Infotool’s Executive Vice President, John Bird, has written an article for Research World which offers key insights into the best ways to choose market research technologies.
The article points to the important considerations of risk and reward, and the need to choose a solution which will keep your company competitive – very often by streamlining the tasks that you do daily.
With many companies allocating more budget towards IT strategies - despite the economic downturn - John warns that jumping the gun with an ill-considered plan simply to ‘keep up’ can cause significant damage to a business. It is important to note that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
That said, market researchers must invest in technology in order to meet increasing demands for speed, quality and cost effectiveness and to deliver optimal outcomes for their clients and their organizations.
With all this in mind, John outlines ways to ensure careful and considered choices around solutions to ensure that investment proves worthwhile. These include considering factors such as:
Sticking points in company workflow when it comes to delivering quality insights faster, and at a competitive price.
The need for team members with different skill sets.
Whether a technology can enable an organization to materialize sustained benefits.
He stresses the need to choose solutions which provide granular, interactive, online analysis and reporting, to enable market research teams to explore data easily and to democratize it across an organization.
“Manually sifting through hundreds of cross-tabs, Excel tables and static PowerPoint decks will ensure that you are left behind,” he writes. And while today’s digital-first world can result in a ‘giant sea’ of data, the best tech stacks must bring in other sources for a holistic view. Indeed, the ability to integrate multiple data sources together is critical, John warns.
And there are other considerations too: “While technology has a huge role to play in our lives, it needs to have a high degree of auditability with regards to how it reaches any given outcome … Rolling out shiny objects too quickly and without appropriate due diligence can leave an organization exposed.”
John concludes with a suggested route to investing in technology which creates efficiencies and delivers a data-driven foundation for insight generation and informed decision making: “Begin by digging into the unique needs of your organization, where you can improve throughput, and the strengths of your team. Then, look at the big data picture, and the trends that are happening surrounding data integration, holistic customer views, data democratization and other critical demands.”