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IIeX Europe

Dr Nick Baker Chief Research Officer 20/02/2019

Three key takeaways

I popped across to Amsterdam earlier this week to present at IIeX Europe (more on that in my next post). 

As the market research industry’s premier forum for new ideas and innovations it was a great opportunity to hear different views on the future of research.  
Here are my three key takeaways.

The humble survey will remain a valuable tool for researchers."

Evolution not revolution

There was no mind-blowing new technology or methodology announced at IIeX, but rather, slight variations and improvements of what we’ve seen already. Notably, video capture and video driven outputs got a lot of airtime with the benefit of being able to bring research findings to life clear.

Survey research isn’t dead yet

Surrounded by innovations with the potential to kill off ‘traditional’ approaches to research, it was inevitable that questions would be asked about the future of survey research.  Would it still be with us in a few years’ time or would we be reading its obituary?

The resounding answer to that question was that survey research is of fundamental importance and will remain so.  As Kantar’s CEO, Eric Salama said: “we will still need to understand the why behind consumer behaviour, so we will still need to deploy survey research”. I agree with Eric.  Survey research will play a critical role for a long time yet, but only if we ensure that it is easily accessible and engaging to future generations of respondents. We need to evolve our approach so that survey tools reflect changing consumer behaviour and societal trends.  If we do that, the humble survey will remain a valuable tool for researchers.

There's now talk of a new type of role - the Data Translator."

The birth of the Data Translator

For the past few years, we have been hearing how the rise of Big Data has created a new breed in the research industry – the Data Scientist. Now that the dust has settled on that a little and companies have been working with Data Scientists for a while, there’s now talk of a new type of role – the Data Translator.

This individual will act as the bridge between the marketing team and the Data Scientist, ensuring that insights are communicated in an accessible, commercially impactful manner. Other roles such as the Data Journalist were also floated and it was clear that technology and data will re-shape the career paths available in the research industry.  That’s exciting and will help to make our industry more attractive to the next generation.

So there we have it – my key learnings from IIeX Europe 2019.  Thank you to all of those who shared their points-of-view and made it such a worthwhile event.  I look forward to seeing you there next year!

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