Voxpopme 7: How will automation impact the industry, and you personally, over the next twelve months?


Along with a group of market resevoxpopme logoarchers from around the world, I was asked to participate in Voxpopme Perspectives – an initiative wherein insights industry experts share ideas about a variety of topics via video. You can read more about it here or watch the videos here. Viewers can then reach out over Twitter or upload their own video response. I’m more of a writer so you’ll catch me blogging rather than vlogging. 🙂

Episode 7: How will automation impact the industry, and you personally, over the next twelve months?

I’m not concerned with the next 12 months whatsoever. If we aren’t planning for the next five and ten years, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble. With that in mind, I’d like to consider how automation and artificial intelligence will impact me over that time frame.

The reality is that my job will change a lot. No longer will I receive a dataset, clean out poor quality data, run statistics, write a report, and prepare a presentation. Every aspect of that will be handled automatically and with artificial intelligence. I will receive a report at my desk that is perfectly written, with the perfect charts, and perfectly aligned to my clients’ needs.

So why will I still be there? I’ll be the person who points out the illogical outcomes of the data. How errors enter during the data collection process via human cognitive biases. I’ll be the person who interprets the data in an odd way that wasn’t predicted by the data but is still a plausible outcome. I’ll help clients read between the lines and use the results wisely rather than by the book – or rather, by the AI.

So how will automation and artificial intelligence impact our industry? If your business sells repetitive tasks, from survey programming to data cleaning to statistics to chart preparation and report writing, you’d better have a long term plan. Figure out your unique method of selling WISE applications. Not just data, but wiser data and wiser charts and wiser reports. There are already hundreds of companies innovating in these areas right now and they are waiting to find their customers. I expect you don’t want to hand over your customers to them.

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