, here's the sourcing rubric that they use to determine a quality score.    

☆☆☆☆☆ The sources fully answered the client's request and the source/summary notes were good.

☆☆☆☆The sources fully answered the client's request but the source/summary notes could have been clearer or more helpful.

☆☆☆I used the sources provided, but they didn't fully answer the client's request and I needed to do some more sourcing myself.

☆☆I used the sources provided, but they didn't fully answer the client's request and I needed to do a lot more sourcing myself.

☆The sources were unusable.

How Can I Improve as a Sourcer?

Here are a few pointers from some of our top Wonder Sourcers to get you rolling:

 ⇨  Always read the client’s request at least twice. You can break it down into smaller pieces to help structure your search strategy.

⇨  Make a plan for yourself before you start searching. It might be tempting to dive right in to Google, but outlining what parts of the client’s request you need to search specifically will make it easier to sort through everything later on.

⇨  If the client’s request is about a topic you’re not familiar with, do some brief background research! The more you know about the subject, the better equipped you’ll be to select the best sources.


Check out this nifty Sourcing Tips and Tricks doc for more nuggets of wisdom.  

http://bit.ly/2x6bpU8  


HAPPY SOURCING!

Source Relevance: Quiz

Quiz time

Time to put what you’ve learned into practice! 

 Read through each client request and supply 5-10 relevant sources that are a direct response to the question.  For each source, explain your reasoning in 1-2 sentences.  


Use the previous “gut check” list to confirm that your notes incorporate all elements of stellar sourcing.

U.K. Online Grocery Forecast

Click the below link and list 5-10 sources that you would include when answering this request.

For each source, please include 1-2 reasons as to why you included it. 

http://bit.ly/2zivfMW

Online Financial Decision Making

Click the below link and list 5-10 sources that you would include when answering this request.

For each source, please include 1-2 reasons as to why you included it. 

http://bit.ly/2yyfmol

  • Put your answer option here
  • Put your answer option here

Warm Weather Luxury Hotels

Click the below link and list 5-10 sources that you would include when answering this request.

For each source, please include 1-2 reasons as to why you included it. 

http://bit.ly/2yzzt5u

When assessing the quality of research, it helps to put yourself in the client's shoes and ask the following questions. Which one refers specifically to "credibility"?

  • Would I want to work with this analyst again?
  • Do I feel like I got my money's worth?
  • Do I trust the analyst that this is the right answer?
  • Did the analyst use proper grammar?

Research should help clients reach their explicitly stated goals, but any implied goals are not important.

  • True
  • False

Source Recency: Quiz

Instructions

Now that you’ve gotten the full run-down on how to keep your sources within scope, it’s time to exercise your new skills.  

Read through each source listed below and determine whether it abides by Wonder recency standards. 


Use the previous “gut check” if you need help locating the source date or determining whether the research is recent enough.  

Explain your logic for each.

US Demographic Profiles (Census 2010) http://bit.ly/2zwptbf

  • This source is recent enough to use.
  • This source is NOT recent enough to use.

Marketing Contractor vs. Internal Marketing Team vs. Marketing Agency (ImpactBND)

  • This source is recent enough to use.
  • This source is NOT recent enough to use.

The Future of Real Estate: 5 Ways Technology Is Shaping How You Invest (US News)

  • This source is recent enough to use.
  • This source is NOT recent enough to use.

A Shocking Statistical Look at Estate Planning (The Virtual Attorney)

  • This source is recent enough to use.
  • This source is NOT recent enough to use.

Sources may never, under any circumstances, be older than the past 24 months.

  • True
  • False

If you're having trouble identifying a source's publication date, these are legitimate work-around tactics:

  • Check inside the source's URL.
  • Make a guess based on the source subject matter.
  • Check inside any embedded graphics, photos, or infographics.
  • Use the Ctrl+F function to search for the most recent year cited inside the source.
  • All of the above.

Source Notes: Quiz

Instructions

Read through each source for the below request and write individual Source Notes.  

Use the previous “review” list to confirm that your notes include all elements of stellar sourcing.  


You got this!

Auto mechanics

What do car mechanics look for when sourcing automotive parts?  

http://bit.ly/2giQM0l  


Make sure to number your responses 1-8 and write source notes for all 8 sources!

Which of the following are required elements of a Source Note?

  • Highlight and elaborate on the key data
  • Point to where the key data is found within the source
  • Explain why the data is relevant to the client's request
  • All of the above

Summary Notes: Quiz

Quiz

Read through each Source Note for the below request and write a Summary Note.  

Use the previous “gut check” list to confirm that your note incorporates all elements of stellar sourcing.  

Please build a SWOT analysis of Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado.

Which of the following are required elements of a Summary Note?

  • Outline how the sources should be used and ordered in the final response
  • Describe which elements of the request each source addresses
  • Explain how the sources fit together to answer the question
  • Explain and demonstrate any calculations
  • Elaborate on any assumptions
  • All of the above

Success

Module Success Code: of