Market Research

Democratizing data: How Stanford’s JD Schramm creates stories that matter

JD Schramm, a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, finds market research fascinating. Why? Not because of the data itself, but because of the opportunities that arise from it. As a practitioner, JD creates programs that help researchers and data scientists better understand the power of communicating their data with a clear narrative arc and impact.

Break down big data

As we strive to drive action from data, this should start with one question.

What does the data tell us?

Data affects everyone throughout the organization, but JD makes specific reference to how we can use market research and the insights gained out of that to improve as leaders.

“We live in such a data-rich era that leaders today can't ignore the need to use data in order to make decisions, lead teams, and inspire others.

“Even if we are not specifically in brand management, product management, [or] marketing, all of us need to benefit from the insights that well-done market research and integrity around data can give to us,” JD said.

Create the conversation

But remember that data is not the end goal in itself. “Beware of analysis paralysis,” JD says.

“It is too easy for researchers to spend too much time in the data and not actually come back out of the data to create the story, create the conversation, or create the message.”

“Remember you need to come back out and share what you learn in that data in a way that will cause other people to take an action” - JD Schramm

Ask the right questions

So how do you avoid inaction?

JD says it’s about asking the right questions:

  • What does the data tell us?
  • Who needs to see this data?
  • How can we communicate that to the right audience?
  • How can we use that to make a difference?

People soon realize they have more power over data than they initially thought. “The more that we make that accessible and easy, the better off we all will be. That’s not just for data scientists - it’s for all of us,” JD says.

Cut through the noise

With the huge amount of data available, that isn’t always easy.
“How do you know what is noise and what is information?” JD asks.

Advanced analytic tools like Qualtrics Stats iQ or Text iQ will help. Qualtrics iQ is a predictive intelligence platform that analyzes data and presents you with insights that you can act on, making statistical analysis accessible to all levels. JD explains that by “Qualtrics having a focus, not just on the power of survey and the data, but [on] the implications of what that data brings to us, it has raised the bar for all of us.”

The future of market research looks…


JD believes market research will play a more prominent role in organizations moving forward.

“From my vantage point, market research has continued to get an ever increasingly important seat at the table for senior management to make decisions.

“And so I think that trajectory is just going to continue, particularly with market researchers who understand not just the power of the data, but the power of the message the data can tell.

“I think that you will definitely see that discipline wielding greater authority within organizations, helping smaller organizations pivot more quickly. I think there's great potential for people in that field if they take advantage of the tools and resources that are there.”

Hear More from JD Schramm in His Breakthrough Session at X4 2020

Harry Gough // Content Strategist

With an English Literature degree from Loughborough University under his belt, Harry’s career has been all things content related ever since. He now spends his time helping Qualtrics tell the Experience Management story, showing the value that it brings to brands and most importantly, their customers.

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