In a world where knowledge is extremely accessible, it’s staggering how hard it is to find existing, reliable data to support business decisions. As business professionals, we have our “go to tools” like Salesforce for our customer management information and HubSpot for our social media stats. So why do we not have the “go to tool” for our consumer data?
This is a hard problem to tackle for reasons outlined in our recent blog post Why is it so hard to find your past research?”. So whose responsibility is it to solve this problem? The two main players, the data consumers (Clients) and the data providers (Research Suppliers), look to each other to solve the problem. It’s like a game of hot potato, each attempting and then passing it along quickly after realizing it’s a complicated problem to solve. Each have good reasons for why the other might be the better fit, but perhaps neither of them is the best fit.
Client vs Research Supplier – Who is the best fit to develop the “go to” solution?
We love our research suppliers and they love delivering value to our business. And in effort to do just that, many of them are bending over backwards to develop solutions to help curate our knowledge, which seems to be an intuitive request. But are we setting them up for failure?
Market research suppliers do hold the key that many of us are missing – the data sets. Many times clients don’t require the data set as a deliverable, leaving the meaty part of the study with the supplier. Given that, it’s logistically easier for suppliers to compile the data into a single database. But creating a database is only half the solution.
An additional, much harder, step clients are requesting, is for the supplier to produce a solution that distills a very complicated and diverse set of data down into a simple, intuitive user experience. If you have Steve Jobs on your team, you are in luck. Unfortunately, suppliers are not staffed with the right design talent to solve this very difficult problem.
On top of this, we must also consider what the incentive is for the supplier to provide a solution that works across all your research. Why would they develop a solution that points you towards a research study not conducted by them? Developing a knowledge portal that would house all of your research would take a tremendous amount of effort that provides them with very little upside.
The client requests the supplier to provide a complicated technology that takes an immense amount of resources to produce. A supplier is excellent at market research and delivers value by gaining new consumer and market insights. Where does creating a technology expertise fit into their business strategy and focus?
With clients doing research with numerous vendors, it makes sense that many of them would decide to develop their own consumer research databases internally. However, clients often times fail to realize the amount of upkeep and maintenance required to keep the database alive and healthy
Uploading a final report is usually the last thing on a client’s “to do” list and often time just never gets done. Keeping a database populated is a huge problem for these companies. The Insights Manager does not get promoted for curating knowledge but instead for driving strategy.
Even further, similar to the same issue facing suppliers, it requires very sophisticated software and design techniques to create a single database that ingests survey data files, and makes them easily searchable. IT departments are staffed to find the best and greatest solutions for the company to leverage. Rarely are they staffed with developers that architect and build scalable software solutions.
So who is the best fit for the job?
Found with fifty years of research at Gallup, great leaders can accomplish more by concentrating on the strengths of their organization. To deliver the breakthrough needed to capture and curate consumer and market knowledge, it will take someone who has the expertise and focus in solving this problem. At KnowledgeHound we are up for the challenge and know we are the right fit.
Request a demo.