QUAL360 Presentation Highlights: Panel Discussion – Navigating research uncertainties with a limited budget

The panelists, all experts in the insights industry, emphasize the importance of leveraging existing knowledge, using technology, and social study to improve their research outcomes. They also discuss the challenges of working with limited data and the need for transparency and flexibility in their approach. The video highlights the importance of prioritizing research based on its potential impact on the organization and also discusses the importance of working with agency partners to allocate resources efficiently and effectively.

Video transcript below (This is an AI generated summary. There may be inaccuracies.)

The panel discusses the future of research with a limited budget, where organisations continuously commission research but the budgets are not increasing or are staying stable. The panellists are excited about the aspects of study that continuously evolve and about exploring new technology, methodologies, and using AI in their projects, but what makes them most excited is their role in helping businesses integrate their research into their strategies and collaborate with different departments. They all share some experience and background in the analysis and insights industry and are constantly searching for innovative ways to position insights within their organisations.

The panellists discuss the importance of leveraging existing knowledge as an organisation, particularly in large organisations where work is dispersed across multiple departments. They emphasise the importance of open culture, data sharing, and the translation of information to create insights that can be used to solve pain points and improve the customer experience. The panellists also discuss the benefits of using technology to mine information and create an end-to-end model, which can help reduce research budgets. They also mention the importance of social studies and external data sets for staying updated on market trends. Finally, they touch on the philosophy of Jingy, which involves making sure that insights are accessible to everyone in the organisation.

The participants discuss the challenge of using old information for new business questions and how to tap into the insights and skills of the organization. Consolidated information management can provide a single point of view for each topic, making it easier to understand and a reference for future use. Shabanu spoke about the behavioural signs and tenses that are commonly available and how they can be reused, finding applications that are relevant to the business and the business question. The next discussion revolves around the prioritisation of research needs for the next year, where the key considerations should be aligned with business goals and a seat at the table of goal discussions. The criteria for prioritisation could include immediate tactical projects versus long-term strategic views and commercial or business value. There is also the need to strike a balance between the short and long-term gains of research investment in the innovation process.

The discussion focuses on the role of an analysis compass in directing the best approach for an organisation’s research budget. The discussion emphasises the importance of being adaptable to the changing research landscape and being aware of the benefits of both cookie-cutter and system-one approaches. The group agrees that prioritising research based on its potential impact on organisational strategy is crucial for achieving cutting-edge insights.

The panel discusses the importance of working with limited budgets for research and making decisions based on imperfect data. The speakers agree that transparency is important and share the need for open communication with stakeholders regarding the limitations of data. They also discuss the importance of testing hypotheses and updating them as new information is obtained. The speakers suggest that making predictions based on available data is often a futile exercise and stress the importance of understanding that the data may not be perfect or a complete representation of the situation. The speakers emphasise the need to work with what data is available, form hypotheses, and continue to test and validate them as new information is obtained. They also acknowledge that imperfect data may never best fit an organisation and that there may always be a need for insights professionals to explain the importance of data and convince the organisation of its relevance.

They highlight the challenges of conducting research on a limited budget and emphasise the need to utilise resources more effectively. It is pointed out that some measurements are flawed and that removing the “shaft from the wheat” is important in order to effectively use the data. The discussion then turns to the importance of being curious and having a growth mindset in order to continuously improve outcomes, both personally and as an organization. The analysis function is seen as the closest to the ground and advocates for users and customers. In this context, it is suggested that research professionals should not be afraid to share their point of view in full transparency and share that they don’t have all the pieces of information, but from what they do know, this is their point of view and what they should be fixing for their users.

In this section of the panel discussion on budgeting and navigating research uncertainties, the speaker emphasises the importance of paying for premium agency services. According to the speaker, industry and the empowerment of individuals are the primary drivers of study in this field. When businesses seek to experiment with new approaches, they must allocate more funds to agency partners, and those investments lead to better talent working at the agency. Furthermore, the speaker emphasises the role of experimentation and test-and-learn innovation in resource allocation, especially when testing is uncertain. However, Shuba, one of the panellists, draws attention to a problem that strategic partners with research agencies face. She observes that actors such as creative heads and strategic planners tend to prioritise sharing knowledge with advertising agencies over analysis itself. This dynamic can lead to an insufficient allocation of resources, ultimately affecting the actionability of insights. Shuba proposes that insights professionals facilitate a relationship between agencies and creative partners, thereby ensuring that creative freedom and insight integrity are maintained. Essentially, the speaker and Shuba both contend that the relationships between partners and strategic partners in the advertising industry should be more collaborative and insight-focused to ensure that resource allocation is efficient, effective, and leads to successful business outcomes.

The panel discusses the importance of strategic partnerships in navigating research uncertainties with a limited budget. The creative agency partner can bring valuable insights to the project, leading to stronger discussion and improved decision-making. The insights team should also be involved in the discussion and potentially work closely with creative partners. It is important.

The panellists discuss the importance of aligning study efforts and budgets with the key focus of the year. They suggest a partnership approach as a solution to navigate analysis uncertainties, where agencies work with partners and prioritise what is important to them. By working together and crafting solutions, they believe that this is the best way to go.

In summary, through the panel discussion, we were able to understand that the importance of leveraging existing knowledge and technology within organisations is paramount. This approach not only enhances research outcomes but also ensures the efficient use of resources. Secondly, the challenges posed by limited data and budgets necessitate a transparent and flexible approach, emphasising the need for continuous hypothesis testing and adaptation. Strategic partnerships, particularly between research agencies and creative partners, play a crucial role in effective resource allocation and maintaining a balance between creative freedom and insight integrity. Furthermore, prioritising study needs in alignment with organisational strategy while balancing short-term and long-term investments is crucial for achieving innovative insights.
Lastly, the future of research in the context of stable budgets is exciting, with opportunities to explore new technologies, methodologies, and the integration of AI. This panel discussion has highlighted that, despite budget constraints, there are innovative ways to drive impactful research, underscoring the evolving nature of the industry and the continuous pursuit of improvement and integration within business strategies.

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Elaine Tham

Elaine Tham brings a decade of experience in the Event Management and Digital Marketing industry. Throughout her career, Elaine has held marketing roles in various sectors including Marketplace, FMCG and Services. Presently, Elaine serves as the Marketing Manager at Merlien Institute, overseeing all marketing activities and media partnerships.

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