Why you need to use video in market research ways in which motherhood has made me a better researcher
Advice for aspiring pollsters Algorithmic transparency for market research The RANZ Strategic Review unfolds
all our great regular features!
CONTENTS View from a new board member
Using video in market research
8 5 trends of market research
David Farrar on Caring for the internet
Market research and the madness of the crowds.
Data visualisation: think like a marketer
20 Three ways in which motherhood has made me a better researcher
Data Visualisation: Flashback
Update from wellington with vince galvin: algorithmic transparency for market research
Itâ€™s a wrap. The RANZ strategic direction unfolds.
Whatâ€™s Kantar up to?
Event Review: AMSRS Festival of Research
Christmas in the cosmos
60 seconds with Melinda Gibbon
VIEW FROM A NEW BOARD MEMBER Karin Curran RANZ Board Member
· demonstrably adding value to NZ organisations in the public and private sectors · being recognised around the world; · having the value of membership be so obvious that any individual or company wanting to call themselves trustworthy practitioners takes for granted that they must be RANZ members
First, thanks to everyone who voted in the board elections. I know all of us on the new board are honoured that you’ve entrusted us with the next two years of RANZ direction.
As you can see, they are quite passionate and invested in the next phase of RANZ! And it is abundantly clear RANZ has an opportunity to morph from its current state.
We’ve just had the formal handover from the old board (sincere thanks to leaving members Winifred, Vince, Jason, Nicola, and returning members Carin, Catherine and Galina). We are currently working through roles, responsibilities and next steps. Amongst other things, this will include appointing a chair and having a board full-day off-site meeting to bed down our action plans for the short and medium term. Watch this space!
Like anything though, there’s a tension between our ideal of what we’d love RANZ to be and the realities we’ve faced for years (even pre-merger). It’s inevitable that our volunteer-based organisation, funded mostly by member contributions and sponsorships, has to balance what we want to do and what we can do with our limited resources.
So today I’m not going to talk about RANZ strategy or our plans just yet. The wonderful members who produce InterVIEW have picked a new board member to talk personally about ‘What I’d Like to See’. I, like many of us, want our industry organisation to offer us a professional home that transcends our current employment situation. I want RANZ to offer: · the trust badge of professionalism that sets us apart from ‘cowboys’ (and gives us credibility to government in terms of legislation) · relevant and high-quality ongoing professional development that supports our personal career aspirations and our ability to help NZ organisations · a robust and enjoyable social connection with others who have the same curiosity about what makes people tick When I look at RANZ, for me it’s about the Code of Practice and Standards, learning and growing as people and professionals, and having fun. I asked the other board members what they wanted, and they mentioned priorities like: · ensuring that RANZ, and the industry, at minimum stays relevant but ideally grows to the point we attract the best and the brightest from not just a core of ‘market research’ but also from surrounding industries
But what would I like to see? Putting code stuff aside, I’d love to see more active participation by members. Our future success depends on the contributions and enthusiasm of our membership – of all of us. Organising events and putting together communications takes a handful to many hundreds of hours each time; working on the code side can take half an hour for a simple query to hundreds of hours for a challenging complaint. I’ll be working as part of the board to encourage more member participation (including from fellows) and to establish better rewards and recognition for the work that the many volunteers in the various executive committees (EC) and the Professional Standards Group (PSG) do. It shouldn’t just be the board who gets visibility and status for their contributions. I want people to proudly put on their CVs and LinkedIn profiles that they have served on a RANZ EC or the PSG, or led workshops or given presentations, and be publicly recognised for their service to the industry. Achieving a blue-sky vision of RANZ needs reciprocity. RANZ needs to deliver value to members, and members need to support and contribute to RANZ to make that value possible. We’re not actually two separate entities – RANZ is our members and the board is here to help chart and steer. So, enough from me. Watch this space for an update, next time written by our new chair.
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trends of ma with Sue Cardwell Written by Sue Cardwell @tuesdaysue
2. The smart(phone) money is in digital advertising
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The Interactive Advertising Bureau of New Zealand (IABNZ) shows that not only digital advertising is going up and up, but there are winners and losers amongst the digital media. Advertisers have jumped into smartphone advertising (+65%), while Facebook is on a decline.
1. The end of cash
he first retailers - major and minor have made the call to go cashless. Where Tesco goes, many will follow - it may not be long before we see this trend overtake New
Why does it matter? We’re already doing most of our transactions by card. For retailers it means supporting one process instead of two - and perhaps reducing petty theft and mistakes at the till. For others, it’s a worrying sign, however. What about those who don’t have, don’t want, or can’t get a bank account? Will we disenfranchise the elderly or extremely poor? Think of those trying to raise funds for a cause? There will be no more busking for coins, or rattling of collection boxes in the street. What about people who are bad at managing money? We know from behavioural economics that handling cash makes us more conscious of spending. What impacts of #cashless do you predict?
3. Perfection fatigue Authenticity in ads pays off. New research on emotional reactions to beauty ads show that “real” models work better than airbrushed ones. It could be an effect of media fragmentation and democratisation: now we connect with role models directly on their Instagram feed. They are less intermediated, less redacted, and the range of role models is more diverse. Or it could be a political stance against the “white, thin” ideal of past generations. Or it could simply be that we no longer buy into the “hope in a jar” myth and want a look we believe we can replicate at home. Read more about which “real” ads performed well and which ones weren’t convincing enough. Also how other sectors such as banking are showing more “realness” in their ads.
arket research 4. CRISPR: good or bad, and will it affect us soon? With a name like CRISPR, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’re talking about salad, but CRISPR is actually a gene technology. Excitingly, CRISPR may be close to calling time on monogenetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, and it can help our bodies’ immune response to cancer. CRISPR is gene-editing, and it’s a lot easier, cheaper and more precise than other gene-editing approaches. That’s not to say it’s perfect, and it’s not being widely used on humans yet because of fears of collateral damage. It is however, already being used with animals and crops in farming. CRISPR is so promising that experts seem to agree we’ll be seeing it used in clinical settings within a decade. And we’re already seeing it dramatised in blockbuster movies!
