What Wasn’t Talked About at IIeX

Posted by: Shaun Collett
  • June 22, 2015
  • 1

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Having recently left IIeX 2015 North America, I loved hearing the industry’s conversations and passion in advancing the next generation of market research: shorter surveys, mobile optimization, emotional responses, big data and leveraging data beyond the survey were many of the consistent themes.

What struck me as I was leaving, though, is how there remains an important gap in our conversation – one that I hope will rise in volume in the coming years: technology integration.  The ability to integrate many technologies, at the core level, will be a key required skill of the next generation market researcher.

  1. It’s obvious technology in the marketing landscape has exploded in recent years. IIeX demonstrated that in spades – it was awash with technology suppliers.  Jeremy Sack succinctly summed it up during his IIeX Pragmatic Brain Science® workshop that “it seems these days that anyone can buy a thing that can measure a thing.”  However, when you have a bunch of things that each measure a thing, how do you bring them together to ultimately drive cohesive value at the insights level.
  2. Data science, in my mind the folding in of computer science into marketing science, has started creeping into marketing research. Data science represents an important piece, unrelated to big data, that will help next-gen market researchers integrate technologies.
  3. Modern technology companies, in order to be valued at favorable rates, cannot just have a slick end user platform, a strong customer base and be profitable. They NEED backend APIs that allow other platforms to integrate with them. If you haven’t learned to speak geek, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) allow applications to talk to each other, encapsulating complex logic into functions that can be called from other, approved applications.

It’s these combinations of items – a diverse marketing technology landscape, data science skillsets and modern technologies exposing APIs – which will drive a new generation of effective analysts.  Ones who have mastery over data and technologies to integrate any form of data on the fly, with APIs being the core puzzle piece.

Having this mindset will affect verbosity and speed of study design, data collection and reporting.

  1. A new mindset of what’s possible will change how and if questions are needed to be asked.
  2. Integrating real-time APIs into data collection will drive both real-time routing and speed up reporting.
  3. Being able to easily pull from other data sources outside your organization, in an automated way, during reporting will enable analysts to be masterful with consumer data.

What is REST?  What is JSON?  What are the best open source statistical libraries?  I hope to see many of these questions raised by researchers in coming years at IIeX and across our industry.

Categories: Big Data, so what?, Technology
1 Comment
  • Chris Robinson
    July 7, 2015
    Shaun a very important point and one unfortunately that will get lost in the fog of the new, new. As a market researcher who cut his teeth at the back end (compulsory in the 70's and 80's) I recognize how critical this integration can be. You mentioned data analytics as one area that should be amalgamated as part of the total research function. I would add that social media data should be part of that amalgam, but the value of social media information and its interpretation has fallen well behind the "why ask, it works" mentality. A good marketing management team needs to be able to access all data sources with the same expectations about quality and cross-linkages. At the moment its all guns firing with no real sense of where they are being directed.

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