Researchers: Are You a Data Delivery Person, Or a Strategic Advisor?

Embrace the opportunity to add more value to the insights value chain.

Researchers and agencies have long been perceived as the data delivery people of the insights value chain. Your job is to go out and collect the data, then deliver it to the internal or external client.

While there is an opportunity to add significant additional value beyond data collection and delivery, you’re so busy getting the job done that you simply don’t have the bandwidth necessary to do it.


Data delivery isn’t enough anymore

There’s nothing wrong with doing an excellent job in data collection and delivery. But clients are demanding deeper data analysis and delivery of much richer insights. And with pricing on the floor and the rise of synthetic data and AI, there’s also a real economic imperative to add more value to businesses beyond delivery.

Adding significant value without increasing costs is a challenging proposition. Synthetic data and AI may save some costs, but the use of these technologies in research is still in its infancy. Concerns about data quality and the validity of insights are likely to require additional analysis and discussion, which in turn will gobble up potential cost savings.

Even as synthetic data and AI mature, there will be a definite demand for researchers to take a more strategic approach, shifting attention towards nuanced approaches and addressing big, strategic questions.

Ultimately, you’re already being asked to dig deeper and find richer insights. And while you’re probably keen to make the move, you have 2 very real problems to tackle in order to make it happen: time and skills.


Tackling time

Finding time when you’re already stretched seems like an impossible task. And if you want to operate in the exact same way as you do now, you’ll fail to find it. Instead, you need to take a step back and look for opportunities to save time.

For most researchers and agencies, the way to find more time is to streamline processes through use of technology.

Jumping over to the world of quantitative research – or even to large consumer brands – and technology adoption is significantly higher in virtually every area of the business. Why? Because it enables these organisations to deal with data and tasks at enormous scale. Handling everything manually simply isn’t an option.

Back in the qual world, technology adoption is significantly slower. And it’s to our detriment. We may not be dealing with thousands or millions of individuals every day, but low-tech manual processes are keeping us unnecessarily busy.

And which area of our business is the biggest offender? Research Operations, with its myriad spreadsheets, Word docs, and emails that all require updating, cross-checking, re-saving, and versioning. Great chunks of time are devoted to manual tasks that are necessary and important – but that could be reduced to mere minutes with the right kind of technology.

A simple example might be manually sending emails to tens of participants, taking half an hour, when a participant CRM system could help you do the same task in 5 minutes.

Or it could take 3 hours to manually send direct-to-bank incentive payments to participants, when you could spend just 5 minutes authorising the same payments by using a digital incentives payment solution.


Sorting skills out

Chances are that time isn’t the only barrier to repositioning yourself as a strategic consultant and advisor: if you’ve been super busy, you probably need to up-skill as well. And initially, that time buys you the opportunity to refresh your skills, as well as add new ones.

The industry certainly doesn't stand still, so exploring best practices and the latest innovations in both approaches and tools will be critical to making the transition to delivering strategic insights.


It’s time to make the change

By freeing up time to up-skill and then devote to strategic value-add beyond data delivery, you’ll successfully make the transition from data delivery person to strategic advisor.

The question isn't whether you *should* make the move - it's whether you’ll make it soon enough to avoid being left behind.


Ready to take the next step? Book a no-obligation call with our team to get started!

Similar posts

Want to hear more from Ayda? Subscribe to our email newsletter!