02 Apr Insightrix moves to Research Science
Combining market research & data science
Market research and data science are related entities; combining the insights from both disciplines leads to a deeper understanding of marketing issues.
In general, there seems to be confusion about what “data science” is, and how it relates to traditional market research.
While yes, they are not the same, they do come together into something Insightrix likes to call “Research Science”. The combination supports our company’s belief that as researchers we deliver “The Science of Research with the Art of Insight” – which just happens to be our company slogan!
Market Research and Data Science both have something in common: they’re critical occupations our clients rely on for insights to make better decisions. Data science and market research are two sides of the same coin and Insightrix leverages them together.
The Rise of Data Science
We know market research and data science aren’t the same, but what makes them so different and how do agencies like Insightrix leverage these unique skill sets to benefit our clients?
Let’s look first at the rise of data science.
Market research is the process of gathering information to answer key business questions. Examples include everything from customer segmentations to purchasing behaviour to reactions to advertising concepts.
Much of the time, this research includes the application of statistical methods to make inferences about something. However, in today’s digital landscape, market research has evolved to encompass far more data sources – such as passive data collection and social media listening.
With the internet and the growth of new types of data, research agencies need ways to extrapolate these new insights.
Data science is key to this process.
Data science enables agencies to select, analyze and extrapolate insights from these new – and shall I say – rather intimidating data sets.
While data science, like market research, incorporates statistics – the availability of either large data sets, or in some cases, really unstructured data formats… well, let’s just say market researchers are a bit unsure what to do with all of this information!
As a result, a new skill set is needed to sift through it all. And hence, the Data Scientist is born.
Data Science vs. Market Research
Data science moves beyond the capabilities of market research. However, that’s not to say that market research is inferior to data science.
The main difference is that data science uses robust scientific and technology-enabled methods.
The methods data scientists use to analyze information often include algorithms and machine learning; therefore, data scientists must be part researcher and part programmer.
Data science looks at all types of data – structured, unstructured and semi-structured data.
Data scientists typically approach a research problem by identifying the types of data needed for specific objectives. They assess and select data sets; integrate and cleanse the data; investigate and analyze through the use of data modelling, machine learning, statistical modelling and algorithms; assess and understand results; and then, communicate the insights.
Well… When you put it that way, you notice the overall, general approach isn’t so different from market research!
A Little Thing We Like to Call Research Science
Market research prides itself on using established methods to collect primary data. Heck, we love to tout it whenever we can.
But yet, data scientists are cool. They have the luxury of going rogue and analyzing an ever-increasing number of data sets, providing differing methods for data analysis and insights. Also, data scientists can go farther than market researchers – way beyond self-reported data – to find insights and build stories.
So, based on this, should agencies just move only towards data science? Are there any drawbacks?
In short… Yes!
You need both disciplines since data science alone can lack context.
Successful agencies need to combine the insights from data science with market research – doing so creates the insights and artful meaning in the results to improve decision-making.
Data scientists can provide a robust and diverse set of insights. Market researchers, though, help build the connection between those insights to specific needs, such as understanding customer experience or the development of creative messaging.
Leveraging market research and data science together, Insightrix isn’t missing a beat!
By having both skill sets in our agency, Insightrix creates holistic stories with actionable insights that are helping our clients to be a force to be reckoned with.