5. Age-friendly cities means playgrounds for older people With International Day of Older Persons just around the corner, this is an especially topical trend. We’re living longer, and we’re living sicker for longer - dementia being a significant part of old age illness. The growing demands of our population curve have left us scrambling for treatments, cures and suitable spaces for older people. A number of NZ cities have opted to go “age-friendly”. One of Auckland’s agefriendly initiatives is its delightful playgrounds for older people. What a wonderful idea.
BE BOLD,BE BRAVE, embrace cultural shifts: Using video in market research Written by Carl Wong Carl is Co-Founder and CEO of LivingLens, the leading video intelligence platform, which unlocks the insight in people’s stories to inspire decisions. Carl’s background is in marketing and consumer insight roles, both client and agency side. A former AURA council member and GIMRA chair, he holds a Market Research Society Diploma and a Chartered Institute of Marketing Postgraduate Diploma. Carl drives the vision for LivingLens and is passionate and enthusiastic about video delivering insight and telling stories within market research.
ideo is everywhere. It’s how we communicate, share stories and gain knowledge. Not only has the use of video in our everyday lives seen rapid acceleration, but the stats surrounding video use are staggering! The first YouTube video was created in 2005, and only five years later, in 2010, 2 billion+ videos were served every day. Today, 5 billion videos are watched per day on YouTube and 100 million hours are spent per day on Facebook. Let’s take a moment to let that sink in.
There is no arguing that video has not only become one of the most popular means of communication, but it is now a dominant source of data. There has been a cultural shift to video supported by the technology to facilitate it. Mobile phones have put video in the hands of consumers, allowing them to film themselves as well as watch videos wherever they are. In 2007, the first iPhone was launched without video recording capability, but the advancements of mobile phones mean that everybody is a film-maker, we just need to make sure we catch the show. Yet, as an industry, we have been slow at times to adapt to cultural shifts. Despite smartphones being around for over a decade, we are still grappling with the fact that not all surveys are mobilefriendly! We are in the business of engaging and understanding consumers, but we seemingly haven’t all embraced the opportunity to improve the experience for respondents, to increase response rates and to make research more convenient to participate in. We appear, on the whole, to be behind the curve when it comes to the pace of change around us. The ‘wait and see’ approach means that only some are benefitting from the latest technology out there. If we don’t increase our pace of adoption, then we are at risk of becoming redundant.
So the key question here is: How can we leverage video use and mobile adoption in the research realm? Video being used in research isn’t new. Offline qual, such as focus groups, is often recorded and film crews are sent to people’s homes for ethnography studies. But, historically video was challenging to work with, the cost and time needed were often prohibitive. With the rise of automation and AI, the game has changed in terms of how video can be used. Unstructured data is turned into something that can be quantified and easily analysed, moving beyond just understanding ‘what’ people are saying. Technology and video intelligence platforms, like LivingLens, are now removing the barriers to adoption, making it easy, practical and cost- effective to embrace video as a source of insight.
“Everybody is a film-maker, we just need to make sure we catch the show.” It’s an exciting time for insight professionals, as there is an alignment between consumers and their passion for video content and our need as an industry to deliver deeper diagnostics at speed. Technology advancements in smartphones and bandwidths are driving a cultural shift towards video. Which begs the question: - Are we ready to move with the times? Opening the floodgates through automation, so what makes video so appealing? Video is a powerful way to tell stories, drive engagement and inspire decisionmaking. It can bring customers to
life like no other medium. Video has the unique ability to deliver layers of understanding into people’s lives. It’s an immersive media and can both reveal and evoke emotions. Video can help us to alleviate the age-old issue of ‘“can’t say (unable) won’t say (unwilling)’,” as it goes deeper than simply the spoken word, helping us to deliver the allimportant ‘Y data’. It has the rare ability to merge both qual and quant and to provide both explicit and implicit feedback. We don’t need to rely on recall, we can ask people to film their daily routine, trip to the supermarket or use of a product. For brands, it represents the closest thing to meeting customers face to face. Technology has played a vital role in making video more accessible. In the past, consumers weren’t able to easily record themselves, the technology just wasn’t available on a mass scale and people weren’t used to being on video. Now it’s hard to imagine not being able to record a video with a mobile device. Automation is making video more accessible and usable within market research, and it’s improving all the time. On the LivingLens platform, back in 2016, only 22% of the video content used machine speech recognition; that figure has risen to 63% this year so far. This is due to a number of factors including accuracy, adoption and the broadening of use cases. Automation helps us to keep up with the speed demanded and the large volumes of content generated. It is key to being able to use video as a data set, and a big data set at that! Machine learning and AI are making a huge contribution to how we can interpret video content. Tools started with what people were saying, but now we can also interpret the sentiment that those words convey; we can determine how people feel through 9
the way they are saying those words (tone) and through their facial expression, by using facial emotional recognition. We can also gain further layers of detail into what people are doing and their surrounding environment with object recognition. New capabilities reveal subtitles in data that would have only been picked up by humans watching the content previously. And, all that information is searchable, so you can get to the moments that matter in seconds, negating the need to watch all the content. In market research this has allowed us to be able to dig deeper. We have seen video in qual expand, it’s become costeffective to run more projects, increase sample sizes or broaden scope across different use cases. We are taking away the pain of going from lots of video, to homing in on meaningful moments.
“Brands are able to extract the data within video and use analytics to generate insights and tell stories at speed.”
Typically, through a video answer, respondents will say at least 6 times more words than they’d type in a free text response, and that can only help us to understand more deeply the ‘Y data’ behind their scores. This convergence of qual and quant and automation of data creation and analytics presents huge opportunities and looks set to continue and evolve. We are starting to see the inclusion of video changing the actual design of methodology. Rather than being a supplement, video is being seen as a replacement and even more often, the main component. I see a future, in 3-5 years, whereby entire surveys are replaced by video. Of course, many brands are already capitalising on the fact that everyone is a film-maker, with the ability to record their experiences, wherever they might be. They are able to extract the data within video and use analytics to generate insights and tell stories at speed. Our challenge as an industry is to embrace these opportunities and be brave enough to use these cultural shifts and technology advancements to do some of the heavy lifting for us, making our lives a little easier and allowing us to focus on deeper insight and engagement.
Now we are seeing the movement from conventional qual, to qual on a quant scale. Open-ended text questions can be replaced with free text questions in surveys and CX programmes. Not only can the subsequent video content add colour to debriefs, but it can elicit more data for diagnostic purposes. 10
David Farrar on
Caring for the internet, advice for aspiring pollsters and power lists and blogging, but Monday is the day I try to clear the backlog on the polling work, Tuesday is for blogging, Wednesday for all other work stuff, Thursday for stuff around the house and Friday is the day I open snail mail!
