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Balancing digital transformation acceleration with human expertise in data collection

Gartner 2023 Predictions Report

Most organizations are looking for ways to boost agility, speed to innovation and time to value, according to the latest Gartner 2023 predictions report. In fact, their research shows that 94% of CEOs want to maintain or accelerate pandemic-driven digital transformation. The market research industry is not immune to these pervasive trends, and one of the key steps along the market research continuum that can be positively impacted by digital transformation lies within the data collection stage. Using technology to speed up data collection is going to become even more critical as organizations look to remain competitive with timely, quality market research insights. 

Forrester, which also puts out an annual predictions report, tempers this digital transformation message with some cautionary language. These experts maintain that trust will be at the forefront of business priorities in 2023, something not easily bought with technology-only plays. They write that business leaders would do best to “stay true to a long-term strategic vision” and have a “laser focus on their organizations’ missions and strengths” - something our CEO has written about at length over the past year. 

So where can we find balance? In the market research industry, data collection can find the most success when data quality and service excellence are the priorities. Yes, technology has a clear role to play in meeting goals for speed, agility and value, automating processes that have traditionally been manual sticking points that delay time to insights. Choosing the right technology for each purpose will inevitably provide a more cost-efficient, reliable and scalable foundation that fills long-term visions. 

However, as market research projects become increasingly complex with highly varied data collection needs - human expertise can mean the true difference between success and failure - and the all-important metric of data quality. Better results can be achieved when projects are shepherded through the data collection process, including personal monitoring of sample and study quality and the creation of a post-project feedback loop to allow continuous improvement. It’s something we prioritize at Rep Data, and our clients notice.

Michele Linn, Co-Founder and Head of Strategy at Mantis Research, said,“Rep Data understands the whole marketplace with knowledge surrounding all the different panels that are available, and they could source from different partners to get us what we needed. Their collaboration on each step of the data collection process helped us create a positive respondent experience, and higher quality outcomes.”

Ken Barberio, Director of Research Operations at Nielsen Sports, said, “By engaging Rep Data, I don’t have to worry about data collection anymore. I know I can rely on the insights coming out of a project, because the process is expertly managed from start to finish. Everything lines up in the end, and I don’t have to question what I’m getting back—I’m confident that project results are based on quality data.”

Those who engage both technology and experts in the data collection process can help organizations thrive in even the most challenging business environment. While experts at both Gartner and Forrester predict that more and more organizations will be tapping into technology driven solutions this year, and this will definitely come into play for the data collection space, adding in the human layer of expertise and service will ensure quality market research outcomes in 2023 and the future.