Tag Archives: Marc Dresner

TMRE TV: Alicia Rankin, NFL

At The Market Research Event 2011, Marc Dresner sat down with many of the industry’s leading researchers to discuss their strive for the best insights in addition to how they work with fellow researchers to find the insights they are striving for better research and insights.  This is TMRE TV.

This week, we’re featuring our interview with Alicia Rankin, Head of Research and Fan Insights, NFL.  The research department at the NFL  works with every department in the NFL along with the 32 clubs to develop the best fan experience possible.  They do their research with the fan in mind, with the goal to make the NFL experience the best possible.

Watch Alicia’s interview here:

In Alicia’s interview, she encourages researchers to understand the business they’re doing research for as best they can then bring actionable insights to teams that fit their customer database.  What is one of the best initiatives you’ve seen come from actionable insight you’ve presented to your product teams?

The Market Research Event 2012 will take place November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton. We’re in the final stages of production! To stay up to date on the latest news and information on the event, sign up for updates. Also, register now to save $500 off the standard rate! Be sure to mention code TMRE12Blog.

“Text Analytics for (Really Smart) Dummies” Part 2: Big Blue’s Unique Use Case

IBM Turns Text Analytics Inward to Learn from Employees
By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

Part I of our text analytics series featured a specialist provider’something of a pioneer in the field’whose firm has recently developed a DIY text analytics tool. I think you’ll agree that Tom Anderson did a nice job of helping us parse fad from fact.

So for Part II of ‘Text Analytics for (Really Smart) Dummies,’ we’ve turned to an intriguing text analytics use case, courtesy of another pioneer in the space: Big Blue (NYSE:IBM).

What I appreciate about this one is that IBM is both a text analytics user and a provider, which may or may not inform your thinking when you read this interview.

I can’t speak to the software, because that wasn’t covered in this session, but we have here a great example of text analytics in action.

They call them ‘IBMers”an almost cult-like bunch of some of the best and brightest technologists on the planet, driven by a culture of innovation embodied in three letters: I-B-M.

And it’s up to Senior Research Manager Dr. James Newswanger to help IBM maintain a competitive edge by understanding and learning from them’

Q: Jim, please tell us a bit about your role and if/how you need to analyze qualitative data and/or text.

JN: I lead a group known as Corporate Workplace Analytics within the IBM CIO division. We study IBMers’ use of our major enterprise IT tools, including the intranet, Connections, Lotus Notes, social media, etc. Our group specializes in primary and secondary studies, as well as quantitative and qualitative methods. We have been increasingly focused on text analytics and ways to make meaning of content in unstructured data sets.

Q: For clarification, what exactly do you mean when you refer to “text analytics”?

JN: To me, text analytics is the process of taking in content, using software to mine the content for meaning, and offering a presentation interface that allows researchers to find insight.

Q: Is text analytics really new?

JN: Some parts of text analytics are old. For example, human beings acting as coders have been mining open-end comments for meaning for a long time.

Q: How have text analytics evolved over the past few years?

JN: What’s new is the expansion of online commentary offered by blogs, microblogs, news feeds, etc., and the software tools available to analyze text, often in real, or near-real, time.

Q: Is all text analytics the same or are there different types?

JN: There are different types of text analysis, driven by particular project requirements. Some researchers need to find basic themes in text, some need to identify “sentiment” associated with themes, some need to link themes to authors and networks, etc. And the time frames and database sizes can vary widely.

Q: How has market research as a use case evolved in terms of text analytics, both in general and for your company specifically?

JN: Some market research professionals make claims that text mining can substitute for other forms of traditional primary research. Some say, instead of launching a scientific survey to determine opinions on a particular topic, we might just mine the blogosphere or Facebook postings, etc., for the end result.

Q: What are some of the most important use cases?

JN: Examples involving challenges to traditional market research techniques’especially sampling rules’are the most important use cases in my opinion.

Q: How much of text analytics involves Big Data, and do you think market researchers should/do have the skills and tools needed to leverage it?

JN: Text analytics may involve Big Data, it depends on particular project requirements. If I want to mine the Web for public opinions about a topic as broad as a popular movie, television show, or government issue, then Big Data sets will clearly be in play. Data set requirements are driven by the number and scope of content sources, the length of time under review, and any real-time demands on delivery.

Q: What criteria should an organization use to base a decision to (a) develop an in-house text analytics capability, b) outsource text analytics or c) adopt a hybrid model?

JN: To develop an in-house text analytics capability, an organization must have analysts capable of using one or more software tools developed for text mining. The organization must own or license software deemed effective for this analysis.

Q: What questions need to be asked in order to determine an appropriate capabilities provider?

JN: Some of the issues to consider include cost, user interface, scope of content coverage and source of content, presentation and reporting capabilities, specific linguistic analysis features, and customization.

Thanks Jim! That concludes Part II. Next up, Kodak Gallery weighs text analytics’ potential fit within its market research efforts.

Editor’s note: To learn more about text analytics, don’t miss The Market Research Technology Event ‘a unique forum dedicated to the exploration and promotion of technological innovations in consumer and market research and business intelligence’taking place April 30 thru May 2 in Las Vegas.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us, mention code MRTECH12BLOG and save 10% off the standard rate!

Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead specializing in audience engagement. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Awards Showcase Research Industry Innovation

Part One: Disrupting Research-As-Usual

By Marc Dresner, IIR USA 

It’s that time of year again, research fans!

