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…
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AMA Research & Strategy Summit In Review (And From Afar)

American Marketing AssociationRemember the conference that you went to that was horrible just because you were forced to go to.  Now, remember the conference that you wished you could have gone to but could not because of whatever reason.  I am sure you were disappointed and still tried to find out what happened.  Well, that happened to me last week.  Generally, I am a fan of attending a good conference just as much as the next person, especially if the conference is in Las Vegas.

Last week the AMA (American Marketing Association) had their Research & Strategy Summit in Las Vegas.  Although I was not able to attend, I know several people that did attend and closely followed their tweets, LinkedIn status updates, and blog postings.  After reading them all, I was inspired with some take-away thoughts that I know will impact how and why I do research.  Since I read many of these together, my takeaways are an amalgamation of multiple sessions and perspectives.  Therefore, they may not be all attributable to just one source or session.

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Why Business Owners Should Hire Market Researchers

American FlagNote: Regular readers of this blog know I post on Monday’s.  However, to honor those who have died for my country (I do get international readers), I rested and remembered their sacrifice.

Last week, I wrote about why business owners don’t hire market researchers for their business.  It all comes down to a great line from the movie Jerry McGuire, “Show me the money!”  Well, ok it is really “Show me the value!”  It just does not seem right to see Cuba Gooding Jr. shouting that. Read more of this post

Using Market Research for Strategy

When I introduce myself to someone new or I get asked at a networking function what I do, I respond to them that I provide market research to small businesses for strategic planning purposes.  I emphasize the “for strategic planning purposes”.  Market research can be just a lot of data.  However, by making it useful, makes market research provide information to its ultimate user; useful information.

Market Research StrategyTraditionally, market research has been more of a tactical department within companies.  Management determines there is a problem or an opportunity to evaluate.  Then, market research analyzes the problem or opportunity with an appropriate quantitative or qualitative methodology.  After that, the results are presented and a decision is made based on those results.

However, more and more companies are looking for those that do their market research to be more strategic in nature.  In a study by the Market Research Executive Board, the study found that 65% of senior leaders want market research to be a strategic partner.  However, only 25% of senior leaders view market research in that way.  In today’s employment marketplace, the roles of people not evolving with the times is just not going to continue to happen.  This certainly extends to those in market research, especially as more and more is being expected of them.

–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

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