Transformation

Don't Know What You Know? It Could Be Costing You.

February 17, 2020
Emily Coughlin

Don’t Know What You Know? It Could Be Costing You.

Most market research is wildly under-utilized.

Insights professionals know this intuitively, but we wanted to quantify the extent of the problem, so we analyzed several market research reports. We compared the number of data points in the report to the total number of possible based on survey questions. 

The amount of lost and inaccessible data was striking:

  • 87 percent of data from longitudinal studies
  • 74 percent of data from Habits and Practices/ Usage and Awareness studies
  • 80 percent of data from Segmentation studies

This means that, while you may walk away from projects with the top-level finding you were looking for, the vast majority of the data points remain buried within the banner book, impossible to access within the original file, or siloed within a DIY platform.

Obviously, this is a problem: you’ve paid for insights that you’re not able to access. You don’t know what you don’t know. And when this much information stays invisible, that means you’re making business decisions without the full suite of knowledge available to you – which likely means you’re leaving money on the table.

Even on teams that include tech-savvy data professionals, it’s hard to realize the full value of survey data beyond final reports. That’s because these experts are often few and far between and the true value of data can only be realized when the analysis of it is democratized. If analytics on your data is only available to the select few highly trained Tableau users then either one of two things are happening: 1) sharing data with stakeholders is taking too long and they’re making decisions that are not data-driven, 2) your valuable, expensive insights team talent is being put to waste spending countless hours prepping survey data for ad hoc questions.

The good news is that the right technology can make it possible to easily access all the data you’ve paid for so you can leverage it in business decisions.

Solution: Use Tech to Make Research Data Discoverable

Having unsearchable data is similar to what internet users would face without Google: information is out there, but they’re limited to what’s already been published in venues places they know how to find.

The solution is a technology platform that makes data searchable so that any team member can easily search findings to make informed business decisions. When research data is searchable, insights teams enjoy an array of benefits:

  • Fast answers to business questions: Instead of waiting for a research vendor to re-cut responses or an analyst to parse data, you can conduct a text search and have concrete answers within seconds.
  • Democratization of analytics: Anyone with a business question can log in to locate and analyze data–no expertise required.
  • New insight discoveries: Because the data-querying process is fast and vendor-agnostic, it’s possible to search and analyze across studies, connecting dots and building a 360° view of your customer.

The technology that makes this possible is called data discovery. Data discovery platforms are designed specifically to make structured research data easily searchable so that it has greater utility for answering business questions.

Data Discovery in Action

Let’s look at a few examples of how real companies have transformed their practices by using data discovery to uncover buried insights:

  1. Finding relevant information 153 times faster: At a global 2000 technology firm, insights team members regularly spent eight hours – a full day! – searching for data within existing reports. After introducing a data discovery platform, the time to find relevant data points plummeted to just three minutes – a 153x improvement. With data discovery, team members agreed that their brand tracker no longer felt like an elusive document they couldn’t quite wrap their heads around.
  2. Changing direction on a $1.4 billion product line: After digging around in a data discovery platform, insights team members at a leading global CPG brand discovered new information they passed along to the product team. Ultimately, the information led the brand to change direction on a $1.4 billion product line. Without the ability to search in a free-form way, that insight would have remained buried and the old strategy, developed based on incomplete data, would have moved forward.
  3. Eliminating duplicative research: When you only have access to a quarter of the data points you’ve paid for (or less!), it’s hard to know when you need to invest in additional research – and all too easy to pay for insights already hidden in your research reports. One company that adopted a data discovery platform found that its insights specialists returned to the same study 10 times in a single month to answer questions that weren’t included in the original report. 

These are just three of many possible ways data discovery can help you turn your unknown unknowns into known knowns. 

You can discover new customer segments that lead you to offer new versions of your product. You can spot key demographic groups associated with high churn. You can learn about entirely new ways customers are using your product. The list goes on! 

That’s the point: the data gathered during customer research can tell so many stories. When business users are limited to top-line reports put together by research vendors, they miss out on the valuable insights buried deeper down.

Curious about how you can reduce the number of unknown unknowns in your organization? We’d be happy to show you a demo of how KnowledgeHound makes research data searchable. Sign up today!



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