You can learn a lot from observation. It’s an undervalued approach to research in my opinion. And where better to observe others than while travelling on a train? It’s almost unavoidable.
In the build up to the Iraq war of 2003, Donald Rumsfeld famously said:
“There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know.
The ‘internet of things’ is rapidly gaining momentum in the modern digital lexicon and represents the expansion of the internet beyond browsers, phones, tablets, and glasses, and into refrigerators, toilets, food packaging and just about anything you can shove a microchip into.
It’s been another bad week for economic forecasting in the United Kingdom as the latest tranche of GDP figures include a series of revisions dating back over most of 2012. As a result of these corrections the “double dip recession” which dominated press coverage a year ago has now almost been revised away.
I have spent the last two days at the Innovation Enterprise Big Data conference. At first I felt overwhelmed by the barrage of new terminology and acronyms – Hadoop, Hive, Storm, Map Reduce, ETL, distributed nodes, polyglot infrastructure…I could go on.
As Martin detailed previously, it’s great to see how Canon are fuelling their PR with relevant, well researched insight into their markets.
Another example of where sharing research can really stimulate commercial relationships is when we support our clients in negotiations with trading partners.
One of the most frustrating things about being a market researcher is that often we can’t tell other people the details of the work we do. Findings, data and sometimes the methods themselves can be bound in secrecy by client confidentiality agreements and contractual obligations.
One of the key concepts within behavioural economics is that we humans have two distinct ways of making decisions. System 1 is quick, intuitive and based on instinctual emotional responses that can act below the level of consciousness. System 2 is slower, deliberative, based on rational and conscious thought processes.
Conference speakers! Loads of you have talked to me in the last 12 months. And I have (mostly) listened. I’ve been intrigued and inspired by what some of you, elsewhere in research-land, are doing. I’ve enjoyed talking further with many of you afterwards in the queue for coffee.