FEATURE1 June 2009

If there’s one thing I've learnt... Doug Edmonds


Careers advice from research practitioners. This month: Doug Edmonds, UK managing director, 2CV Research.


The best advice I got was… do simple things well.

The worst advice I got was… to start a PhD.

You know when you’re doing well when… clients ask you for advice.

Don’t overestimate… people’s love of numbers and data. It’s always less then you imagine and we have spent ten years humanising quant research as a result.

Don’t underestimate… using different sources to find out what’s really going on. Be it quantitative research, qualitative, analytics or web usage data, the more sources used the greater the chance of finding patterns that straightforward analysis would miss. However, using multiple sources must not get in the way of timeliness, especially as timelines tend to shrink in these tough economic conditions.

If I hadn’t been a researcher… I would still be an engineer, an expert at drilling gas flow holes in combustion chambers of jet engines.

One moment in my career I’ll never forget is… when I realised that the advertising business had no room for numerate planners and I switched to quantitative research – which has plenty of room for us.

You must read… Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Luck, randomness and noise can get in the way of finding the real story. This book is a timely reminder to think outside of what we do.

Young researchers should… learn the rules and then learn how to break them.

If this industry could only… spend more time seeing things from other people’s perspectives, and learn how to integrate the disciplines of qualitative and quantitative research. The world would be a dull place if either side dominated, but the way the industry works in silos tends to force agencies to nurture one skill over another. We’re in danger of fostering a talented workforce who are all blind in one eye.

One day I hope to… have helped 2CV build an international network to rival Kantar.

My career… Plenty done, still plenty to do.


1 Comment

15 years ago

Here's another thing for you to learn; there's no such word as "learnt". So maybe you should not have bypassed that chance for higher education.

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