David Farrar is the owner and director of Curia Market Research which he founded in 2004. Curia is a specialist opinion polling and research agency. David is also well known as the editor of the popular Kiwiblog which started in 2003. Kiwiblog receives around 500,000 visits a month. David previously worked in the NZ Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders. David is also a former Vice-President of InternetNZ, and chaired its policy committee for over a decade. He is also a former director of the .nz registry company and is the current chairman of the .nz domain name commission, which sets policies for and regulates the .nz name space. In 2013 he co-founded the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union and serves on its board.
You own and manage your market research company Curia, your blog, Kiwiblog, gets half a million views a month and has been the most popular blog in New Zealand, you’re a commentator in many media, you’re a director of New Zealand Domain Name Registry and most importantly of all, you’re a devoted dad. How do you juggle it all? DF: I now have a system where I prioritise different work on different days of the week, so my backlogs don’t get too large. Everyday I spend some time on the polling
Did you have to give up any of your many roles and responsibilities when you became a parent? Was that a tough decision? DF: I was coping with the juggling up until the arrival of Benjamin. Since he joined us, I have scaled back on some activities such as doing Auckland based TV shows due to the time it takes. Benjamin is also good at making me prioritise as he will happily come up to me and close my laptop lid when he wants me to do something with him, rather than work. It is tough stopping work you enjoy, but 100% worth it to have more time with family. I’m lucky that I primarily work from home, so spend lots of time with him during the day as well as weekends. Looking back at where you were when you started this journey, where did you think it was going to lead you? you?
“Almost nothing I do today I thought I would do when young.” DF: Almost nothing I do today I thought I would do when young. There was no 12
(commercial) Internet when I was young, and I ended up spending 20 years helping govern aspects of the Internet in New Zealand. I never imagined my interest in politics would lead to media paying me to write and say what I think on various issues. And when I helped out as a volunteer with some electorate polling for the National Party in the early 1990s, I never thought that I’d end up setting up my own polling company which has now conducted over 1,000 polls.
style. Also when his columns cause offence, you can never tell if he has done it on purpose, or by accident.
Both the National Business Review and the Listener have placed you on lists of New Zealand’s most powerful… Who for you is New Zealand’s most powerful person, and what qualities do you think you share with them?
DF: Well we are lucky in New Zealand that for the last two elections, the major public polls have been very accurate. Both Colmar Brunton and Reid Research were within 1.5% of the final result for National and Labour. That is quite an achievement when the margin of error is over 3%.
DF: I tend to think my inclusion on a power list just shows how silly power lists are. I think at the moment the most powerful person in New Zealand is Winston Peters and I’m not sure what qualities I share with him apart from membership of the Hominidae family. There are plenty of political and policy commentators out there. Why do you think that Kiwiblog is so popular? DF: I think it is a mixture of writing from a high knowledge base, using humour, being reasonable and not just writing in politics, but wider issues of interest. Some of my travel blogs has been my most popular posts. What are your favourite commentators to read? DF: In NZ I always enjoy reading Chris Trotter. You don’t have to agree with him to enjoy his knowledge of history and ability to articulate his views. Internationally, I enjoy Boris Johnson’s columns greatly. Boris may have been an ineffectual Foreign Minister for the United Kingdom, but he does have a great writing
Let’s talk about polling. Pre-election polls are market research’s moment in the limelight, but it’s famously difficult to predict election results, and pollsters get plenty of criticism – why do polls differ so much, how are we supposed to decide which one is accurate, can any of them be trusted, etc. Why do you do what you do?
Some polling companies were way out. The worst had Labour 8% too high and National 15% too low. To be fair to that company, their poll was done two weeks before the election, so sometimes the difference is timing. If polls are inaccurate, it tends to be because their sample is wrong. That the people they polled are not representative of those who actually voted. For example fewer young people vote, so polls should reflect their lower voting turnout. In terms of who to trust, I do recommend giving the most reliance to polls done by companies that subscribe to the NZ Political Polling Code. The other thing I’ll say is to not cherry pick the results you like, so if results diverge, then look at the average of them. Any advice for an aspiring pollster? DF: It’s not all about data analysis. The ability to formulate questions that will get useful answers is the key to it all. You need to understand a client’s needs, in order to help them. continued on next page...
You contributed to the New Zealand Political Polling Code developed by RANZ in 2014. Why was that so important? DF: After the 2011 election, when there was a huge divergence between some of the public polls, it was thought to be desirable to have some of the leading pollsters document what they regard as best practice, and turn it into a code which polling companies can subscribe to, as a form of professional standard. Representatives from the polling companies for TVNZ, TV3, NZ Herald and Fairfax as well as my own Curia (which polls for National) and UMR (polls for Labour) worked together very collegially. And what we developed was both a guide for polling companies but also a guide for media as to how to report polls, and for the public as to how to interpret them. I think we still have some way to go with the media reporting though, as they still report small insignificant movements as meaningful. What more needs to be done in this area? DF: The biggest challenge in NZ today isn’t the quality of the political polling, it’s the quantity of it. A few years ago you would have two to four public polls a month. Today there is often only one public poll every three months. The decline in media revenues has meant that the newspapers have stopped polling and the television stations are not quite infrequent. So if there has been a big shift in public opinion, noone might know about it for months (except those who do internal polling). One of the polling questions which you’ve spoken on (feel free to correct my wording here) is “Do you feel the country is headed in the right or wrong direction?” – net score. Tell us about why that question is so fascinating and what it says about New Zealanders.
DF: This is fascinating because most of the world thinks their countries are heading in the wrong direction, and New Zealand is one of the very few that thinks we are heading in the right direction. And this is not a new thing. We have had a positive direction sentiment for the last ten years. And not just mildly positive but strongly (2:1) positive. I think it is a reflection of our pride in our country, but also that we have had moderate Governments with popular leaders and that our economy has stayed relatively strong, despite the Global Financial Crisis.
