Market Researchers: Let's Make Data Easy to Understand

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Posted Nov 25, 2020
Tiffany Mullin

How do you relate to your colleagues on social media and inspire great conversations? Post a humorous yet powerful meme, make it relevant to your industry, pick a pain point, and BOOM. 

Bill Trovinger, Senior Customer Insights Manager, Private Brands at Amazon, 👉🏾  did just that 👈🏾  and the comments keep rolling in.

People jumped on this bandwagon because they have experienced working tirelessly to deliver countless pages of relevant data analysis, only to have a key stakeholder zero in on one random customer quote, completely ignoring the data. While everyone got a good laugh, this is a serious issue, and many of the comments give great explanations as to what people are truly feeling about data analysis

Clearly, many folks have not had a positive experience with market research reporting. Why is that? Whether it’s too much data, sorting through all the information, finding the gold nuggets within all the data, presenting them in a clear, concise, and visually pleasing way, or paying for expensive data analysis that eats up other budgets, market research reports have gotten a bad rap. 

What if the world of data analysis didn’t have to be a frustrating, time consuming, and money guzzling experience? Data analysis is important. Brands and agencies need to gain insights from their target markets. As writes, “Data isn’t just something that sits in silos to help you make decisions; it’s a treasure you have to protect.”

A quick read through the comments on this LinkedIn post reveals that people are desperately seeking a better way to extract, receive, organize, analyze, and deliver data. Data, in general, is simply not sexy. The decision-makers are looking for something visually stimulating in addition to data that is well….boring. 

Sarah Foster, Head of Fundraising at Revitalise Respite Holidays makes a great point when she comments, “I think sometimes the fault lies with the business publisher/interpreter of the “pages of relevant data analysis”, how are they written? What structure are they in? Are they clear? Do they have conclusive actionable insights laid out in a cohesive way for non-analysts to understand?”

This is a powerful thought and one that exposes the problem within the market research industry. 

S. Mark Teich, Market Research Manager says, “That is why it is so important to ensure those quotes embedded in the report aren’t just selected randomly but must be used to illustrate the data...” It sounds like Mark can see what the consequences are when a report isn’t in line with what people need and want to see.

It’s always beneficial to understand how your stakeholders view data analysis. The negative helps to discover positive solutions. Having access to quick, inexpensive market research that is aesthetically pleasing and full of valuable demographics, that are easy to decipher, just to name a few, can help enhance the impact of collected data. 

Market Research Doesn't Have to be Boring

Consumer insights reports can quickly become bogged down by endless charts, tables, and lists of quotes, which doesn't help your standing when presenting to colleagues with shiny ball syndrome. However, it's your job to use the data to tell the story in a more compelling way.  

A crucial part of your success in the insights profession is based on how well people comprehend and retain your results.

If your deliverables don't include interesting images, your research results won't be properly digested and utilized. Visualizations are the most effective technique for understanding survey data. 

Why? Visualizations help people to retain more information. As a researcher, you can add tremendous value by helping your stakeholders get meaningful insights quickly. Do this by displaying the information you collect and analyze in a way that directly aids their ability to make a decision. 

Whether your stakeholders are not well-versed in research and analysis or are just easily bored by rows of raw data – visualization is the answer. 

It allows you to explore, derive, visualize, and share critical insights with stakeholders regardless of their skill level or expertise.

Building Better Reports 

Be mindful of burying your data stories by allowing them to remain hidden behind canned reports that are too difficult to customize. 

Instead, opt for a tool that offers dynamic reports that can be tailored to your unique research environment. 

  • Focus on conclusive actionable insights that are laid out in a cohesive way for non-researchers to understand
  • Ensure consumer quotes aren't just selected randomly but are used to illustrate the data
  • Appreciate the power of storytelling in comparison to numbers
  • Present data analysis alongside poignant quotes
  • Leverage storytelling through data visualization

Exceptional market research reports help show the data in a digestible manner and convey a clearer picture of your findings, increasing the likelihood of your recommendations being used.

Learn how to build better reports with survey data visualization

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