Diligent Research & Consulting is a small consulting service founded in 2020, poised to partner with clients to use research to meet individual and corporate needs. We are good at the details and have a passion for collaboration with big thinkers who are the experts in their respective fields; together, we will diligently work together to accomplish a project and give voice to innovative ideas.
You are the ideal client if you have good ideas swimming in your head, drafted in an unfinished manuscript, or scribbled on a white board. We are the ideal consulting firm if you need help organizing, synthesizing, and communicating those ideas to others. We welcome your chaos and will strive to turn that chaos into a coherent, ordered message.
Our Promise: While our primary commitment is to meet the client's stated goals, we also value the integrity of the research process and the authenticity of the consultant-client relationship. We promise:
Our Approach: Diligent takes an "outsider" approach to all projects -- we ask questions, take notes, and listen carefully in order to elicit the client's thoughts, ideas, predictions, and clarifications. Our job is then to take that information and translate it into research, findings, or communications that reflect the client's voice and vision.
We are not the subject matter experts ... you are.
Sarah Spilman began her career in state government (Minnesota) by leading a multi-agency effort to write a state legislative report. She then transitioned to a nonprofit setting, where she utilized data to produce marketing materials and reports for organization members and constituents.
After attending graduate school at the University of Iowa, Sarah spent 6 years as a data manager and project director for a longitudinal research study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Most recently, she worked for 8 years as the lead data analyst and medical writer for the trauma research program at a Level I trauma center.
Sarah holds a master’s degree in sociology, with academic and on-the-job training in research methodology, statistics, and writing. She is a reader, a thinker, and a life-long learner. She thrives on lists, meetings, and the challenge of translating complex ideas into coherent and actionable messaging. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband and two children.
Over the course of her career, Sarah has produced dozens of annual reports, published 25+ academic papers, contributed to more than 35 regional and national presentations, and worked with more than 75 co-authors on a variety of teams. She has a tremendous and rare talent for understanding data, translating data into written reports and publications, and guiding teams through the entire research process.
"In every project, the scariest step can also be the most rewarding. It is the 'first draft,' when I am entrusted with the challenge of producing a written document that reflects the thoughts, vision, and dreams of my collaborative partners. This often marks the turning point in the working relationship, when trust is secured and the client feels heard. There is great victory in hearing from my clients, 'Yes! That was exactly what I wanted to say but did not know how to say it!' I take that responsibility seriously and respect the vulnerability and effort it takes for my clients to honor me with the task to help them find their voice." --Sarah K. Spilman, Owner and Principal Consultant