FEATURE22 April 2024

Mastering the wave: How to future-proof the insight sector

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The influence of artificial intelligence is rising. Katie Jacobs reports on the interplay of researchers and technology, and how practitioners can avoid the drift and become masters of the new insights paradigm.

person surfing on wave

For Clare Michelmore, UK insights lead at FMCG giant Kimberly-Clark, it all started when someone showed her how ChatGPT could be used to write silly poems. Since then, she’s gone from limericks to complex research applications, using generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools to transform the way she works – and she’s excited about the future potential of such technology.

“Insights is one of the best industries [for these tools] because there are so many good, interesting applications, ” she enthuses, name-checking techniques such as eye tracking (for which AI has a close correlation with humans, she notes), qualitative probing (where generative AI follows up on open-ended questions with research participants, generating in-depth answers) and assistance with question writing (taking away some of the mental load) as particularly useful in her experimentation journey so far.

As Michelmore’s story demonstrates, generative AI is already having a profound impact on how many insight professionals are working. The sector is ripe for disruption, with the potential of these ...