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Market researchers: Get organized in 2020

Marie Kondo’s decluttering mandate has been all the rage over the past few years. What can researchers do to declutter and get organized?

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Marie Kondo’s decluttering mandate has been all the rage over the past few years, and getting organized is among the top three New Year’s resolutions each time the calendar makes its annual switch over. What about getting organized when it comes to our jobs in market research? We’re not talking about cleaning up your desk - or your desktop - but rather taking a big picture view at the state of the industry, how data is coming in, and how we can get the best insights out of it. 

Self-reported information. Customer sales data. Passive behavioral collection. Social media and engagement metrics. Structured, unstructured, and semi-structured big data. The sheer amount of consumer information that is now available to us can be overwhelming. Finding the insights needle in the data haystack has become more and more difficult. To understand our audiences, we must get organized - more specifically; we must get our data organized. This means pulling it all together to find a cohesive, holistic view to bring to the final insights we deliver. Data integration isn’t the only piece - we also must look at how we’re taking the data through the entire research process from collection to insights report delivery. 

There’s no way to tackle this enormous challenge without the help of technology. A couple of years ago, Keri Vermaak, our USA Regional Engagement Director for Infotools, wrote an article for ESOMAR’s Research World blog in which she acknowledged all the new solutions and tools that are available to the industry (this number has only grown since then). What she saw as the problem was that these technologies still operate in an inefficient - or unorganized - environment. 

She writes: “Functions are often isolated from one another. We may not see this right away, because sometimes the broken links are hidden by workarounds—by people or systems—that help to compensate for inefficiencies at the front end. These ‘workarounds’ can leave us with outcomes that are broken, incomplete, or downright inaccurate.”

At Infotools, we have tackled this challenge head-on. As researchers ourselves, we know intimately the challenges that our peers face daily, and we know how hard it is keeping up. When we sought to create a better way, we kept this complicated data landscape front-of-mind. The result? A platform that gets everything on track, in one place. Our Harmoni platform does it all: data processing through to analysis, reporting, visualization, dashboards, distribution, and data alerts. What better way to get organized than to have powerful technology handling the heavy lifting all along the research process? 

There are more and more tools and solutions coming to markets, each claiming to help “organize” some part or parcel of the research process. Some of these tools play nicely with others - both technologies and humans - but most aren’t working together to streamline the market researcher’s job. 

There’s no doubt that innovations like automation, machine learning, text analytics, and more can help us integrate the vast amount of data that’s coming in, so we can trust the insights that come out the other side. Finding the right solution that organizes all the moving pieces will help us get the outcomes we desire for 2020. Bring it on Marie Kondo!

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