It is a privilege to share this report with you. I find this report refreshing because it is opening up some much needed dialog on all types of research with an emphasis on digital intelligence and where that fits. A friend and colleague of ours, Mark Michelson once told me that he strongly believes in conducting at least 2 methods of research in any research study. I have always hung on to that because I believe many researchers have a misconception of digital intelligence. It is not meant to replace, but to add value.
Read Jillian Ney's blog post below, detailing the publication of a new report from The Social Intelligence Lab.
Looking for Better, Faster, Cheaper Consumer Insight
In the insights world, there’s been a surge in new technologies and solutions to research and understand people.
We’re in the age of tech-enabled consumer intelligence.
Text analytics, passive data collection methods, predictive analytics, and niche research data applications are allowing researchers to evolve and go beyond their traditional scope. These new technologies and solutions are also opening ‘research’ to new breeds of niche insights professionals, like CX researchers and social media intelligence researchers.
There’s a demand for a sophisticated interpretation of data to help in obtaining faster and cheaper insights that can be used in business decision-making. There’s also a growing acceptance from insights professionals that a blend of ‘old’ and ‘new’ research is needed for rigor and speed of insights.
Data is becoming a fundamental requirement for successful business strategies, and we are moving towards data insights becoming a core business intelligence function. But this process is not without its challenges.
Where Do New Approaches Fit: Part of the challenge for many insights teams is that they need a deep understanding of how these new technologies and methods fit into their broader set of tools and methodologies that they can use to answer a business question. Weakness in understanding a method can mean it is not taken into account when building the objectives, and it’s also less likely to be chosen as a methodology by the executing teams.
Accuracy: There is a perception that new technologies and approaches have a lower standard of data quality. They are chosen for speed over accuracy, and used for less complex questions.
Lack of Expertise: New methods and data require new ways of working and new skill sets, but there’s a shortage of experience. Even full-service agencies or consultants have much expertise in areas like social media intelligence. Clients don’t often see many research agencies offering social intelligence so it never gets tied or tested in small low-risk ways, meaning it never gets fully integrated into the insights function. There’s also too few people who can evaluate new methods and technologies to determine their worth, far too many new methods paint a different picture of the same data.
Lack of Platform Knowledge: There’s also a lack of platform knowledge when it comes to using these new technologies. ‘Dashboard drain’ is on the rise from having to learn the functionality and user journeys of many new technologies. There’s a lack of skilled people to properly use the new technologies to reach their full potential.
Previous Experiences Under Delivered: New methods, like social media intelligence, has previously provided sparse insights that are difficult to interpret. There has been a trend of ‘obvious insight’ with a lack of time dedicated to critical thinking about the findings.
Getting You The Insight You Need
On one hand, we’re faced with reduced budgets and timescales, and on the other, we have all these new technologies and methods that feel untested and risky. We need a new focus on education and training to help address these challenges, and meet the need for innovation in customer insights.
So, we’ve put together a collection of discussions, trends, and predictions from some of our leading experts, forward-thinking clients and trusted vendors across our ecosystem. Together they explore the dynamics and challenges of social and digital consumer intelligence across consumer insights.