Insights Industry Warned of Skills Shortage


Market Research and Customer Insight professionals are being advised to start recruiting and training staff with new skills essential to meet a global shift from traditional research to new techniques such as automation, AI and analytics.

Marketing scientists, Chatbot designers and even filmmakers, editors and artists will be needed to cater for the growth of the new research methods transforming the traditional research industry here and internationally.

These key trends and the forces shaping the industry have been outlined by industry experts at Confirmit’s Market Research, Customer Experience and Insight summit in Sydney.

The Confirmit Journey to Insight Rock Stardom Summit had speakers from Forrester, Wyndham Destinations, Roy Morgan Research, Enhance Research, and NewMR who drew together traditional Market Researchers, corporate researchers and customer insight and experience teams to share ideas, experiences and challenges.

Sue York, author, research strategist and a founder of the online knowledge network NewMR, told the Confirmit Summit the growth of traditional or question-based research was stalled but there was a boom in analytics, automation and AI that was changing the type of people working in the industry.

This huge change would continue with fewer people needed for traditional jobs such as interviewing and data entry, and more people needed to do data science, marketing science and analytics.

Filmmakers, editors and artists would also be in demand as storytellers transforming insights into a form that clients could understand and use throughout their business.

But those new skills come at a cost at a time when research budgets were trending down

Enhance Research CEO George Zdanowicz said globally there continued to be pressure on research industry revenue due to cost pressures and more competition from other consultancy, analytics and technology organizations.

But he said helping clients with the evolution from simple collection of research data to using customer insight as a source of competitive advantage provided opportunities.

“There is a recognition at the most senior levels of organizations that insights are critical and that there are now more sources of relevant data from which to distil those insights than ever before.”

“Using our expertise to help clients shift their organizations from considering the insights function as a cost centrer to regarding it as something that is driving and fuelling the growth engine, that is a source of competitive advantage is a source of significant opportunity for the research industry.”

Andrew Farries, Director of CX Consulting at Confirmit closed the event which was attended by over 100 Australia-based insights professionals, by highlighting the importance of using insight from CX and research programs to do the right thing by customers.

“Things feel like they are happening very quickly in the CX and insights space at the moment” said Farries. “The customer has well and truly arrived on the business agenda, and insights professionals are in a great position to drive change that benefits both their customers and their businesses.

“One of the critical tasks for insights teams is to avoid becoming simply a dashboard-generation function. They need to focus on delivering evidence based actionable recommendations that enables businesses to make more informed decisions.”

“Done right, insights can unite people around the organization through creating a sense of shared purpose and ownership over the business outcomes”.