For more than 25 years, IESD has provided detailed, insightful market research, analysis, and strategic planning for publishers of digital and print-based educational resources and technology hardware companies.

Services include:


Focus Groups

When clients need a thoughtful exchange of opinions about current needs in a specific segment of the education market, reactions to product/service concepts, works-in-progress, published products, and/or marketing messages, IESD conducts online or face-to-face focus groups.

Whether the group meets online or face-to-face, IESD works with our client to identify key purposes and priorities; develops a strategy to meet those purposes; crafts a discussion guide; arranges for research facilities; recruits participants; moderates the discussion; provides a discussion transcript to our client; completes a thematic analysis of each discussion topic; and presents findings with actionable recommendations in a research report.


When clients need quantitative data from a specific segment of the education market, IESD provides answers through online surveys.

IESD collaborates with our clients to identify questions they want answered; crafts a survey that will answer those questions; works with a contact database service to email invitations to the appropriate respondent group; programs and hosts the survey; analyzes survey results; and presents survey findings with actionable recommendations in a research report.

Online surveys can be used to find out about areas such as:


When clients need thoughtful private expressions of opinion from key stakeholders in the education market, IESD conducts in-depth interviews (IDIs). Such interviews might focus on:

IESD collaborates with our client to identify key purposes and priorities; develops an interview strategy; crafts an interview guide; arranges for toll-free phone facilities, digital audio recording, and transcription of each session; recruits and schedules interviewees; conducts the interviews; completes an analysis of common themes across interviews; and presents findings with actionable recommendations in a research report.

Each of these is described in more detail below.


Competitive Analysis

When clients need to know about competitors’ products and/or services — to inform planning for product design, marketing, and sales — IESD provides competitive market analysis.

Working with our client, IESD helps identify competitors and key areas for comparison — such as product features, key messages, markets, strategic partnerships, and strengths and weaknesses compared to the client. IESD then locates web-based information and available print materials on each competitor and/or product/service; reviews and analyzes the information; prepares individual competitor/product profiles; and prepares an analysis report on important trends, common themes, areas where specific competitors stand out, and recommendations and implications for our client.

Literature Reviews

When clients need to ensure that content, features, and functionality of technology-based systems or applications are truly “research-based,” IESD completes a review of the best current published research and expert opinion.

Collaborating with our client, IESD helps identify key issues and questions related to curriculum/instructional design; develops a literature search strategy; identifies key reputable research and expert opinion literature; reviews and summarizes key sources; and presents the findings in terms of actionable recommendations and implications for instructional design.

User Testing

When clients need to know how well their interface and navigation design work for end users, IESD conducts one-on-one, face-to-face user testing. Such testing can involve teachers, students, administrators, and other end user groups.

IESD works with our client to identify key goals for the testing; develops a testing protocol; recruits test subjects; schedules the research facility; completes the user testing; and writes a summary and analysis report of the results, including actionable recommendations for design revisions. Ideally, the research process includes a cycle of user testing, revision, and retesting.

Product Design Consulting

With more than 25 years of experience in education publishing and education technology, IESD has the know-how to help clients translate research findings into design improvements that can make products more marketable. Actionable recommendations based on the results of surveys, focus groups, interviews, competitive analyses, and literature reviews provide specific suggestions for change — informed by deep knowledge of the best research-informed practices in education and instructional design.

Market Insight & Guidance

IESD draws on an extensive range of experience in the education publishing and education technology market to turn market research findings into thoughtful, actionable recommendations and guidance to our clients. When clients engage us for multiple services, we analyze the results across research strands for key takeaways that provide a competitive advantage.

Independent Reports

In addition to custom projects for clients, IESD publishes independent research reports on topics of critical interest to the educational technology community. To find out more about recent reports, developed in collaboration with STEM Market Impact, LLC, follow the links below: