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Big Data and Market Research – a love and hate relationship
With the emergence of the big data buzz, there has been questions around whether there is still a place for market research.
Organisations now have an abundance of information. Big data provides the ability to use data assets that were previously untapped or non-existent, to quickly and deeply address the same topics.
So does this mean insights that were previously provided by market research can now be discerned by big data? Is it the end of the road for primary research?
With the right big data techniques, technology platforms and talents to sift through mountains of already available and rapidly growing structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, is big data all we need?
The most important factor when it comes to insights is the ability to answer questions effectively.
The use of big data is generating more questions, and many of these questions tend to be best addressed by traditional market research.
This means, that alongside the explosion of big data, there is a parallel explosion of small data.
- Market research will no longer necessarily have to focus on what is happening – big data on most occasions will be able to take care of that.
- Market research will now have to focus on explaining the why. Brands can now think less about generating data and more about analysing and leveraging it.
Relying on one or the other will not deliver the goods.
Instead, using big data and market research together will lead to deeper insights across a wide range of strategic issues, ultimately moving towards what should always be a brands’ core objective – to improve brand and communications decisions which in turn creates competitive advantage.
What does this mean for brands?
While big data won’t answer all your questions, it is a terrific addition to your toolkit, and should be viewed as complementary to traditional market research methods.
Volume, the Velocity and the Variety characterize big data – we replace the fourth with value. True realisation of value will happen primarily through this smart amalgamation of big data and market research.
The Googles, the Amazons and the Facebooks of this world have shown the way. It is now for you to follow and emulate.
Long live market research!
This blog has been written by Bikram Choudhuri, a renowned researcher, data and measurement science leader with several research papers and articles in the areas of statistics, market measurement, consumer segmentation, big data analytics et al.
Read more about our thoughts on big data.