A Q&A with Karampreet Sandhu, Ri’s Business Intelligence Specialist
Earlier this year, our CEO Kylie Wright-Ford spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. At Ri, diversity and inclusion is a critical component of our values and part of what our data proves is helpful to our clients when earning better business results.
This is why it was natural for us to partner with Women in Research (WIRe) as city sponsors for Boston- and London-based events. WIRe’s mission is “to advance the contributions and voice of women in research, both for themselves and for the greater good of the industry.”
Our own Karampreet Sandhu, a Business Intelligence Specialist, presented as part of WIRE’s most recent event in Boston held at Chadwick Martin Bailey’s office in Boston’s Financial District.
As a researcher at Ri, I sat down with Karam to learn more about her work on technology in market research and how she and I can work better together to adapt to industry trends. I’ve also included links to the tech she likes best in case you’d like to explore those tools for yourself.
Q: What technology do you use on a regular basis to get your job done?
A: As a Business Intelligence Specialist I mostly work with tools like Sisense for creating data visualizations and building dashboards. I also rely on database tools like Redshift, SQL Workbench, AWS technologies like EC2 for computing, and S3 for storage. I use JIRA and Slack for project management while agile methodologies guide our tech sprints at Reputation Institute.
Q: When thinking about all the different technologies that are emerging in the market research space, which do you find most intriguing, even if it's not the one you're currently using?
A: I prefer to integrate multiple data sources. Companies like MESH provide tools that deliver real-time tracking of consumer behavior. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way market researchers are exploring the data.
Q: Some people are concerned that automation in our industry is going to lead to the demise of the researcher role. Do you agree?
A. I do not agree.
If we don’t apply good theories to data, good decision-making will become extremely difficult.
What do they like? What is that they need? These questions can only be answered by market researchers. Technology helps build better tools and streamline processes for researchers, helping them improve speed, accuracy and efficiency. I believe tech and researchers together can achieve far more by leveraging artificial intelligence and augmented reality to provide faster and smarter business insights to clients.
Q: What's one technology you think market researchers should be using more often?
A: It’s not so much about using one technology, but collecting information from different data sources to get a valuable and integrative view of today's consumer. Being consumer-centric will always be the best approach, regardless of the technology used.
Q: How do you think technology can have the greatest impact on the market research industry going forward?
A: The most immediate need for the industry are more technologically-focused solutions that analyzes qualitative data, a process that is now predominantly manual. Modern tools and software can collect consumer insights and grab both the consumer and the researcher’s attention at the same time. Researchers have adopted technology to improve ways of collecting and presenting data. There has already been significant progress in terms of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, neuroscience integrations, among other things. I think this is the space to watch for the most imminent change.
Coming years will witness the growth of technology and how it collates valuable data helping brands and companies to understand and connect with their customers even better.