I am sometimes shocked to see how inefficiently some market research data processing tasks are carried out. Every business has some inefficiencies….

Data storage is cheap and data collection is cheaper. This means that there is less effort to control the amount that is collected. The result is that when data is output from survey software programs, the record length may be extraordinarily long usually due to the amount text that has been collected. For most surveys, this will not be a problem, so you only need to be concerned with this for exceptional projects.

There’s more data every year and more information to report and digest. The need for being able to merge data together so that it is in one place is increasing all the time and, arguably, has become a necessity. Users of data frequently complain that they know the information is available but it can take too long to retrieve or utilise.

Let’s pretend you’re a Gold Card holder of a hotel chain and travel on business around Europe regularly. You’ve used the hotel chain for years and just book into their hotel wherever you travel…

You are about to buy some new software for market research and the last thing on your mind is what you will do if you want to change software. In my view, it should be one of your prime considerations. Things change. Needs change. Will you be able to transfer your projects to another platform if things don’t work out or something changes in the years ahead?

If you have data that you want to track over time, handling the analysis and reporting efficiently, is going to be important. Tracking studies are used in market research, marketing and other fields measuring performance. It is crucial that an efficient system in is place to handle the analysis and reporting of a tracking study. A poorly organised tracking study may take as much as 20 times as much staff time to carry out as a well organised study.

Like a lot of computer-based tasks, data analysis and tabulations from market research surveys can be easy in many cases, but exponentially more time-consuming when things become more complex…

If you are handling a market research project that is being conducted in more than one country, you are not only likely to encounter language issues and dealing with many stakeholders, but the issue of managing data is probably an important consideration.

I’m not obsessed with buying shoes – far from it, but I’ve a pair of shoes for when I am around the house, a pair of shoes for casual wear, a pair for work, a pair for meeting friends, a pair for walking, a pair climbing over rough terrain etc. etc. Similarly with software, you need different “pairs of shoes”.