The Market Research Society (MRS) recently honored mTab with its ‘Best Data Solution’ Operational Excellence Award (affectionately known as “The Oppies”). According to the judges, ““mTab successfully developed an intuitive data marketplace for organisations who need data-driven decisions and strategies. The breadth of the solution is impressive with over 30,000 global datasets and the ability to create dynamic dashboards which has significant benefits allowing users to focus on testing hypotheses and exploring evidence and insights. The success of the approach was demonstrated by some good metrics and strong client testimonials. An innovative and elegant data solution which is a worthy award winner.”
We had a roundtable session with mTab leaders CEO, Mark Langsfeld, Chief Product Officer, Pawel Komorowski and Senior Strategic Advisor, Crispin Beale to discuss the keys to developing the best data solution and accomplishing this in today’s challenging markets.
Q: What does this award mean to the mTab organization?
Langsfeld: “We focus on developing innovation around market research and data management to align with the direction our clients are taking. So, while we don’t develop with awards in mind, it certainly serves as a great validation point for the solutions we deliver.”
Beale: “It also indicates that mTab remains at the forefront of customer insight and market research. A lot of times when a company is 35 years old it can be bypassed by startups, but we really look at ourselves with a startup frame of mind so we remain fast, nimble, innovative and customer-centric. Having MRS agree is a great testament to the passion and commitment of our team.”
Q: Given everything today, what is the state of market research today?
Komorowski: “This year a has really amplified the need for research to understand the customer and their frame of mind in today’s changing world. Research has become even more critical to many of our brands so they understand how trends are shifting so they can align with them in real-time.”
Langsfeld: “Exactly. The real-time nature of intelligence makes speed vital to the process. That hasn’t always been the case, but the world is changing so quickly that information can become obsolete in short order. So, getting it and using the insight requires a platform solution that can operate at the pace of business. mTab is focused on delivering on that mission.”
Q: What do you see as the most significant data challenge facing businesses today?
Langsfeld: “Engaging the customer in a manner they are comfortable with is a major concern for brands. I recently wrote an article for the Insights Association titled “Discovering the Five Ws of Data-Driven Insight” which reviews the who, what, where, why and when of customer understanding and motivation. Uncovering these ‘Ws’ are significantly more challenging for businesses given the shifting restrictions, attitudes and behaviors of customers. This is why reigning in dispersed data sources to gain clarity on the customer helps address this challenge.”
Beale: “A lot of the issues companies face are in understanding the data that is available, particularly from third party providers. There is a wealth of insight out there, but it is a full time job tracking it all down to understand the spectrum of reports and studies that can impact the business. Beyond this, it can be a major cost. So, we are already working to address this, so stay tuned.”
Q: What is the next step for market research in your view?
Beale: “The need for evidenced based decision making is becoming ever more critical. I discuss this in-depth in the Insights Association feature I wrote "The Evolution and Elevation of Evidence." We are already seeing Research and Insight functions within many clients get elevated since they are eyes on the market, or even the voice of truth So, I think we are entering a golden age for market research, which is exciting for our clients.
Komorowski: “I think you’ll also see an increased demand for democratization of data to a wider circle of departments and into the C-Suite as brands become increasingly focused on becoming customer-centric. Brands know that cultivating their base of users has never been more critical, so this will become of greater importance to teams across the company. So, having the right data intelligence solution will be vital.”
Langsfeld: “Beyond all this, as Crispin mentioned earlier, accessing a wider range of data will be essential to this customer-centricity. So, facilitating this access will be a focal point in the evolution of market research.
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