May 11, 2017

Research vs. Decision Making

At the WIRe event held in San Francisco, the question was asked: “What’s different about working on the Supplier vs. Client side of research?”  The insightful answer given by Elizabeth Merrick, Head of Consumer Insights at NEST, was that Supplier and Client work differs from each other in the following way:

  • Suppliers produce Research (DATA)
  • Clients produce Decisions (ACTIONS)

Somewhere in between the dots get connected, insights are formed, and actions get defined. The really critical piece is that a decision will always have to be made. That decision could be to do nothing, but choosing NOT to take action is indeed a decision.

Elizabeth also talked about having a Plan B – as in how she would make the decision if the research project didn’t produce what she needed – illustrating again that business must go on.

How Leaders Prepare for Future Events

The critical step to using data and taking action is to be able to understand what the data is telling you. It seems obvious, but it does require being prepared. This doesn’t happen automatically, and we all need to work on our preparedness from time to time. Here are a few simple, but worthwhile things to practice:

  • Trendspotting ― Look for the signals, the beacons.
  • Skills ― Learn (or review if you haven’t used them in a while) coding & Statistics
  • Be Resilient ― Not every research project drives action
  • Act as Your Own Consumer ― Step into your customer’s shoes to develop real empathy for your subject.

Data Drives Action

Survox is all about applying technology to help businesses leaders make better informed decisions. As we retool our multi-mode survey automation platform we keep asking ourselves “What can the computer do that would advance the process of turning DATA into ACTIONs. We are gathering all possible data inputs to deliver succinct information to drive better decisions.

  • How productive is this sample? When will we run out?
  • How many interviewing hours to schedule? Why are some interviewers more productive than others?

We know that the call center operators will be constantly making decisions to optimize the business and drive throughput, profit, and schedules. Survox asks: How can we help….how can we turn Research into Decision Making?

Mary McDougall, CEO