OPINION20 February 2015

Dutch diary: IIeX Europe day 2


On a bright, sunny Thursday in Amsterdam, day two of IIeX 2015 has been a day where research’s role in a data-rich world has been a core theme. 

Scott Miller of Vision Critical looked at the unfulfilled promise of big data, and its limitations to answer the question ‘why’. Highlighting the prediction that more data will be produced over the next nine months than will have been produced in the history of the world, Scott’s view was that the role of research in this kind of data-rich world is not to make more noise adding to the load; it is to provide understanding and context to the data.

Ratko Mutavdži? from PROJEKTURA, offered a slightly different vision on big data, looking from the perspective of Open Data. According to Ratko, using Open Data for social good requires refining the big data sets to a core 1%; the 1% that is actionable data that can make a true social impact.

In the afternoon it was time to consider society’s view of data, particularly in terms of privacy concerns. Andrew Cannon, the executive director of the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) led a session presenting the results of GRBN’s global Trust and Personal Data report, produced in partnership with Research Now.

It followed with an interactive session during which delegates were challenged to seize the day and come up with some solutions to restoring and building public trust.  Ideas included enabling participants to become stakeholders in the process, strategic partners who are at the centre of discussions like clients, as opposed to being on the periphery. The overall message was about giving greater control to customers, citizens and participants; without ceding control, trust can never be regained.

Next up was a Future of Research session, chaired by Andrew Cannon, with Bart Nauta from TNS Netherlands and representing the Dutch association MOA and Jan Zwang from Vodafone. I also took part, on behalf of the Market Research Society and European Research Federation, EFAMRO. We shared our different perspectives of the future, with Bart looking at what associations need to do and Jan giving his view as a client. I looked at how people’s attitudes to their privacy and data is changing, and what businesses will need to do to respond to this. 

During the panel discussions and questions from the floor, time and again it came back to the education of researchers – how to train and enable researchers to get to the heart of issues and to answer the ‘why’. So I feel I have come full circle by the end of the conference. Back on the train on my way to the airport, and again outside the window was the graffiti that caught my eye on the first day. Still asking starkly ‘why’; after two days at IIeX there are still lots of questions, but I feel that some answers have been given over the past two days of the conference.


1 Comment

8 years ago

The parallel track in Upper A was equally informative and exciting. Corrinne Moy from GfK talked about how Big Data can be used to enhance survey analytics. Felix Winkler talked about the Opinion Graph as opposed to the social graph. Leigh Caldwell talked about the anatomy of a survey question. Also the qual hackathon was a third track that was facilitated solving real client issues in the process.

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