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3 ways to turn information into knowledge in market research

The value of consumer research data is only as good as the insights that it generates.

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We often use the terms “information” and “knowledge” interchangeably, but there are differences between these concepts. In short,  information is the facts about a subject whereas knowledge is an understanding of a subject, through either education or experience. In market research, we can translate this as the difference between data and insights. 

In terms of research, “information” is the huge amount of data, from many different sources, that we now have available to us. Often, we see it as hundreds of cross-tabs that start to look blurry and takes more energy to ‘tame’ rather than draw conclusions and generate insights. 

Knowledge, or insights, in our case, is the collection of information, followed by processing it into a useful and meaningful story. It’s the application of the data that turns data into insights for storytelling consumer research. Just as important is the sharing of these insights, or “knowledge,” across functions of the organization allow for better decision-making overall. 

Three ways to morph information (data) into knowledge (insights)

It’s true that you can’t attain knowledge without information. The process of going from data to insights can often be a challenge. In today’s fast-paced industry, we must move beyond simply being a collector of data to being a collaborator that can provide insight. By doing so, better business decisions are made and we become more of a partner with our clients. Technology is helping us get there. 

  • Integrate the data: From traditional survey research to sales tracking, from social media and reviews to passive behavioral data, we are trying to bring data together as best we can in order to gain a complete picture. Unfortunately, this information is often disparate, usually siloed, and most likely underutilized. Finding a solution that can bring it all together, quickly, is the only way to garner knowledge that illustrates the big picture. 
  • Investigate the data: The ability to explore and mine consumer research data provides a level of flexibility and creativity to really understand the data, and draw meaningful conclusions. Easy-to-use charting and features such as built-in significance testing, aid users to arrive at conclusions. Leaner organizations and decreased marketing spend means people are having to do more, with fewer resources. Not everyone is an analytics software expert or has the time to wait a week for their agency to get back to them with a simple recut of their data.
  • Visualize and share the data: Consumer research data visualization tools that allow non-research people to explore and interact with data can help spread information and provide companies with the opportunity to make decisions collaboratively. These tools can allow for flexibility and 'tiered' access of engagement, while also telling a compelling and accurate story about the insights you've uncovered. The most innovative of these tools can even auto-generate reporting, freeing up time to actually make business decisions from the data.

The value of consumer research data is only as good as the insights that it generates. To bring these three pieces of the puzzle together, it can be as easy as selecting the right solution. With Harmoni, you have a single source of truth for your market research “information” - bringing the data together, facilitating easy analysis, creating stories and sharing “knowledge” all from one place. 

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