In all aspects of life, knowledge is power. The same especially applies to business, especially when the business aspires to become and stay competitive. In order to retain both the competitive edge and the client pool, modern-day organizations need to harness the power of new age market research.
In 2017, it was all about big data, mobile research, personalization, wearable technology and global reach. Here’s where data collection and analysis are heading in 2018 and beyond.
The First Spark of Machine Thought
In every age, market research is defined by the latest technology. In this one, and by that we mean the age of limitless connectivity and sophisticated digital solutions, we speak of data collection and analysis in context of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation.
There’s no technology more powerful than AI, but in case of market research, it’s only a mediator. It is machine learning that emits the first spark of thought, enabling market researchers to gather copious amounts of big data for further analysis. Artificial intelligence is then employed to make some sense of it all, to process collected information, and to acquire new knowledge about old notions.
The third part of this process is automation, which refers to the use of both machine learning and AI for the purposes of more effective time management, more accurate data interpretation, and farther reach. Together, they create an advanced framework for market research in the new age.
Smartphone Data Mining
2017 has seen the number of smartphone users raise from 2.1 to 2.32 billion; at this tempo, experts predict that figures will surpass 3 billion by the end of 2020. But, this is not only a huge target audience for those in the mobile industry. It’s also a huge amount of customer data that any business can use.
Smartphone-based research is already happening – every time an app asks you to allow it to access contents of your phone, somebody benefits from your life data. In terms of customer behaviour and audience preference analysis, this data is invaluable. It makes business better for the sake of us all.
If experts are right, market research will become even more smartphone-oriented over the next few years. Companies will be equipped with more knowledge about their customers than ever before, which will surely result in greater demand for professionals and innovators within the industry.
Collaboration with Data Science
First, business researchers developed a comprehensive, 360-degree view of customer. Now, the pursuit for more holistic solutions continues. Organizations are in need of deeper insights; in order to provide them, market researchers have to come up with more far-reaching tools and methodologies.
This is where data science enters the scene. Though defined as “an interdisciplinary field about scientific methods, processes, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured, similar to data mining” and kept separate from business and marketing for a long time, this practice will soon be merged with market research for stellar results.
In 2018, we will probably witness market researches borrowing complex techniques from data science, but not only that. Machine learning and visualisation will be used as means to discover new market and business data trends, but also to solve specific problems and forecast potential risks.
For both market researchers and businesses who utilize their expertise, the future is looking rather bright. As technology advances more and more, data collection and analysis will inevitably become even more sophisticated, comprehensive, and holistic. If not in 2018, the new age will completely change the face of market research industry in years to come.