“The biggest challenge in NZ today isn’t the quality of the political polling, it’s the quantity of it.” You’ve blogged about many and varied issues: pay for nurses, legalisation of cannabis, lifting Māori wellbeing to non-Māori levels, to name but a few. What do polls tell us about the most important issues for New Zealanders and their wellbeing? DF: The most important issues are almost always those that directly impact families – jobs, incomes, schools, houses and hospitals. Other issues may flare up from time to time (TPP) but at the end of the day New Zealanders want to be able to find a job, earn a reasonable income, have a good school for their kids to attend and a good healthcare system for when they or their family needs it. 14
What has been your favourite Curia project so far in 2018? DF: Some polling I have done for a couple of industry groups on the knowledge base New Zealanders have on their industries. It is remarkable how removed general knowledge can be from reality. For example most people think drink driving convictions are up 50% from a decade ago, when in fact they are at half the level they used to be. I have also have enjoyed doing the annual poll for the NZ Drug Foundation, as the results happen to come out just as there is a key debate within Parliament about legalising medicinal cannabis. The results had a significant impact on that debate. You’ve promoted the internet in New Zealand through lobby group InternetNZ since the early days. Would you call yourself a futurist? DF: More a fan boy. I got involved with InternetNZ in 1996 as I discovered the Internet that year and loved the worlds it opened up. I wanted to do my part to help “protect and promote” the Internet. It has now become the most important economic and cultural power we have. I recall being one of a relatively small group urging fibre to the home in 2007 and 2008. A lot of people said it was ridiculous as households had no need for fibre speeds. They said only businesses needed fibre. Today over 30% of households are watching their television through live streaming services, and within a decade almost everyone will be. We don’t need to know exactly what the future will be, to put some foundations down for it. Why is it so important to have a voice for the internet in New Zealand? DF: Because politicians don’t always understand it, and don’t like something they can’t control. Even well-meaning laws can have a negative impact of how we use and access the Internet, so we need to make sure laws work with, and not against, the Internet.
“We don’t need to know exactly what the future will be, to put some foundations down for it.” What’s next for internet policy in New Zealand? DF: I think the digital divide is the last big thing (many small things). There are not many families without Internet access, but they become almost second-class citizens if they don’t have it. So we need to do what we can to make sure every family that wants Internet access can get it. If you ruled New Zealand, what change would you make immediately to protect or promote the internet for New Zealand? DF: That no local authority can dig up a road without laying trench for fibre into it before they close it up again. If we had done this 15 years ago we would have saved heaps. What are your plans for 2019 and beyond? DF: Have just purchased a 15 acre lifestyle block so I plan to learn a bit about fencing. What have I not covered which would be of interest to InterVIEW readers? DF: John Key once described me as a hobbit sized version of Kim Dotcom. Since then I have run two marathons, five half marathons, done a 17 day trek to Everest Base Camp and summited Mt Kilimanjaro which is 6,000 metres above sea level. 15
Market research and the madness of the crowds. Tweet this article
Carl Davidson is the Director of Insight Chief Social Scientist at Research First, a company he helped found in 2006. Carl has worked in research for nearly 30 years, including time as a university lecturer (in sociology, then marketing), a social scientist in a Crown-funded research institute, a market researcher and as a strategy consultant. He is the author or editor of nine books about research practice in New Zealand, and he is a regular contributor to Stuff, where he writes about ‘the social science of everyday phenomena’. If you were to compile a list of the smartest people of all time, Sir Isaac Newton would undoubtedly be prominent amongst the candidates. Carl Sagan described him as ‘perhaps the greatest scientific genius who ever lived’ and even Einstein (who might make the list on his own merits) called him ‘a shining spirit’ responsible for ‘a turning point in the world’s intellectual development’. Those are some accolades, but they seem fitting given that Newton changed the way we think about the universe, helped explain gravity and has a good claim to inventing calculus. But Newton is interesting to those of us in market research for a very different reason. Despite his brilliance with numbers and cause-and-effect relationships, Newton lost a fortune investing in the South Seas Company (subsequently, but too late for Newton, known as ‘The South Seas Bubble’). The losses were catastrophic for Newton, wiping out his life savings. For the rest of his life, Newton forbade anyone to utter the words ‘South Sea’ around him. Reflecting on his loss, Newton famously said, ‘I can calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of the people’. As far as mottos for the market research industry go, that seems to me as good as any. We’ve come
a long way since 1720 but – in many ways – we are little better at understanding ‘the madness of the crowds’ than Newton was. What we are much better at is understanding the limitations of our models and our measurement tools. Good practice today is about combining viewpoints and methods and boiling it all up with a pinch of methodological modesty. And we do this because, as Bob Hoffman (of Ad Contrarian fame) once noted, there are three main problems with consumer research: people don’t know what they really think, they don’t say what they really mean, and they don’t really mean what they do say. That might sound like an indictment of our industry, but I think it presents a wonderful opportunity to grapple with the complexity of human behaviour. Indeed, in the 30 years I’ve been working in research, it’s hard to remember a more exciting time to be a researcher. Many of the old certainties about measurement are crumbling, many of our tools no longer have the reach they used to, and our fundamental assumptions about human behaviour are being upturned. It’s the last of these that excites me the most because what it means is that, as an industry, we are rediscovering that market research is first and foremost a social science. This means we can tap into all those subjects that deal with human behaviour in its social and cultural setting. This includes mainstream subjects such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, and economics. But it also includes fascinating new areas of study like social neuroscience, behavioural economics, and human evolutionary biology. My job title here at Research First is ‘Head of Insight’, but I’ve been lobbying to have it changed to ‘Chief Social Scientist’ for this very reason. It’s also important to note that these ideas from the social sciences shouldn’t just shape the work we do with our clients, but should also inform the way we approach our own practice. For instance, while it feels like you’re reasoning your way through your life, that’s rarely the case. Instead, all our brains are wired to take shortcuts, to be influenced by how things are framed, and be profoundly shaped by what others are doing. When we talk about knowing something, we really mean experiencing what the neurologist Robert Burton called a ‘feeling of knowing’. The challenge for all of us is to recognise this distinction, and to remember that we often respond to situations out of habit, unaware that habits have histories. But most of all, as Newton himself noted, we need to keep reminding ourselves that when it comes to human beings, ‘what we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean’.
