Monday, May 19, 2014

Eleven Great Take-Aways from #FOCI14

How to distill so many talks into a few great points... Well, how about

1. Privacy: I normally think about privacy in one way: Don't touch my data. Today's talk made me think about privacy just a little bit differently. Is privacy less about "don't touch my stuff" and more about "I will determine when and where my stuff is available" - Hacking Happinesss by John Havens

2. Name Calling: Over the last couple of weeks, I've made a very conscious effort to not use the word 'consumer' wherever possible. If I absolutely must say consumer, perhaps in case to distinguish them from researchers, then I'll go with the word responder or participant. Try it. You will see that it's really hard to make that switch. It was really nice to hear someone else make this same very important point. -  Hacking Happinesss by John Havens

I've made a very conscious effort to not use the word 'consumer'


3. Innovation: I heard today that most people learn about innovation from their colleagues. I was a little disappointed to hear this. It means that researchers aren't researching, they aren't seeking out knowledge, or looking for new techniques of improving how they do their work. Have researchers lost their passion for research? Why aren't we actively seeking out this knowledge? -  Progress in Adoption of Innovations for Consumer Intelligence by William MacElroy

4. Meet: Have every team, from marketing to PR to product to research, meet once a year to discuss all the research findings. This is such a great idea and I wonder how many companies actually do it. Admittedly, it would take a lot of effort to pull together all the reports and go through them one more time in preparation for a meeting. But imagine how much time and money it would save by avoiding the launch of new research projects that could have been done with data that was already in house! - Award-Winning, Top-Tier Research on a Budget! by Marc Harwitz and Kimberly Cason

5. Unobtrusive measures: Social sciences have been using unobtrusive research methods for decades. There are hundreds of textbooks on these methods in sociology, psychology, anthropology and more. These methods are fabulous for hypothesis generation so why doesn't marketing research use them more often? Why don't YOU use them more often. - Building a Social Spine in Tracking Research by Larry Friedman

6. Representativeness: I personally don't care how representative your panel or your sample or your survey is. The only thing I care about is predictability. If you can reliably and consistently predict the future, then go ahead and do it. I won't criticize your methodology one little bit. - Building a Social Spine in Tracking Research by Larry Friedman

 If you can reliably and consistently predict the future, then go ahead and do it. I won't criticize your methodology one little bit


7. Imputing: Imputing data is fun. Okay, okay, I was just a little geeked out in this session which described a few different ways of imputing data after modularizing a survey. Shorter is better when it comes to mobile surveys and you don't need to fret about missing data from people who only answered half a survey. - A “How-To” Session on Modularizing a Live Survey for Mobile Optimization by Chris Neal and Roddy
Knowles

8. Hypothesize: This is a problem I see all the time. We need to do a lot better job of defining and detailing our hypotheses prior to beginning our research. This will save you time and money as you can ensure that your project stays on target and answers the questions you truly need answered. - A Unique Approach to Maximizing the Value of Exploratory Research by Gareth Schweitzer

9. Be Wrong: It's okay to be wrong. It's not embarrassing to be wrong. Mistakes made early on are mistakes not actioned on. And consequently, time and money saved. Not everyone likes to make little  mistakes but everyone loves to avoid huge mistakes and save money! - What’s Your Hypothesis? A Unique Approach to Maximizing the Value of Exploratory Research by Gareth Schweitzer

Not everyone likes to make little  mistakes but everyone loves to avoid huge mistakes and save money


10. Money: And since the previous notes have identified just how important money is, if money determines your methodology, then you are sacrificing something. So, first identify your hypotheses. Sit down with a piece of paper (paper? okay, okay, tablet) and carefully write out your hypotheses. That will then determine what methodology is most suitable. Use the right method and your money will be used wisely. - What’s Your Hypothesis? A Unique Approach to Maximizing the Value of Exploratory Research by Gareth Schweitzer

11. DIY: DIY tools are awesome. They truly are. They can do so much more and so much better than they used to. If you want to criticize something, criticize cases where the people using the tools are unskilled and don't have the expertise to use the tools properly. Remember, client side researchers are often just as skilled as you are. Indeed, many of them are MORE skilled than you are. Have respect for the ultra-skilled DIY researcher. - Jack Be Nimble: Faster & Richer Insights Through Insourcing by Richard Shakarchi




Annie Pettit, PhD is the Chief Research Officer at Peanut Labs, a company specializing in self-serve panel sample. Annie is a methodologist focused on data quality, listening research, and survey methods. She won Best Methodological Paper at Esomar 2013, and the 2011 AMA David K. Hardin Award. Annie tweets at @LoveStats and can be reached at annie@peanutlabs.com.

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