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Is Big Data for Market Research?

November 27th, 2012 · 3 Comments

NGMR Software and Forward Looking MR Clients can make it happen in 2013!

[Re-posted from OdinText blog]

There’s lots of talk about Marketing Research professionals missing the boat on Big Data.

I’m more optimistic in this area - Why?

Marketing research professionals who typically do customer segmentation work, even if it’s typically on smaller data sets (1500-4000 records) have EXACTLY the same skill sets needed for analysis of Big Data!

So what’s missing? Three things:

  1. More powerful Software
    Traditional MR statistical packages like SPSS can’t handle Big Data (nor does it do a good job on unstructured/text data). But these tools will become more readily available and affordable.
  2. MR Knowledge built into the Software
    For Marketing Research to play a significant role analysis of big data must also become available to more junior analysts. This can happen by involving those that have the aforementioned experience segmenting and working with actual market data in the software design.
  3. Client Side Researcher Interest
    Client side researchers must drive this, and they’re not going to do it by hopping on the social media analytics bandwagon. They must seek out valuable Big Data sources that are provide a good ROI on analytics today, not what might do so tomorrow.

Marrying the knowledge of market research analysis with the more powerful software are exactly the two things we’ve been working on over the past couple of years at Anderson Analytics. I would be surprised if others weren’t at least thinking about this as well.

Sharing this knowledge (via next generation market research software) with the rest of the MR industry is the next step.

Therefore I think MR certainly has the possibility of becoming a significant player in the Big Data space. Even a JR level MR analyst has stronger data analysis skills than your average IT professional.

I was recently asked to give a prediction for something that can definitely happen in Market Research for 2013 (both within the NGMR LI group as well as to RFL Communications). Here’s what I said:

“Big Data is the big buzzword right now, but I’m not sure MR clients who would need to drive the effort towards greater use of this data, have the interest, knowledge or clout to get it done.

I’m still amazed at how researchers at fortune 1000 companies seem to focus on just specific areas within traditional MR allowing valuable silos of big data to be analyzed by others or not at all.

The exception currently is twitter and blogs which are over hyped relative to possible ROI.

What I find hardest to believe is that many of these firms are sitting on large amounts of customer service data (call center logs and email complaints and suggestions from hundreds of thousands of customers), while this data really isn’t being analyzed by anyone client side researchers seem to prefer trying to go for a wild goose chase for what Twitterers may or may not be saying.

My prediction and hope is that client side researchers will wake up and realize that customer service data is easier to get to (few barriers to the silo) and more valuable than they thought (can be analyzed through big data and text analytics).

This can certainly happen within the next year, and I plan to personally play a role in making it a reality for our clients!”

Will market researchers play a role in big data - I think the choice is ours. Curious to hear your thoughts and whether you agree.

Do you share my desire to help make it happen this year?

@TomHCAnderson

@OdinText

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Tags: CRM · Customer Satisfaction · Datamining · Market Research · Marketing research · Text Analytics · text mining

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Doug Sheridan // Nov 29, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I have about 18,000 records and over half a million data points on customers’ satisfaction with oilfield equipment and service suppliers. It’s a treasure trove of data that could provide huge insights for oilfield suppliers.

    Unfortunately, monetizing “big data” analysis of the data with the oil and gas industry is a challenge because big data is viewed as a “black box” process that spits our conclusions that many times, despite being accurate, run counter to conventional wisdom.

    It’s much more profitable to simply put the data in a cube and sell the ability to splice and dice as they see fit — less sophisticated, but much more familiar and transparent to customers.

  • 2 Steve Hodgekinson // Dec 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Ultimately, you must have the data- processing power internally to pull things together, there must be enough analysts to make sense of it. At the moment, many marketing departments are not willing to pay consultants or agencies to do it.

  • 3 Omar Perez // Mar 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Big data requires analysis power that only big companies can afford. Most business should focus their efforts on simplifying data collection and targetting only the most relevant questions to them, instead of accumulating dozens of superfluous data that adds unnecessary complexity for agile decision-making purposes. In these times of information overload, sometimes less is more and crowdasking should be made as simple, quick and fun as possible.

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