Slice of Life:
Three ways in which
motherhood has made me a better researcher
by Ishita Mendonsa
Ishita is part of NeedScope International’s research team. She is passionate about inquiring into the human condition, and this year was a finalist for the Young Researcher of the Year Award. Ishita is also a past recipient of the Scholar of the Year Award by the International Journal of Diversity, and last year’s Pecha Kucha at the RANZ conference. Please feel free to email her with comments, inspiration or questions
I’m no stranger to hard work. During my bachelors and masters I worked three jobs to support my studies and career path. Somehow though, nothing quite compares to the rigour and grind of being a parent. The sheer complexity of life with a child, seemed at first, paradoxical to my own productivity. But I can see now the many ways that being a parent has added to my life. Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that one needs to have a child to be more productive at work or as a researcher. This piece is not about ‘leaning in’ to motherhood, gender quotes, workplace inequality or the glories/pitfalls of parenthood. After spending much too long fretting about my postnatal career prospects and pathways, it is clear to me, after becoming a mother, that I have changed as a researcher, for the better. Here is how. 1. Time: I now manage my time more efficiently. Most parents can rattle off the massive list of todos they have sorted out before they even get into the office. But this extends to every part of my day. With a 9 to 5 job, a young child, a mortgage and a partner, time is a very scarce commodity. This means that I have had to re-think and re-prioritise where I choose to focus my attention, and how much time I devote to certain things. So, while there may be a pile of unfolded laundry (or four), I am more present and focused on tasks at work to ensure that things get done in a timely and efficient manner. 2. Relating to others: The biggest insights I have had into identity formation, sense-making, patterns of attachment, decision-making and engagement with the world were derived after I had my daughter. I could understand how the pieces and blocks come together, and as a researcher, it’s helped me to better relate to the respondents I interview and the consumer issues I delve into. There also came an acceptance of the different perspectives of my colleagues, overarchingly allowing me to enhance my people skills. In short, empathy and perspective-taking are key markers of a good researcher, and I was able to better cultivate these through my parenthood journey.
3. Inspiration: I now feel inspired to be the best version of myself, to write better, to be a more honest researcher and to keep looking at the world with the same wonderment my child seems to have in her eyes. Every day I am inspired by the insights into human behaviour that I receive from my child, and this in turn fuels my inspiration into understanding human engagement and emotion. If you are still with me, you might be wondering why I have chosen to write such a personal piece â€“ especially when one might be used to the sociocultural fare that I have put out in this magazine in the past. It is because the land of being an ambitious young mother is a lonely space, one filled with self-doubt and worry.
And this might just help others who are curious about what this journey is like, or perhaps even other working parents, who need to see the glass half-full right now. I would be dishonest if I didnâ€™t admit that every day is a struggle. Keeping it together and trying to exceed my own expectations sometimes feel like a mammoth challenge. But the drive and determination that make me want to prove myself as a mother and a young researcher, burn more brightly than ever before. Most importantly, the curiosity I have for the human condition has deepened, and the awe and fascination with which I approach every consumer perspective feeds into deriving the critical insight when dealing with the many human problems we consider.
DATA VISUALISATION: THINK LIKE A MARKETER By Horst Feldhaeuser
Horst Feldhaeuser has recently presented at the Data Visualisation Forum in Auckland. We bring you a summary of his thoughts, insights and tips outlined in the presentation.
he data insights industry has a problem. It’s not our people. It’s not the quality of our work, nor the value of our insights. It’s our delivery.
As researchers, we are ninjas at finding insights. We rock research design, we know which techniques to bring to the table and how to avoid traps along the way. Our intricate, rigorously conducted research projects produce marvellous insights! But they often stall at the final hurdle and don’t make it across the line into the hearts and minds of decision-makers. Why? Because our slides of line charts (yes, we still see them far too often) are getting lost in a world of bold, impactful, digestible, actionable messages. That’s why we need to think like a marketer to get our stories across. When we get to reporting time, it is essential we swap our market researcher’s hat for a marketer’s hat. If we are insights ninjas, marketers are messaging ninjas. They have mastered the art of putting themselves in the shoes of their audiences. They use the right tools at the right time to get their message across. Infotools has been thinking about how best to communicate market research data to decisionmakers for the last 25 years.
We were among the first to deliver a visual tool for exploring market research data, and we’ve been improving on it ever since. Here’s what we’ve learned along the way. First, there are generally five levels of visualisation:
1. Static infographics 2. Infographics with links 3. Linked pages with multimedia – videos and audio and graphs 4. Interactive dashboards 5. Integrated analysis and visualisation tools While the first three demonstrate and communicate your insights, the latter two are designed to invite users to play and find further insights themselves. Some of the more generic tips when it comes to successful data visualisation are:
1. Challenge the norm, try something new (but only if it adds value, not just for the sake of it) 2. Understand your audience (what is it that drives their decisions?) 3. Make it clear – not cluttered (get to the point, but allow for further drill-downs) 4. Have an engagement factor (hook people in to find out more) 5. Make it memorable, credible and relatable (easy to understand, use and remember) 6. Watch out for tables with lots of numbers, standard formats and conventional graphics (unless they are the best way to communicate a specific insight to a specific audience) 7. Obtain ideas from colleagues and outside the business (never stop learning) 8. Gain audience feedback (do they understand your message?) 9. Relate data viz back to business results (how does this make your business more successful?)
The last point relates to our view that great data visualisation only matters when people use it. Business leaders are trying to make quick decisions, based on good information. If they donâ€™t engage with pages and pages of graphs and spreadsheets, none of us should be surprised by that. Ultimately, research is useless if the people who need to use the insights are put off by how the data is presented. Over the years we have seen some fantastic examples that really bring insights to life and actively drive business growth. Check out this example of an interactive website that allows you to learn everything you need to know about a millennial segmentation study conducted by Gongos Research https://millennialobserver.gongos.com/.
The research is already almost three years old, but the presentation still holds. Gongos Research takes its audience on a visual journey of the discoveries it made in the study. Itâ€™s engaging, and informative. Marketers think of their audience when they create their content. We should do the same. We believe that the future of data visualisation lies in integrated solutions that make data engaging, dynamic and easy-to-use â€“ because this is what supports business stakeholders in their dayto-day decision-making. And ultimately, this is where we deliver value as researchers and data visualisation experts.
Data Visualisation: Flashback By Duncan Stuart
ata visualisation remains a pretty hot area for
development, but hereâ€™s a
reminder that what we do isnâ€™t
entirely new. Below is an organisational chart for the New York & Erie Railroad company prepared in 1855.
