Evolutionary Changes in Market Research Technology
Technology is a beautiful thing, especially when it makes our lives easier. Technology helps us to be more informed, productive, and connected. When technology disrupts our life, that’s when we know that our world will be forever changed. Take the cellphone, the laptop or the tablet. All are technological innovations that have helped to transform the way that we communicate.
In the market research world, we’re experiencing a transformational shift as well, and technology is leading the charge. In the last several years, there has been phenomenal growth and change in terms of how research is conducted. In the past, paper and pencil ruled, focus groups were the norm, and the research process was long and laborious.
A Disruptive Shift in Market Research
Now, with today’s online survey products, people are enabled like never before to collect data about all sorts of things. They can do it faster, better and cheaper than ever. This shift to online data collection has given birth to the DIY research movement.
But there’s more. In today’s culture of immediate gratification, market researchers are feeling the pressure to quickly get their hands on accurate, actionable insights to make informed decisions. Not just any decisions—the RIGHT decisions. Decisions that will help take them and their organizations to the next level.
In today’s era of data democratization, everyone in an organization requires access to insights that will help them make the right decisions—decisions based on fact rather than gut. This means that employees at all levels need to quickly obtain data, translate that data into insights, and then share and act on those insights across the team or organization.
But why? Because at the end of the day, people and organizations just want to be right. In fact, they need to be right to be more competitive, efficient, and profitable. With faster insights come better, timelier decisions—and better decisions mean better business results in the form of improved customer satisfaction, increased revenue, enhanced employee retention and higher profitability.
The Evolution Continues
Technology has made market research easier by moving data collection capabilities online. But the market is changing again. The latest disruption wave is being driven by a growing mandate for technology standardization—a single data collection platform.
The reason? Researchers and those collecting data across businesses and academia have been utilizing numerous, unique online survey products independently to gather data and analyze results.
The problem? Data ends up siloed within and across departments, all in varying formats. Feedback from one customer could be in 10 or more different places. Unless this information can be readily accessed, shared, and assessed, it loses much of its strategic punch.
To fully optimize the impact that data and insights can have on an organization, a single enterprise-wide survey/data collection platform is critical. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. Standardizing on a single insight repository allows market researchers to focus on data analysis and making strategic recommendations to their stakeholders, instead of focusing on how to collect the insights and wondering where all the data is hiding.
With one enterprise-wide technology platform, it’s easier to get everybody on the same team, working toward the same goal and making decisions based on insights from the same data sets. And that is a truly beautiful thing.