Is Big Data The End Of Market Research?

A few weeks back, I read a great blog from Edward Appleton, a European Consumer Insights Manager at a major Multinational company based in Munich, Germany.  In the article, he lays out the case that Researchers should not worry about losing out to those doing big data and analytics.

Before we get into my thoughts of this, lets get some definitions.  According to Wikipedia, “big data is is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools.”  It usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly-used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time.  Right now, the amount of actual data can range from few dozen terabytes (1000 gigabytes) to many petabytes (1,000 terabytes) of data in a single data set.

Now back to my thoughts…

At a tech based conference that I attended recently, I was asked how market research differs from analytics in today’s world.  I told him that market research is the origination of analytics and that from an analysis side, where data points get too big for traditional research, analytics and big data come into play.  I followed up by saying that not everything can be figured out with analytics because sometimes that answers just cannot be found in mass amounts of data, especially if you are trying to find answers to traditional research questions, like defining a target market or determining a price for a new feature.

Also, I liked Edward Appleton‘s perspective that he write in his blog

  1. Senior management already has too much Data.
  2. Market Research needs to embrace Data Intelligence.
  3. Small Data@ is the key.

In conclusion, I think big data is not the end of market research.  It enhances the business decision making process for business managers and owners.  Both can work together.

What do you think?

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

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About J. Nolfo
Well...there is a lot to know. #Cx, #Analytics, #SM, Specialty #AgChem, #StL sports, & more. FT @BASFAgProducts. @Mizzou Alum. Supporter of the #Rhino. Tweets my own. #SMMW17 attendee....Dad...Hiker...Scouter...and so much more.

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