FEATURE24 December 2014

2014 Review: The biggest disappointments

From a wet summer to reaching ‘peak beard’, 2014 contained a number of disappointments. But what did the Research-live community pick out as their low points of the year?


Once again, the most hyped topics have been seen as the biggest disappointments. For the second year running, big data has been one of the most frequently mentioned disappointments among the review panel. The other is a topic that has also been discussed at large for the last few years: mobile.

“[The biggest disappointment has been] the anti-climax of big data. It has actually become lots of little data. This means that a company can freely use the best of breed supplier in the market and then centralise the reporting through data providers which is the way big data has always been reported.”Martin Filz, CEO, EMEA, Lightspeed GMI

“I am really tired of discussing mobile. I feel as though this has been a buzzword for too long. Mobile is a channel for conducting and responding to surveys. Like a PC, mobile is a means to view data. We’ve started to exploit the opportunities provided, certainly, and this is interesting, but mobile is no longer a method in and of itself.”Frederic Charles Petit, founder and chief executive, Toluna

Others felt that the industry’s failure to successfully exploit the opportunities of behavioural science was cause for consternation.

“I think that unlike the public sector, the possibilities of behavioural science have yet to be fully understood by many brands – There is often still hesitation about using behavioural science to properly inform strategy and caution about employing experimental rather than survey approaches. There is plenty going on but so much more is possible.” Colin Strong, head of industry, GfK

“The failure of most, to revolutionise consumer marketing and insight with behavioural psychology.”Zakaria Haeri, research development lead, dunnhumby

And finally…

Other nominations for biggest disappointment of the year were: the ongoing debate about which techniques/ disciplines are best; slow adoption; Twitter; and… Bill Cosby.

Check back on December 29 for the first of our 2015 preview articles, taking a look at our contributors thoughts on the biggest trends for the coming year. Merry Christmas!



9 years ago

Always interesting to see this kind of piece at the end of the year, as they often reflect the hype that people have bought into at the start of the year. Very astute point on mobile: from a research point of view, the conversation is simply around mobile as a survey and data delivery tool. And Big Data: it shouldn't really be a surprise that there hasn't been a seismic shift this year in data usage. It will happen, but organically!

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9 years ago

I'd like to know more about the possibilities of behavioural science and understand why Zakaria thinks behavioural psychology will revolutionise consumer marketing and insight. If anyone has links to other articles about it I'd be keen to read them.

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