How new technologies are changing the way we do research
Many important business transformations start with a candid “what if?” question. For example: What if consumers change the way they drink wine? What if consumers change how they buy? What if we wanted to sell more in export markets?
As a research based agency our big “What if” question at the moment is: What if the way we research shifts from asking questions to listening existing conversations?
The question is very relevant as IBM suggests that up to 90% of all the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This extraordinary and exponential creation of new data is a big opportunity for researchers; it’s also a challenge as we have an unprecedented wealth of information at our disposal, most of it being merely noise.
New sources of data range from existing online magazine articles and digitalized books to social media conversations and online reviews. This data has been available for a few good years now but what’s really changing is that new research techniques based on text analytics have improved to a point were they are enabling us to collect and analyse millions of words and sentences in a meaningful way.
Some of the key questions we can now answer with the new Text Analytics technics include:
- Are people writing or speaking about my brand? Who are they and are they relevant?
- What do they say about me? Which words are most commonly associated with my brand?
- How do I compare against my competitors?
- Which channels are most commonly used to speak about my brand?
Text analytics are enabling us to answer many of these questions without asking consumers or influencers in a more natural setting for them which is a great first step before more in depth research. Sure, there are many business questions like new product testing that require new data but the way we do research is definitively shifting.
Author: Juan Park