Research with a purpose can inform decision-making. By providing insight toward an objective, research becomes more than a series of statistical facts.
No research technique provides a perfect crystal ball into the future. But actionable research points to a clear direction for marketing outreach, customer satisfaction or messaging.
Sometimes research gets a bad reputation because it yields findings of marginal value to the task at hand. That can occur when researchers aren't plugged into the uses of their survey work. Or it can happen when researchers don't tailor their samples to reflect the audience you want to reach.
Making research useful doesn't mean writing questions or soliciting comments for a predetermined outcome. That's not really research. Unbiased, straightforward questions that test single concepts or messages may produce findings you don't like, but need to know. What value is there to undertake a major marketing campaign based on an untested or untrue premise?