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Yabble Co-Founder Kathryn Topp talks the changing nature of the insights industry — and what you can do to meet the challenge

Yabble November 16, 2022

November 14 and 15 saw our Co-Founders Kathryn Topp and Rachel O’Shea join our US team on the ground in San Antonio, Texas for the 2022 TMRE Conference.

In addition to showcasing the capabilities of the Yabble platform to event attendees, Kathryn spoke on the “Examining The Evolution Of Insights Spend & Trends” panel alongside leaders from Unilever, Visa, Colgate-Palmolive, and the Clorox Company, chatting about everything from how the research and insights industry has changed over recent years to key insights gleaned from TMRE and All Things Insights’s 2022 Insights Spends & Trends Report.

IMG_6228 (1)Compiled ahead of this year’s conference, the report explores insights generated from an extensive survey of the TMRE and All Things Insights communities on how they’re spending their money, what challenges they’re facing, and how they’re feeling overall. 

Off the back of the report, Kathryn wrote an opinion piece based off a few of those insights — namely that the job titles specialists identify with continue to expand, the top challenge the industry is having is finding the right talent, and 65% of respondents plan to increase their insights budget in 2023. 

We thought we’d reproduce Kathryn’s article for the Yabble audience, so take a look at “Global Perspective from an AI CEO” below (and download your own copy of the report here). 

The following article was originally written for and published in TMRE and All Things Insights’s 2022 Insights Spend & Trends Report. 

The expanding base of job functions featured in the survey respondent community is consistent with what we’re seeing when we’re interacting across the world with different research markets, and the growth in analytics is commensurate with more data coming on board. So you’ve got traditional research teams all of a sudden dealing with a lot more diverse data. 

And with that comes the need for not only new and different types of tools for analysis, but also a slightly different skill set for the team. There’s a real desire to start exploring different data and also to bring in new tools to do that. So from that point of view, I think the industry is starting to embrace new and different ways of thinking. Historically it’s been quite a conservative industry, so it’s nice to see it start to open up and think differently. 

Any business that’s growing and is serious about improving its delivery to customers and its products needs to be data-driven and customer-driven. Organizations that are really focused on understanding and listening to their marketplaces are the ones that will be growing. 

The shortage of talent is universal; it’s not unique to the insights industry, but what I would say is I think the growing and fostering of the next generation of researchers is really important and is something as an industry we need to invest in. 

Also diversification: as the role of the insights team diversifies, we need to diversify with it, and that’s all about new types of data. 

Speed to deliver insights being a challenge is consistent with everything we see in a lot of the market development we do in talking with our customers, and it’s obviously one of the key reasons why we developed the technology we developed. 

We’re seeing a lot of data overload actually coming from internal data sources, as well as new external sources, and with this there’s a greater challenge with quality of data. There’s an inherent cautiousness around quality of data both internal and external. Ultimately it’s about making sense of the data, organizing it, and working out how to analyze it effectively. 

The overall response showcasing an increase in budget was probably higher than I expected, but positive. I think it reflects the growth in the industry and also the importance of the function within an organization. So that’s exciting. 

The other parts probably confirm what we’ve seen in our own research and reinforce the work we’re doing to develop tools that allow researchers to be more efficient and unlock insights more easily out of new and different data sources. This confirms that we’re on the right path, which is equally as exciting. 

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