We write for Research World about finding space to think

John Bird, our EVP of Client Development, recently wrote for ESOMAR’s Research World blog about how it can be hard to find space to think in today’s busy world. "The pressure to fill every moment with productive tasks can actually have the opposite effect, making us unproductive in the ways that matter." In the article, Gaining space to think in even the most challenging conditions, John details ways to stay competitive even as market researchers face increased demands for speed, quality, and cost-efficiency. 

He writes about how these demands leave little time for reflection, or feeding curiosity, some of the aspects about research that drew individuals to the profession in the first place. There is data-driven proof of the pressure on the insights industry, as he writes that the “recent GRIT Insights Practice Report from Greenbook shows that speed is still a major driver in the space, along with quality and cost."

To keep up with this unrelenting pace, we've witnessed a surge in interest and investment in technology solutions. In fact, solutions that can speed up traditionally manual tasks provide some of the only ways to alleviate some of the challenges researchers face. However, integrating new software isn't without its challenges. "Disruptions in workflow are common when new solutions are brought on board, so proper vendor and internal support is critical." 

John writes that while technology has become indispensable for market researchers, but it must align with specific needs in order to be the most effective. Some of the considerations he covers in the article include: 

  • Time Savings: Seek tools that can save you at least 30% of project time. "Increased productivity will allow you to dive deeper into the analyses."
  • Ad-Hoc Request Fulfillment: "Tools that can help researchers be more responsive to stakeholders' ad-hoc requests, delivering insights in hours rather than days or weeks."
  • Boosting the Value of Insights: Technology should "make insights more accessible and digestible to everyone in the company."
  • Data Integration: Solutions should "integrate multiple disparate data sources to give a total cross data source view."
  • Maximizing Study Value: Look for solutions that "can permanently take in data from multiple agencies, studies, sources and more."

He concludes the article by reiterating that most people are in this field because they want to explore and learn new things about human behavior, yet the current evolution of the insights landscape is making this more difficult. John wraps up with the fact that “experience has taught us that market research is fundamental in helping people navigate through uncertainty. Technology can definitely help amplify our efforts and give us space to think, but only if it is the right fit for today’s most pressing market research needs.”

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