Along with a group of market researchers 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.
Except the video blogging thing wasn’t working for me. I do my best thinking in writing and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to watch me read a post. So instead, I’ll be sharing my thoughts in written posts. Feel free to write back if you’re so included. Stay tuned!
I recently debated big data with a worthy opponent in Marc Alley at the Corporate Research Conference. He stood firm in his belief that big data is the best type of data whereas I stood firm in my position that traditional research is the only way to go. You can read a summary of the debate written by Jeffrey Henning here.
The interesting thing is that, outside of the debate, Marc and I seemed to agree on most points. Neither of us think that big data is the be all and end all. Neither of us think that market research answers every problem. But both of us were determined to present our side as if it was the only side.
In reality, the best type of data is ALL data. If you can access survey data and big data, you will be better off and have an improved understanding of thoughts, opinions, emotions, attitudes AND validated actions. If you can also access eye tracking data or focus group data or behavioural data, you will be far better off and have data that can speak to reliability or validity. Each data type will present you with a different view and a different perspective on reality. You might even see what looks like completely different results.
Different is not wrong. It’s not misleading. It’s not frustrating. Different results are enlightening, and they are indeed valid. Why do people do different than what they say? Why do people present contradictory data? That’s what is so fascinating about people. There is no one reality. People are complex and have many contradictory motivations. No single dataset can describe the reality of people.
There is no debate about whether big data has anything to offer. Though Marc and I did our best to bring you to our dark side, we must remember that every dataset, regardless of the source, has fascinating insights ready for you to discover. Grab as much data as you can.
Live blogging from MRIA’s #NetGain8 conference in Toronto. Any errors or stupid jokes are my own.
“Fad or Foible” MR Trends Affecting the Industry, and Skill Set Needs To Delight Your Client, Bernie Malinoff, CMRP, President, Element54, Montreal
- remember “second life” – just because it’s a shiny new toy doesn’t mean it’s relevant
- researchers tend to be conservative, risk avoiders, it’s a strength to some degree, people trust that we will be disciplined about our work, but this can also hold us back
- we used to be data poor, now the problem is data obesity – Hal Varian, Google
- [Bernie has written out tweets on our slides that we can write into twitter, now isn’t that thoughtful 🙂 ]
- don’t be concerned about the person sitting next to you, worry about people who’ve never been to a market research conference and possibly never consider themselves market researchers
- the dirty dozen – are you afraid of gamification, online communities, social media, crowdsourcing, facial analysis
- many emerging technologies are now mainstream
- you can now capture emotions of 43 facial muscles and vocally detected intonations – add that to your basic film plus sound – now you have what i said and HOW i said it. these are off the shelf products you can buy now
- supplier selection is often based on more creative and energetic modes
- researcher of the future is a strategist, synthesizer, method agnostic, story tellers – now it’s use the right method for the research objective, not the tool you’re most familiar with
- blend technology with rigour, find a fit for purpose technology when it’s appropriate
- 3 cases do not make a norm, a new method will not and cannot replace all other methods
- replace fear of the unknown with curiosity