Design Research and Strategy, Graduate Student at Carnegie Mellon University
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Broadband in Manufacturing

In May 2012, I began laying the groundwork for understanding the strategic role that broadband connectivity could have on Pennsylvania’s manufacturing competitiveness. I converged on valuable insights by starting with broad secondary research, narrowing the focus with qualitative and quantitative surveying, and seeking supporting evidence through one-on-one interviews.

Researcher, subject matter expert, writer

Broadband in Manufacturing

With: Lauren Bryson, Irene Petrick, and Rikki Riegner
For: Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Governor’s Office, and National Telecommunications and Information Administration


 Findings from secondary research were organized 

Secondary Research: I researched, reported, and presented findings from public programs that support investment in broadband infrastructure to the specific software and services being adopted by leading small- to medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. I also developed a framework that helped organize the overwhelming amount of specific tools enabled by broadband connectivity that are available to manufacturers.


Survey: We designed a survey that would be distributed by our clients to a sample of Pennsylvania’s small- to medium-sized manufacturers. I based the first draft of the survey on findings documented in several previous reports commissioned by our client. Seventy-one manufacturers completed the survey and nine companies indicated they would be interested in completing a followup interview.


 Click here to read the annotated interview transcript

Click here to read the annotated interview transcript

Interviews: We analyzed the results of the initial survey in order to identify patterns, trends, or correlations worth investigating. I created an interview template based off these findings and then used it to complete five interviews. The average length of the interviews was 62 minutes.


 Click to read case study

Click to read case study

Synthesis: I transcribed, then annotated and coded each interview and worked closely with Irene to identify and extract findings and key insights. We also agreed that one particular interview shed enough insights that I developed a sample case study from the interview. We used this case study to demonstrate what we could gain from future studies.


 Click to read final report

Click to read final report

Outcome: This report and the data we collected were delivered to multiple stakeholders and eventually led to a long-term study by a state manufacturing consortium.


I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
— Lauren Bryson

With: Lauren Bryson, Irene Petrick, and Rikki Riegner

For: Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Governor’s Office, and National Telecommunications and Information Administration