It is a thing of beauty, with different
branches representing various railroad
lines, and each station represented as a
flourishing network of employees. This is around 80 years before the concept of organisational networks was even floated.
It’s a wrap.
The RANZ strategic direction unfolds. By Duncan Stuart
ver watch someone carefully unwrap a
take a design-led approach to the strategy work.
of the wrapping paper? The Sellotape
design lab and I’ll take the lead as facilitator on the
gift while trying to preserve the integrity is unpicked, methodically, as the room
of guests waits in anticipation. “Just rip it” says a
As part of the day, we are running it in a customer session.”
InterView asked Galina asked what outcomes
Unwrapping the new strategic direction for RANZ
proposed vision representing the essence of the
has for the past 15 months been a similar process – yet step by step the goal of a stronger more
vibrant RANZ is coming closer. The timeline so far: • Call for more inclusiveness and relevance at the 2017 AGM
• Late 2017 – establishment of a steering group
she envisages. “From this workshop will come a association for members overall. The outcome
will be a clear articulation of who our key member groups are, what their core needs or problems
are, and as an association, what we have to do to deliver to these members’ needs. Work done by the Steering Group to date will feed into this.”
resulting in a listening exercise including a
The options will - without doubt reflect high,
Galina stated at the 2018 AGM, we may have a
survey and dozens of face-to-face interviews • March 2018 - research presented to the board
• Strategy development workshop held, including input from 43 stakeholders
medium and lower budget assumptions. As
long wishlist, but sooner or later it also comes down to our funding model.
• ‘Pause’ button pressed for upcoming elections
But she says the first focus is on defining the core
alternatives are floated
in concrete as having to deliver - as the core of
and AGM 2018. Meanwhile, a number of
• Board composition changes as new board
members are elected. “Pause” button released
The acting Chairperson of the RANZ Board is well aware that the last six weeks have been quiet.
Says Galina Mitchelhill: “The first thing has been to get the new board members up to speed.
We believe we need to move forward at pace, and as a result have set August 30th aside to come
together as a board on the strategy. This day will
of what RANZ is about. “Some things we will lock the offering. Other things, where we have choice
on levels of delivery, or what we deliver, we’ll get feedback about the options.”
In her view, any issues of structural change or constitutional change will come after.
Or, to return to our metaphor: these are the last
bits of sticky tape. Patience, people. All is soon to be revealed.
What’s up to? By Jason Shoebridge
It’s been a big year for Kantar NZ. Would you call it your biggest yet? It was a very big year last year. Both agencies grew strongly with projects from new clients and increased work from existing clients, we moved into a new purpose built building, we grew our capability in areas such as big data analytics and Colmar Brunton was a finalist in ESOMAR’s global market research effectiveness awards in Amsterdam with a project for Inland Revenue.
We’ve seen a lot of press coverage, with your polls getting you lots of attention. Why is getting research into the media important? Last year our polling got a lot of attention, both as a result of the perceived polling failures in the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election and the fact that our polls were the catalyst for some major political change in New Zealand. It was therefore very pleasing to see how close we got to the actual result on polling day. As well as being important in and of themselves, the polls play a valuable role in exposing the market research industry to the general public and growing brand awareness, which in turn helps with things like encouraging
respondents to take part in research. Polling is a small part of what the market research industry does. It is important that we continue to grow a media presence that demonstrates the contribution the industry makes to New Zealand business and society across all areas. You’ve brought together two of NZ’s biggest research brands, Kantar TNS and Colmar Brunton, into one Auckland building. But you aren’t mixing the teams, who will continue to work independently, even competitively. How come? Both agencies have strong brands and loyal clients and we don’t want to change that by operating as one agency. Where it makes sense for the client, teams from agencies might collaborate. For example where both agencies work on separate parts of a client’s business or where one agency has intellectual property that the other agency’s client could benefit from, the agencies might collaborate but only with the client’s permission. In other situations the agencies compete with each other in the same way they compete with the other agencies in the market. It’s a special building too. Tell us about how the building won environmental awards, and why that matters. It is a 5-star green rated building. This was a bottom line in our search for new premises as it is consistent with our belief that business has
How would you describe what’s unique about your two agencies?
a major part to play in New Zealand meeting its sustainability commitments. Moving to a building like this we are able to make a contribution to that goal through our own actions such as saving energy as a result of more efficient airconditioning, providing our staff with end of trip facilities so they can choose to walk, run or cycle to work, and recycling and composting as much waste as possible. We have a suite of focus group rooms, equipped with the latest technology and able to be configured in a variety of ways, and a sensory kitchen for the sensory research Colmar Brunton undertakes. We want respondents to feel welcomed and comfortable so the facilities are conducive to generating great insight.
Both agencies combine the advantages that come from being part of a global network, in terms of being able to bring the latest thinking and technological investment to our New Zealand clients. Colmar Brunton has specialties in social research and sensory research, and is New Zealand’s most recognised market research agency. Kantar TNS does a lot of work with New Zealand’s largest exporters and export industries bringing its reach and understanding of overseas consumers to New Zealand businesses. Tell us about Kantar’s ambitions for 2019. Planning is already underway for 2019. Our ambition as always is to be insight provider of choice for our clients. To do this we will continue with initiatives around automation, to deliver insights quicker, use of alternative data sources, such as integrating transactional, social or search data, and building the expertise of our people.
You’re not only changing the space, but also the way you work in it. How has the transition to activity-based working been going? Activity-based working means that the space is designed so that we have different work areas that staff can use based on the type of activity they are doing. No one has an assigned desk, so it does involve hot desking. We made this decision because in our previous premises at any one time 20% of our desks were empty, with staff in meetings, out of the office or working from home. By having less desks we could free up space for other types of workspace. The transition has taken time as we have had to change our ways of working but I think we are now pretty well settled into the new building.
UPDATE from Wellington with Vince Galvin: Algorithmic transparency for Market research
By Vince Galvin
There is a lot going on across the government around issues to do with data governance in its widest sense. The data system leadership section of the Stats NZ website lists all the initiatives that cover a range of data governance issues as summarised below.
some concern was expressed publicly about a programme using predictive modelling in the Immigration Service, a range of activities were begun. The two main elements of the work have been a set of principles for safe and effective data and analytics and a stocktake of algorithmic work being done around the government.
