If knowledge is power

If knowledge is power, why do you discard it?

It would be fair to say that in the world of market research, most data is gathered to answer a specific set of questions posed by a client. Much of the data gathered and the work done to answer those questions produces no pertinent insight, even though there is often rich data created and insights that are useful in answering other questions. 

It’s sat on. Discarded. Ignored or forgotten by a researcher or team who move on to the next project, often in an entirely different sector. All of that data, essentially sitting idle and unloved. It seems less than optimal, and the reality is that it’s the norm rather than the exception. Yet within that data may lie nuggets and observations which in themselves could create small insights, as part of a wider, more agile approach to research. Rather than let it sit idle, practitioners could revisit it, sort, sift and make sense of those data points to reveal more continuous insights that allow bite-sized insights to drive innovation for clients in that chosen sector or as part of a pitch to prospective clients. 

We’ve known for years that our attention spans are diminishing, so why produce a swathe of insight PDFs or PowerPoint presentations, when smaller, more agile insights could prove more beneficial and significantly faster to action? Yes, market research needs to tell a story, but why make it an epic with no sequel, when a more continuous approach to insight might make more impact?

By relying less on an expansive PowerPoint presentation, where your audience may lose interest, and focusing more on bite-sized chunks of insight, the practitioner can concentrate on connecting simple answers to simple questions. This not only means less time spent following what may be bad trails for the research team, but also allows for more ‘live’ insight updates, as the data is continuously sifted for new insights.

As 2021 progresses amid uncertainty for many sectors, the traditional, large-scale insight report may well become outdated by the passage of days rather than months or years for some sectors. Ensuring a more agile approach to insights could keep some clients afloat and profitable during a uniquely difficult trading period. 

(Header image by Pixabay, via Pexels.com)

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  1. I think it’s useful to have a clear idea of the cost of collecting the data – and therefore the cost of not keeping research, especially primary research assets available to teams. Perhaps if people were made more aware of the costs, less would be wasted!