Nebu Blog

Knocking on an open door

Your data collection system needs to be the open door

Knocking on an open door

Emile Bakker
Posted on 5 November 2013 in Data Collection
by Emile Bakker
4 min

I am knocking on an open door when I say that technology is constantly allowing us to change the way we work. But somehow I have the feeling that the data collection for Market Research Industry is trying very hard to ignore this. Let me list a number of developments I recently ran into which I expect to see emerging within the Market research sector.


Recently I enjoyed a presentation on the persuasion API. This tool allows websites to adapt their content in realtime to the profile of the user. And this profile can be built from any customer information considered valuable. In the web development industry this movement towards real time profiling and adapting presentation is seen as the next hot thing. I believe that, on building up these profiles, there is a possible strong role for the market research industry, or more simply, use persuasion techniques for getting the respondent to your research.


Another nice more futuristic development comes from a Japanese company called Neuroware. They have developed the Neurocam. This tool allows you to register emotions via brainwaves and register the things the user is actually looking at. Sounds like a great tool for market research. Imagine the potential for in-store research!

Continuous satisfaction

Another, less remote, thing I frequently get confronted with are continuous customer satisfaction surveys. Market research projects that actually result in dashboarded customer satisfaction metrics, used on a continuous basis by the end customer to adjust their service. Here market research plays a key role in a ‘Lean’ way of doing business. Actually, the Lean startup principles are all about continuous measuring and evaluating anything a business does. Integration with most MR tools, at this time, requires lots of excel macro’s and batch import and export runs.

Ehhh, the internet

The very basic elements, or should I say the commodity elements, of the Internet.. Facebook  and Google are offering great ways to reach respondents. Targeting specific groups, like English speaking males, in the age range of 25 to 34 in a radius of 15 km around Amsterdam, is a simple thing using their tools. Have not seen any other software company in MR offering this connectivity.

How about invites?

Today 48% of all mail is opened on mobile phones. (See Litmus blog) If you are not designing your invites with this in mind, and your are not optimising for mobile readability, you have lost a large part of your sample before you have actually reached them. Have not seen any MR software company offering you a simple possibility to have an adaptive design for your invitation mail.

Finally, just mix it all

I could continue endlessly.. but my my final example was published by 68% of the Analytics professionals are using a mix of structured and unstructured data to get customer insight. And this final example is the most obvious point I want to make.

All the examples above need connectivity with, and openness of, data collection systems in order to be used by market researchers.

Your data collection system should be the open door

And this is where I believe the market is failing. I see many competitors that still believe in the old container of a project: A survey that runs for a limited period, uses the traditional collection modes, and is presented post research in the common way. And most of our colleagues in the market have as their highest ambition to own this complete workflow from beginning till end.

This “trying to own workflow” result in a number of problems:

  • Limited openness of systems resulting in barriers to use an alternative, more suited reporting package or dialer for a specific project
  • Limited innovation. Since software companies in our business have limited resources they are unable to innovate on all elements of the workflow, resulting in outdated technology
  • Limitation of creativity of the Market researcher in trying new methods, modes or principles
  • A enormous lock in of the customer to a chosen system

So your data collection system needs to be the open door. Your system should allow you to link anything you want to use for sourcing your respondents, it should freely allow you to choose reporting or dashboarding functionality of any supplier you need for you project, it should allow you to link up any tool you can think of in order to optimise your response rate.

Openness is what we will offer you. All of our new product development at this moment is based upon this principle. So keep an eye on our open door or contact us directly to learn about what exactly you can expect from us.


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