The Market Research Event (TMRE) has officially issued a call for nominations for two distinct awards honoring innovation in research:

The EXPLOR Award, sponsored by uSamp, recognizes breakthrough innovation in technology as applied to market research through a real-world case study competition.

 ‘ The Disruptive Innovator Award, sponsored by Next Gen Market Research (NGMR), recognizes companies and individuals that have demonstrated leadership as change agents and made significant contributions toward harnessing disruptive innovation to drive research industry progress.

That both awards celebrate innovation in an industry/profession with a relatively conservative legacy says quite a bit not only about the times in which we now work and live, but how far we’ve come so fast.

So much has changed in just the last decade, and I’m particularly excited to see what comes out of this year’s pool of nominations, because these awards are in some respects innovation barometers.

Hoping for an early read, I asked the respective sponsors of each award to answer a few questions for us. 

This post features responses from Tom Anderson, founder of NGMR, an online community and professional networking group for market researchers with more than 12,000 members centered on exploring innovative, emerging research technologies and techniques.

 Anderson is also founder and managing partner of Anderson Analytics LLC, a full-service market research consultancy specializing in combining advanced analytics and traditional methodologies with data and text mining.

For those who don’t know him as I do, Anderson is a bit of a maverick with a passion for bucking convention, so it’s not surprising that NGMR’s award’now in its second year’focuses on innovation as a disruptive force for positive change’

 Q: What’s the Disruptive Innovator Award all about?
 A: Times are changing. So the concept is to celebrate and encourage what I like to call ‘next generation’ thinking in research. We want to recognize innovation that challenges the status quo and pushes boundaries beyond ‘traditional’ market research’hence the title ‘Disruptive Innovation”and to also use this award to welcome new members into the research industry, which has historically been a pretty exclusive and conservative club. This includes methodologies and techniques from other, less traditional fields like data mining, text analytics, Web and social media analytics’really any potential knowledge stream or insight source that can help marketers and business people make better decisions in today’s world. So in a sense, the award was created to broaden how we define consumer/market research in order to keep pace with the times.

Q: What set the 2010 winners apart from the rest of the entrants?
 A: Last year was our first year out, so the ferocity of the competition caught us a bit off guard. In order to make the difficult decision of picking the winners, we decided to look beyond just how innovative someone was, and to focus on the second component of the award: disruption.

For example, on the client side, 3M won based on how they had leveraged DIY; not because the specific methodology used was that innovative, but rather their innovativeness in applying it to their organization. If the same model were to be adopted by other clients, it could have a really disruptive impact on our industry.

On the agency side, our second winner, Communispace, which really pioneered the use of online communities for research, had already taken a significant portion of research spending and encouraged many across the industry to look at how we engaged respondents and fans of products and brands differently.

Last year we also had two winners in the individual recognition category’Sean Conry of Technoes and AJ Johnson of Ipsos’who won not only because their methodology was interesting (mobile GPS data and visualization, etc.), but also because their collaboration focused on experimenting by combining various methodologies and software in novel ways.

Q: What surprised you the most about the submissions, in general, that you received for last year’s competition? Why? 
 A: I was surprised by the quality and quantity of nominations we received in just our first year out. That confirmed to me that the research industry is very much focused on and excited about change and attuned to the spirit of Next Gen Market Research.

That said, while we did receive a couple of nominations from companies that are outside traditional research’RapLeaf, for instance’I was surprised that there weren’t more of them. I think we could do a better job of attracting different types of providers with different perspectives and maybe less orthodox solutions.

Q: What themes/trends in research do you predict will be most prominently represented in this year’s submissions? And conversely, what do you expect to see less of this year?
 A: I hope and expect to see more nominations from disciplines like text analytics’a personal favorite’and various types of data mining from CRM to Web analytics. I would also imagine there may be some nominations from neuroscience and eye tracking, too.

But I would really love to see submissions from companies that don’t even view themselves as research firms. Marketing, advertising and PR firms, for instance, are all rushing to leverage various text, campaign and influence tracking technologies and they’re building their own methodologies around them as needed.

I would emphasize that we consider the basic methodological soundness of every technique and technology quite seriously in our deliberations. That’s a key strength in having such a diverse brain trust of expertise and experience on the NGMR Board.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective entrants this year?
A: Some nominations submitted last year were quite lengthy. You should be able to state why you are eligible for the NGMR Disruptive Innovator Award in one page or less (though you may also submit accompanying videos or charts if needed).

If we receive a 10-page document, and it’s not clear on the first page why this individual or organization deserves the award, chances are high that they will not make the first round of cuts.

Don’t worry, if we need more information to make a determination, we will ask you for it.

I only wish that we could give out more awards. This is a very exciting time for anyone involved in analytics. I wish all of this year’s entrants good luck!

 Editor’s note: For those of you who pride yourselves on shaking things up for the greater good, nominations for the NGMR Disruptive Innovator are open through August 31, so don’t delay.

For more information on how to submit a nomination, please visit www.tomhcanderson.com/2011-ngmr-innovation-awards.

Winners will be announced and honored at The Market Research Event in Orlando, November 7-9, 2001.

And be sure to check in for part two of this segment, when my friend, Chuck Miller of uSamp, takes us on an EXPLORation of the industry’s foremost innovation case study competition!

Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.