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Market Research Analytics includes a wide range of quantitative analysis approaches used with data collected via primary research typically using surveys. The use of survey data with business analytics software can be challenging. The reason is that general purpose business intelligence software is designed to work with traditional transaction data such as sales dollars or units.

Part of the problem with survey data lies in some unique aspects of most all projects. These issues include the presence of large blocks of "multi-select" questions. These are questions that are stored in a database using one database column or variable for each possible selection. So if you had a survey that asked for the respondent to indicate each brand with which they are familiar then the database would need to provide a storage location for each possible choice. This causes large databases because many product categories can have many dozens of possible brands. (Think about a study of beer or some other type of beverage.)

The following is a list of key considerations that need to be considered when using Market Research data in a business intelligence software tool or using that same data in a market research analytics system:

  • Multi-Select Questions - As explained above, these create unique database storage and analysis requirements that are not typically handled effectively in general purpose analytical software.
  • Data Weighting - Often times the results of a survey need to be weighted to better represent the population that the researcher is attempting to extrapolate insights about. A good example of this would be a political survey where some small number of people are surveyed and an estimate is needed as to who would win an election. Weighting in this situation would require that different groups of people be weighted based on how likely they are to get out vote. So never mind that you have 100 survey respondents and 60 are men and 40 are women. If you expect 50% men and 50% women to equally go out and vote then your survey results need to be weighted to reflect that case.
  • Statistical Significance - Market researchers often require measurements to be shown with an indication of what is called, "significance". This is a technical statistical indicator that shows how likely a measurement is to be truly representative of the population or potentially a statistically aberration resulting from a small sample size or the high variability in the sample population as measured by standard deviation. Few general purpose tools will easily provide or accommodate this market research analytic.
  • Database Normalization - A more technical but critical aspect of using survey data for market research analytics is the problem that survey data is arranged with one record per survey respondent but all the variables arranged in that one row. This can be a real problem for most decision support and other database analysis approaches. Often times, the general purpose software will require the database to be either completely normalized or partially normalized. Normalization is transforming the structure of the data into a non flat file format but rather a "stacked" format where each row represents one question/ group of responses or even one response per row.

There are a range of other issues that can make the use of survey data difficult or cumbersome for use in your business intelligence, reporting, and market research analytics. Look to Appian Analytics for assistance with your particular challenge as we have deep experience in the market research space and have capabilities across the spectrum of potential needs:

  • Questionnaire Design - Advice and consultation on your survey questions.
  • Mobile Survey Data Collection - Experience in a wide variety of data collection methods using survey platforms for computer, phone, intercept, and other methods.
  • Mobile Survey Data Collection - Specialized capabilities collect survey data via any standard mobile device. This is an essential capability today as many surveys are taken on mobile devices such as phones and your survey needs to be designed with this aspect in mind.
  • Dashboards - Appian has a very deep experience base in dashboards and business intelligence software. We can help you deploy an easy to use but powerful dashboard to provide fast views to your survey data.
  • Survey Tabulation - A special market research analytics approach that involves generate large amounts of tables to use in uncovering insights in your data.
  • Process Automation - The market research process offers a range of tasks that can be automated and made more routine via software automation approaches. These include the gamut of fielding surveys, sending customized invitations, automated data acquisition, data processing, data cleaning, data conversion, database updates, email updates, dashboards and reporting.
  • Advanced Market Research Analytics - There are a range of advanced market research analytics that are highly specialized and can be provided as an outsourced service including conjoint analysis, marketing optimization, new product introduction, etc.

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