Greenbook recently released their Greenbook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report for 2017. The report features a variety of topics, including emerging methods, a day in the life of researchers, dominant data collection, improving customer satisfaction, threats and opportunities.
A Day in the Life of Researchers
Researchers are now busier than ever, with 38% of researchers spending their Monday thru Wednesday just on data. This includes analyzing, interpreting, charting and/or reporting the data. While 22% spend the rest of their week on conference calls or meetings all related to planning research studies. Leaving only 18% of a researchers week to handle other non-research related work tasks. This makes researchers three primary duties analysis, meetings and non-research tasks. With all these tasks researchers are left little time to focus on strategic positioning.
Emerging Methods in use by Clients vs. Suppliers
Emerging trends goes hand in hand with the growth of technology. It allows clients and suppliers alike to hone in on areas they feel are important for their research. For instance, it appears clients are more inclined to focus on qualitative methods, such as online communities and mobile qualitative. While suppliers are left to focus on analytics and quantitative data given to them by their clients. It is due to this that both clients and suppliers alike have different aspects of emerging trends they use more than the other. Take, for instance, the growth in social media analytics, suppliers (60%) are now more inclined to focus on social media analytics when analyzing data than their clients (38%).
Dominant Data Collection Methods
Online surveys are still the most dominant way to gather quantitative data. With 14% being provided through mobile surveys and 56% with online surveys. Whereas qualitative data is still best gathered through focus groups (26%) or in person (15%).
Key Issues to Improving Customer Satisfaction
Keeping customers happy is always important no matter which industry you are in. However, to improve customer satisfaction, research providers must focus on what’s important to their clients. When asked, it was found that customers are more interested in how researchers will conduct their research (71%) and are less interested in the data analysis (49%).
Although, client satisfaction is an important factor, strategy and tactical planning are equally important. In a tactical sense, implementing the research plan takes the lead with 67%. As for strategy, conducting the research seems to be the best plan of action.
Threats and Opportunities Driving the Change
Research shows that one of the biggest opportunities and threats is technology. As the industry moves more towards technology tools to conduct research, the opportunity for innovation increases while the threat of learning and properly adopting those technologies is a threat. The juxtaposition between growing data-related threats is balanced with the opportunity for automation and machine learning to help make data more actionable and effective.
Researchers are becoming increasingly overloaded with work, spending most of their week just on data. This includes, analyzing, interpreting, charting and/or reporting the data. With emerging trends, customer satisfaction and data collection, it is difficult for the modern day researcher to keep up. When asked, it appears responds are engaged with the process, as they see that emerging trends are both opportunities and threats. The biggest being technology. With some, like suppliers, utilizing technology more when analyzing analytics, such as social media. While clients are in tune with technology, it appears when it comes to emerging trends that clients care more about qualitative rather than quantitative data.
Customer satisfaction is still a big factor in best practice. When it comes to tactical vs strategic, customers are looking for how researchers are implementing the research plan in a tactical sense. While strategically, customers are more interested in how researchers are conducting the research.
Make sure to read the full Grit Report for more insights and trends.