Principles for the safe and effective use of data and analytics Background Guidance, oversight, and transparency are essential to fostering trust, confidence, and integrity around the use of data the government holds on behalf of New Zealanders. It’s important for Kiwis to understand how their personal data is used. These principles support safe and effective data and analytics. They will underpin the development of guidance to support government agencies on best practice for the use of data and analytics for decision-making. The principles were jointly developed by the Chief Government Data Steward and the Privacy Commissioner.
Deliver clear public benefit
Focus on people
Understand the limitations
The use of data and analytics must have clear benefits for New Zealanders. Data and data analytics are tools that support decision-making and it’s essential that in collecting and using public data, government agencies consider, and can demonstrate, positive public benefits.
Keep in mind the people behind the data and how to protect them against misuse of information. It‘s essential to consider the privacy and ethical implications of any analytical process that draws on data collected about people, as using data and analytics for decision-making can have real-life impacts.
Consider the methods used to protect personal identifying information and preserve the security of any output. Combining multiple anonymous datasets can re-identify individual people.
While data is a powerful tool, all analytical processes have inherent limitations in their ability to predict and describe outcomes. These limitations are sometimes not evenly distributed, meaning they can perpetuate or intensify poor outcomes for particular groups. An awareness of these limitations is essential when analysing data. Decision-makers must be fully informed.
considering the views of all relevant stakeholders
ensuring all associated policies and decisions have been evaluated for fairness and potential bias and have a solid grounding in law
Personal information should only be kept for as long as necessary.
embedding a te ao Māori perspective through a Treaty-based partnership approach.
Ensure data is fit for purpose Using the right data in the right context can substantially improve decision-making and analytical models, and will avoid generating potentially harmful outcomes. Decision-makers need to be aware of how data is collected and analysed, including the accuracy, precision, consistency, and completeness of data quality, and take special care when re-using data that was originally collected for another purpose. They should also be conscious of analytical models constructed to interpret data, and any automated decision-making occurring as part of this process. Ensuring data and analytical models are fit for purpose will help avoid risks like bias or discrimination.
Connect with us:
From my own discussions with Wellington RANZ members, I gather that there has been some interest and concern about the ‘rules of the game’ around public data issues. Each of the initiatives detailed here has a programme of work associated with them, so interested parties can follow up on things they find useful. In relation to algorithmic transparency, after
Transparency supports collaboration, partnership, and shared responsibility, and is essential for accountability. This includes ensuring New Zealanders know what data is held about them; how it’s kept secure; who has access to it; and how it’s used. Consultation with stakeholders and Māori as partners ensures manaakitanga (data users show mutual respect), and kaitiakitanga (New Zealanders are mindful of their responsibilities and the communities they source data from), by making sure all data uses are managed in a highly trusted, inclusive, and protected way. Data use and analytical processes should be well documented and in line with all relevant legislation, and state sector guidelines. Explanations of decisions – and the analytical activities behind them – should be in clear, simple, easy-to-understand language.
Developing data capability helps to create depth of understanding and implement the most useful data tools while keeping any limitations in mind. Regular assessments to check for bias and other harmful elements, and address any over-reliance on correlations, are essential in the development and operation of analytical processes. Feeding assessment outcomes back into the design of systems and processes can help ensure unfair or discriminatory outcomes aren’t generated.
Retain human oversight Analytical processes are a tool to inform human decision-making and should never entirely replace human oversight. Ensure significant decisions based on data involve human judgement and evaluation, and that automated decision-making processes are regularly reviewed to make sure they’re still fit for purpose. Decision-makers should approach analytical tools with an appropriate awareness of limitations of data quality and other sources of error. To ensure accountability, decisions based on analytical methods or automated processes affecting people should be openly disclosed, and appropriate review and feedback mechanisms developed to preserve fundamental rights and freedoms.
The above summary of the principles for safe and effective data and analytics was jointly released by Stats NZ and the Privacy Commissioner. The principles are formulated initially to guide the work of government agencies, but it would be great to see them used more widely. By reading through them you can get an idea of the sort of tensions that are being weighed in the balance. At the simplest level it’s all about trying to obtain considerable gains from automating processes while safeguarding against people being penalised for being in the ‘wrong category’, even though their own individual behaviour doesn’t justify it. They are broad principles of course, so we are always 26
interested in views as to what would make them more useful. The stocktake is a phased approach. The first phase is essentially 14 agencies undertaking a self-review of their practice. The expectation is that a report will be released in September, which will summarise what is being done in each agency.
Itâ€™s fair to say that agencies are operating with an active awareness of ethical issues, but the point has been made that the final lines of what is ethically acceptable are being decided separately in each agency at the moment, and there is more that could be done to increase the amount of learning from each other. I expect that you will find the descriptions of how predictive analytics techniques are being applied in the government informative.
RAEAWARDS 2018 Congratulations to all this year’s winners! RESEARCH NOW SSI Supreme Award Winner: The Thinking Studio and
Foodstuffs New Zealand Ltd “Using Customer Feedback to Drive Continuous Improvement”.
See the full list of winners and photos here.
Event Review: AMSRS Festival of Research Got to love it. While market and social researchers
where Big Data and social media have upended
self-doubt about where the research profession is
globally are busy redefining their roles in a world conventional ways of working, our Australian
colleagues held their annual conference on August 9th and 10th at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. Did I say a conference? Nah, mate – it was a
I half expected to see a programme full of
heading. Instead, speaker after speaker extolled the future of our field. Did the collective of top speakers converge on a single theme?
InterView caught up with Peter Harris, one of the
change. One common and really refreshing theme
attendees. Peter is EVP & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, of Vision Critical and before that, from 2007 to 2012 he served s as ASMRS National
President. Put simply, having dealt with hundreds of speakers and at least 20 conferences, he has
one of the broadest overviews of our profession. So Duncun Stuart asked him what’s different
The feeling was upbeat overall but a little
mixed depending on how comfortable you are with that came across was avenues to simply do what we
do better, more often. Better quality, better outcomes and better business decisions being made. This was mixed in with a good dose of beware, which often comes up at conferences. D.S. Any standouts?
in 2018. If you look at the ASMRS line-up for
experts – professionals who are driving the
Kodak moment’ where we as an industry bury our
the 2018 festival, you’ll see globally recognised direction of data science, survey research,
analytical technology and qualitative insight
generation. Guest speakers included Stephen
Scheeler, former Facebook CEO (Australia and NZ), futurist Chris Riddell, social network guru
Valdis Krebs, and Kristi Zhulke, CEO Founder of
Knowledgehound and active participant in WIRe – Women in Research. D.S.
