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GRIT Sneak Peek: Continued Mainstreaming Of Communities, Social, Mobile

Because we couldn’t wait to dive into the results we pulled an interim data file when we were just past 1000 completes and began some initial analysis and report preparation. What we are going to share with you today is drawn from that interim report. It is NOT FINAL.

GRIT Partners


By Tamara Barber & Lenny Murphy

We are hard at work on GRIT right now; we are still in field and have close to 1,500 completes as of this writing and are working to get even more. It’s been phenomenally successful so far and the depth of the data is unprecedented. If you have not participated yet, please click on the logo above and it will take you to the survey.

Because we couldn’t wait to dive into the results we pulled an interim data file when we were just past 1000 completes and began some initial analysis and report preparation. What we are going to share with you today is drawn from that interim report. It is NOT FINAL and the numbers should be take as directional for now, although we don’t expect significant variation other than regionally for these data.

We’re very lucky to have a stellar team of pros working with us on this analysis, including folks like Ray Poynter, Jeffrey Henning, Todd Powers, Ruben Alcaraz, and my co-writer of today’s post, former Forrester analyst Tamara Barber.

For the past few years GRIT has asked respondents about their planned use of new and emerging techniques. Last year, we focused on which techniques they would be likely be using in 2012. For our Fall report, we wanted respondents to take a more general view on potential future changes in the research industry. Rather than focusing on the coming year, we instead asked simply: “Which of these techniques and approaches do you see ahead in your future.” Although not directly comparable, we believe that an assessment of the overall trends between the two years is telling of what techniques are here to stay, which are poised for growth, and which have the furthest to climb.

Of the new research methods we’ve included in our research the past two years, these three have had the most industry vetting, and subsectors of well-known suppliers already exist for each. Last year, these were the new techniques that GRIT respondents were likely to use in 2012, and recent data show that these are still the most promising techniques moving forward. Specifically, 48% of respondents this year plan to already be using online communities in the future, followed by 41% on mobile surveys and 37% on social media analytics.  The optimism toward these techniques is officially a trend.


Text analytics showed up as fourth among techniques that will be in used in the future – the same ranking as in last year’s survey (although with different question wording). One-third of respondents see themselves already using this technique, and 37% will at least have it under consideration as a possible technique.

Respondents are least likely to see themselves using neuro marketing and biometric response in the future. Indeed, these techniques are still new to many researchers with 21% saying they aren’t sure if they’ll use neuro and 22% saying the same for biometrics. These two were in the bottom of last year’s ranking as well. It’s possible that traction on these will grow as more successful case studies are shared in the marketplace. However, for many researchers the applicability of these techniques remains fuzzy.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that visualization analytics jumped up to number six, from tenth place last year. A full 54% of respondents believe they will be either using or considering the technique. With Big Data looming large in the industry, visualization is one technique that will prove valuable in finding meaningful patterns in a sea of varied data points. The higher ranking this year, in a question with a longer time-horizon, suggests respondents see potential — given enough time for visualization tools and methods to be honed to fit researchers’ needs.

We will be delving deeper into this topic and exploring many more in the full GRIT report which is scheduled for release in January, including the extent of the belief that the market research industry is changing, the sentiment around that belief, and its impact on your business. For the second time, the survey will also try to uncover which industry bodies and media outlets are considered to be “influential”, as well as map the global network of influence and thought leadership. For the first time we will be digging into how social media analytics is impacting the industry, with a particular focus on which technologies and providers are driving change. It’s going to be the best GRIT report to date and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Does all of this thinking about the future have you excited and you just can’t wait to learn more? Well, next week there is a great opportunity for you!


ARF Industry Leaders Forum


Next week The ARF is holding their Industry Leader Forum, and you can bet that these topics will be in discussion there. In fact, I can guarantee it since GreenBook blogger and my business partner Gregg Archibald will be on hand to moderate a discussion with the great client-side C-suite leaders on hand. If you want to hear what brands like P&G, General Mills, Microsoft, Citigroup, Hasbro, Frito-Lay and more think about the methods and models that will drive the insights function forward in the future then this is the event you cannot miss. Click on the image above to go to the site and register!

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10 responses to “GRIT Sneak Peek: Continued Mainstreaming Of Communities, Social, Mobile

  1. Found some of results here in chart interesting and also a little amusing…

    For instance, percentage claiming to be using or considering use of “social media analytics” is higher than those claiming to be using “text analytics”, yet technically social media monitoring forms all use some type of more basic text analytics, so if we were strictly technical about it, text analytics should be higher, rolled up into text analytics (#3 in this list, not #4).

    Related to that “Visualization Analytics”, whatever that means, are also technically used in almost all text analytics, and depending on how loosely you define it in all analytics.

    @Lenny, can you provide definition of “visualization analytics” as defined in the survey?


    1. @Tom, There certainly could be too much granularity here, but as you know we chose several years ago to differentiate each technique by use cases when there was overlap or multiple applications, not technological similarities. So, although various approaches to text analytics is a common component of social media analysis (but not the only approach), it’s not confined just to that data stream so we think it’s appropriate to segment that out.

      Same applies to visualization analytics: it is a wide ranging technology that has many different applications. Personally, i think this is under reported and it very well could be an issue of clarity on our part. We’ll look at refining that as we go forward and trying to explore it more deeply.

      In any case, here are the definitions we used and that were available to all respondents:

      Social media analytics: Any process that collects and analyzes social media data such as from tweets, blogs, forums, etc… for insight generation

      Text analytics: Any process that utilizes linguistic, statistical, and machine learning techniques that model and structure the information content of textual sources for business intelligence, exploratory data analysis, research, or investigation

      Visualization Analytics: Utilizing any tools or techniques that focuses on analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces

      Hope that helps!

    1. Thanks David. Yes, we do have that and it will be released in the full report, although I may do another sneak peek before that.

  2. Good stuff. Consistent with my research that just got out of the field on Next Generation Business Intelligence. We’ve essentially crossed the chasm in terms of mobile and social adoption, but the apps/devices used are mostly still consumer or stove piped into the organization. ie. mature in one sense, immature in another. One thing is for sure, speed, functionality, and useability expectations are being set at the consumer level. Research also shows that next phase will be integration directly into business applications, BI tools, or (if IT has their way) into office productivity tools. We’re already starting to see some of this with IBM et al. My post published today on Smart Data Collective talks a bit more about IBM’s Cognos strategy at the end user level:…Anyhow, nice work you guys. I’m excited to see the larger piece of research. Is it still free??!!

    1. Thanks guys!!

      @ Tony, thanks for the confirmation; that is great validation and I think it underscores the importance of embracing the change now before it swallows this vertical up.

      Yes, GRIT will ALWAYS be free. 🙂

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