The Benefits and Drawbacks of Automation in Market Research

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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Automation in Market Research

This year presents unique opportunities for the market research industry. As we mentioned in our predictions for Market Research in 2020, not only is data quality and quantity expected to grow, but automation is also set to rise. Together, these technologies can make market research today more accurate, less time-consuming, and even more efficient.

Regardless of size and industry, organizations today are becoming more data-driven, increasingly relying on the insights gleaned from data. So much so that forecasts by Maryville University reveal that the data analytics market will reach more than $95 billion by the end of the year. From banking and finance to government and professional services, data and analytics are becoming pivotal in keeping up with the constantly shifting markets.

But how can researchers deal with the explosion of data sources and ubiquity of engagement channels? They have to rely on automation, which can help manage and maximize opportunities in today’s markets. However, Globe Newswire reports that even marketers are divided on whether automation will benefit their organizations in the long run or not. So, understanding the pros and cons of automation will help market researchers make sense of the value of automation in tackling real-world industry problems.

The future of research

By now, it’s clear that automation is here to stay. From alerting organizations of market signals to gathering insights in customer data, market researchers can’t deal with the deluge of data without any degree of automation. Here are three ways automation is changing research:

By now, it’s clear that automation is here to stay. From alerting organizations of market signals to gathering insights in customer data, market researchers can’t deal with the deluge of data without any degree of automation. Here are three ways automation is changing research:

1. Improves accuracy

The explosion in the use of data from smartphones and personal devices has transformed market research from broad analysis to more granular market segmentation. The development of mobile tracking and analytics enables organizations to deliver better and more personalized services through accurate market insights.

2. Drives efficiency

Repetitive and menial tasks in market research have taken a back seat as automation takes over. Market researchers today have more time and resources in analyzing and refining research tools and extracting insights. For example, one key task that automation has radically changed is data visualization. With today’s software, you can easily visualize and communicate complex webs of data in half the time people did before automation.

3. Increases agility

With more accurate insights and efficient market analysis, organizations are more able to respond to market shifts. Real-time dashboards, for example, can be used to monitor specific market metrics that are vital to a business’ operations. Business leaders of big brands can now think and act with the agility of startups — making organizations more sensitive to the shifting conditions of their market.

Automation Challenges

While the adoption of increased automation in market research is high, some organizations remain adamant about adopting it, usually for these three reasons:

1. Possible job loss

Employees often fear that automation will take their jobs, and they’re not wrong. In fact, it’s not just the rank-and-file employees who should be concerned. A recent study by Stanford University economists found that market research analysts have the most overlaps with AI patents – which means they run the highest risk of losing their jobs to automation.

2. Risk of increased cost

Using automation software in market research is not cheap. Apart from the price tags of computer power, storage, and license fees, the competition for acquiring the required talent is becoming tighter. Most of the market research being done today requires data scientists who are in-demand and highly skilled — thus, requiring higher pay.

3. Loss of flexibility

Most automation software requires a certain level of rigidity and specificity in workflows. While this is changing today with the increased use of AI, it’s a risk that market researchers should be aware of.

4. User challenges

There is a chance that automation can cause user-error if one isn’t careful with new technologies. Organizations need to ensure they have proper quality assurance implemented to ensure no problems occur. 

The Bottom Line

While there are certain risks and disadvantages involved, the amount of benefits the industry and their clients reap from automation is staggering. To overcome these challenges, industries adopting automation must realize the benefit of blending human and artificial intelligence in market research. Market research automation can’t function as niche or siloed solutions, but as an integrated end-to-end platform approach — combining technological advancement and human resourcefulness.

This guest blog was written by Andrea White.