How did the 2018 conference distinguish
itself from previous conferences?
P.H.. This year’s Festival of Research felt a little
more diverse than others. More diverse topics and speaker backgrounds amongst the 15 keynote
speakers and 50+ local industry presenters.There was also a good mix of simple basics that were
worth a reminder and new topics challenging the
Vanessa Oshima, a Tokyo-based Kiwi really
delivered a great presentation on ‘avoiding the
heads in the sand or freeze with concern and miss the big new opportunity in front of us. With all this
technology, blending of data and ability to go deep
with qual, our core professional skill floats to the top, the ability to layer on top of this information analysis and thinking skills that can lead to better decisionmaking. D.S.
So what are the big opportunities for the
From a technology perspective, we ran a live
profession, say, over the next five years?
technology market prediction exercise with seven
key tech leaders and then gave the crowd a chance to invest or sell in future technology. Generally the
punters at the AMSRS conference see video analysis technology and automation of reporting tools as
very likely to be successful in the future; however
AI, machine learning and blending data were
why can’t we get more people engaged?
These are the ‘tools’ that will support; however,
topic that they are interested in engaging with –
session – DIY 2.0 is coming and what we need
life so I don’t have to fit in with you! Make it easy
insight. This is the big opportunity for us IMHO as
humans at the heart of your research design?’ A
considered the best investment for the future.
We need to provide to a wider range of people a
as Ray Poynter noted in [the] ‘Madness of choice’
make the provision of feedback fit better into my
to be ready to layer on a human brain to create
for more people and a reminder of ‘are we putting
we navigate to demonstrate value.
good reminder and made me personally reflect on
for example, on a Saturday morning around a kitchen
What were two more standout
presentations for you? P.H.
There were the usual amount of really
the quality of thinking you can get running groups,
table when people may be fresh and comfortable vs. Thursday evening group rooms at 9:30pm. DS.
Every conference harbours a surprise – an
techniques, but the two papers that stood out for
aha! insight. What jumped out unexpectedly for you?
that spoke to our need for total market growth and
For me it was in this age of big data, how
clever papers about methodology and new
me this year were simple industry-relevant papers greater quality of information collection.
important deep qual is becoming. Holly Ransom,
‘The future of market research – the industry is
shift and highlighted the importance of making sure
Founder of Knowledgehound, based in Chicago.
there is a lot of good tech emerging to help us with
here in ANZ we are ahead in our thinking and
underestimating how good it is and how quickly
CEO of Emergent, spoke on the intergenerational
changing, are you?’ from Kristi Zhulke, CEO and
we touch, see and feel the WHY. On top of this,
It was a very US-centric view but showed that
the deep qual at scale; however, many people are
innovation but slow in terms of our adoption of
these new DIY 2.0 solutions will be available.
Kristi’s presentation was a vital reminder for all
some of the new tech coming out of the US.
Judging by the keynote messaged form
of how we collect information in this day and
the conference – how optimistic should a younger
consumer trends and how they are showing up
they be developing?
– for example, ends transforming ‘as consumers
on demand’ and as consumers, we want bite size,
Automation of reporting and software is taking away
quick bite-size answer to keep moving.
so there is more scope for good thinking, strong
The second standout for me was an interesting
story in the data and delivering it/communicating it in
– ‘How to put the market back into the heart of
with being able to think about business problems
each year 350,000 people participate in paid MR
blended qual/quant digital manner. If you can master
Australian population (including babies) come to
age and from whom. She showed six clear
in transformational Market Research and Insights
researcher be about their future? What skills should
Young researchers should be stoked and
we are moving from hours to finding out answers
excited to be part of the profession right now.
and often buyers of research services just need a
a lot of the tedious tasks many of us had to master, analysis and excellent storytelling. Both finding the
view from a little shop from Melbourne, Telmy
an impactful manner is a key skill to work on, along
MR’. They provided evidence that showed that
and understanding how MR can help solve these in a
in Australia – ‘that means only about 2% of the
these and are willing to work hard, the opportunities
research’, which is obviously a terrible fact. So
seconds with Melinda Gibbon
Melinda’s career in the insights industry spans nearly 20 years including owning her own consultancy. Prior to that she held senior marketing roles in major New Zealand corporates. She’s enjoying her current position as a Senior Strategy
Director for Big Picture. Living in Auckland with her husband, teenage daughter and 9 year old twins, family leisure time is spent getting outdoors and making the most of the great coastal walks the wider Auckland region has to offer.
Friday night drinks? Meet me at: Home! At my kitchen island bench with my lovely neighbours and a pinot noir in hand
The MR innovation I’m most excited about: The emerging consumer neuroscience techniques. I’m intrigued.
To relax, I: Go for a walk along Auckland’s beautiful waterfront My dream holiday: A safari with my husband and kids in Kenya is a longstanding dream I get stressed out by: The persistent juggle of being a busy working mum – but having a flexible and supportive employer really helps! People who have inspired me recently: Barbara Arrowsmith Young in her book The Woman Who Changed Her Brain - about overcoming her significant brain ‘deficits’ and developing cognitive therapies to help herself and others transform their lives. And my Dad – he always sees the glass half full and at 75 he participates in life wholeheartedly
My worst job was: Being a house cleaner. But it turned out to be good practice for raising three kids! The life lesson I wish I had learnt sooner rather than later: Just do it now. Later is often too late I love my life because: I have a lot to be grateful for - a loving husband, three great kids, supportive friends and family and smart colleagues I enjoy working with
The best thing I’ve learnt in my career is: Projects and roles will come and go, but it’s the true relationships with colleagues and clients that endure and are most rewarding
SAVE THE DATE
RANZ Membersâ€™ Christmas Social Christmas in the cosmos, with Wine, Cheese & Astronomy
Date: Thursday 29th November Time: 6pm Venue: Auckland Stardome Observatory & Planetarium
More details to be provided in the coming weeks.