How can data analytics and primary research play nicely together?
Jim Bryson, President
Several presentations at last week’s CRC event focused on the growing role data analytics plays in the decision support function of corporations. However, in many organizations, the data analytics function has developed separately from the research function, and the two have difficulty merging their various capabilities to best inform important decisions. Corporations are grappling with how to meld the different training, skill sets and capabilities of the two functions to achieve a smoothly functioning decision support function for the organization. This is one of the primary organizational challenges currently confronting and confounding research and data analytics functions.
From our perspective, we see qualitative as a solution to help bridge this gap. Analytics are best at identifying behavior but struggle to understand emotional connections and motivators. The analytics/qual partnership has been a great one that I imagine will continue to grow.
How can corporate researchers and partners work more effectively?
Chelsea Gibbons, Research Strategist
Another theme that emerged was the effectiveness of relationships between corporate researchers and the chosen research partner. Both sides acknowledge that there are opportunities to enhance the relationship. Vendor partners need to keep corporate researchers abreast of updates on their project – clients don’t want the project to go into a black hole at kick-off with nothing further until the report is delivered. But more importantly, clients need the partners to turn “research facts” into meaningful insights that will help their brand grow.
Additionally, corporate researchers need to internally digest the findings from the research and add their perspective and intimate business knowledge to make something actionable for their internal stakeholders. For example, in a presentation by EnerBank, the speakers noted they are constantly hearing respondents ask the bank to expand their services to Canada. While this is fair feedback, there is legislation in place that makes this “research fact” un-actionable. The speaker’s point was they need to inform the research partner of this background so that both parties can be successful in the outcome. It is their job as a corporate research to understand the international policies that impact their business, and it is the researcher partner’s job to design a study that will capture new, actionable information. This theme makes the case for increased communication and transparency between clients and partners across the board, throughout each engagement and beyond.