Another highlight in my ever-growing list of highlights at the AMSRS conference, was Leigh Shaw’s presentation Where have all the insights gone?
A few things that I took away to think about…
1. COLLABORATION IS KEY
Unilever now only have 4 agencies on their roster, each ones experts in their own area. But the key thing is that they must agree to collaborate with each other. So many agencies remain so guarded and protected – so unwilling to share and work with each other. Instead of worrying about other people stealing your ideas, and proving your way is the best way – we need to shift our thinking and look for ways to work together and get the right solutions to our clients. No one person is an expert in all things, and the more smart heads we bring to the table, the better the outcome should be. For a long time, clients have used a range of agencies for the particular set of skills they bring to the table. By taking a more collaborative approach – both the clients and the agencies benefit! You are no longer are you flying blind, you get to see all the information your client is seeing, and then make recommendations based on a fuller picture. To me, it seems a no brainer….
2. IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH DATA, IT’S ABOUT WHAT YOU SHOULD TO WITH DATA
With all of the data available these days, you can find the most exciting links between this and that. But as we all know….
With the volume of data available – and the tools and ready access to statistical formulas – anyone can say that “The decline in Sales for X MUST be driven by the rise in sales for Y”. But does that actually make sense? Are we sure X and Y are related? What about factor N and the role of that in this equation? It is the role of research professionals to bring professionalism to analysis and insights. We are in the best position to advise and, if necessary, control how the data is being used – to make sure it is being done correctly.
3. THE WORLD IS GETTING DATA RICH AND INSIGHTS POOR…. WE NEED TO GET INSIGHTS RICHER
HERE! HERE is where we, as an industry, have our opportunity. THIS is where we separate ourselves from DIY. All those bemoaning DIY stealing from our industry – DIY is only able to steal because what we are doing isn’t being valued. Research professionals have the training to:
- Design better research
- Write better questionnaires (not this one)
- Ask better questions / run better groups
- Get past the rational response
- Analyse the data using the correct analysis and drawing sound conclusions
As research professionals and consultants, we also have the training and experience to:
- Understand what ‘data points’ have true meaning for the business (and which are merely data points!)
- Know what ‘data points’ are relevant, revolutionary
- Know what findings are ‘new news’ – things that are truly insights
This IS what separates us – so we need to be better are finding the true insights, rather than lazily reporting data points as new news.
One of Leigh’s observations was that confirmation of what you already know is not an insight – INSIGHTS ARE
- Things where people say – “I never thought of that before”
- Something that is revolutionary and trackable.
So this is what we need to aim for in our research.
I found Leigh’s talk challenged us to do better as research professionals. For all this talk of ‘protecting’ the industry, and the numerous mentions of DIY being our über – I think these challenges are ones we need to think about to raise the bar and the professionalism of our industry.
Something to think about…