Market research isn’t just a good idea or a ‘nice to have’ in business. It’s become a key driver of successful marketing, product development, and corporate strategy. The overall size of the market research industry reflects this importance, with a total industry size of $20B in the U.S. alone; however, company research budgets have been stagnant over the past five years. Additionally, research budgets are projected to remain fairly stagnant in the coming years, with a meager 1 percent annual growth expected through 2022 (see IBISWorld Industry Report 54191 Market Research in the US).
Given the growing importance of customer experience, net promoter scores, and customer insights, the challenge for research and insights departments is to generate more actionable insights with the same or even less of a research budget. One strategic move organizations can make to extend their research budgets is to eliminate duplicative research.
Duplicative Research is a Widespread Problem
Duplicative research refers to conducting or purchasing research to gather data and insights that your company has already obtained through previous research. This may seem like something that wouldn’t happen in a company that is budget conscious, but it occurs more frequently than you might think and costs organizations dearly.
One of the main reasons companies spend money on duplicative research is due to a disconnect across departments when it comes to storing their data. Each department may have their own data silo, filled with data they’ve collected for their own needs. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that research is increasingly being purchased in various departments across an entire organization. Let’s take a look at an example of this from one of mTAB’s automotive clients:
This table shows that at this company, 51 different departments access research data through mTAB. The variety of departments represented on this table illustrates how data silos can be formed within an organization. In this example, the Customer Insights and Marketing departments likely analyze buyer / rejector studies, Manufacturing and Engineering analyze quality studies, Dealership departments analyze satisfaction studies, and Planning & Strategy analyze all of the above. Without a centralized way of storing all this data, individual departments tend to be unaware of datasets that already exist within the company. This lack of transparency leads to duplicative research being purchased, and a significant portion of research budgets being wasted—up to 15% per year according to mTAB’s clients.
A Research Data Warehouse is the Solution
Instead of storing data in silos in various departments or on individuals’ computer hard drives, a research data warehouse brings all company data together in a single, centralized database to which the entire company can have access.
A research data warehouse takes research information from various formats (e.g., SPSS, ASCII, Excel, .txt) and creates a new layer that is optimized for analytics and visualization. In fact, the main aim of a research data warehouse is to gather data from a variety of different sources and prepare it for analytical use.
A research data warehouse eliminates duplicative research spend because it allows users to search across hundreds, if not thousands of research studies and instantly take stock of the entire catalog of research. A research data warehouse also empowers users to filter data, run reports, and create custom visualizations with speed and ease.
A prime example of the efficiency that comes from a research data warehouse comes from the example automotive company provided above. After adopting a centralized data warehouse, the company eliminated hundreds of thousands of dollars per year spent on duplicative research. Additionally, the company democratized its full portfolio of research data to over 200 users across 51 departments.
Just as market research and customer insights have become a vital tool for guiding the direction of your business, storing that research and insights in a data warehouse has become an essential way to maximize your research budget.