By Manoj Madhusudanan, Managing Director of InsightBee

The way in which businesses conduct market research has changed dramatically in recent years. In the post-recession marketplace, gathering intelligence to support your business development plans in a timely and cost effective manner has quickly become the key to helping businesses win new client’s and enter new markets. As a result, there has been a shift from merely sourcing information to producing useful insights from it.

In 2008, at the height of the global recession, it was projected that by 2015 the internet would be at least 50 times larger than it was in 2006. For businesses, this led to a gradual change in the way that market research was valued. As the volume of data available online began to expand at an exponential rate, being able to derive actionable business insights from it – rather than simply sourcing relevant information – became the new challenge.

Insight Crisis report

Despite this, some businesses are still finding it difficult to make this transition. According to a study conducted by InsightBee, companies in the UK now waste over £14 billion a year on research that does not yield effective business insights. The study, known as the Insight Crisis report, looked at the amount of time and money businesses in the UK spend on sourcing unproductive research each year.

Most firms already know that they need to look beyond their own internal data to gain the greatest business insights. However, according to the Insight Crisis report, more than one billion hours are lost each year to the sourcing of ineffective research.

The problem is that many businesses still believe that drawing on large sets of data is the only way to source business insights. As a result, many firms have begun investing time and money into big data analytics before making full use of the information already available to them. This has led to an incredible increase in the amount of capital invested into big data.

Recent research revealed that as of 2014 2.8 zettabytes of data is generated each year and replicated worldwide.

Research is an unparalleled enabler when it comes to problem solving, as it provides objective and accurate insights. However, it is not an end in itself. Understanding and attempting to address the root cause of a business problem or challenge is the key to addressing the issue of unproductive and ineffective research.

Technological advancements are already changing the way in which market research adds value to organisations. The development of digital networks and new techniques for gathering unstructured data, for example, will help firms streamline their market research processes in the future.

The business case for adopting this approach is supported by the fact that nearly two-thirds (62%) of employees feel as though the research they find is unreliable, and that the time they’ve spent researching has been wasted as a result. These findings highlight the need for businesses to alter their approach to research, not only to improve productivity, but also to support greater staff wellbeing.

InsightBee’s report clearly shows that the amount of hours and revenue being wasted by businesses is a real problem in the UK. Businesses are being held back as a result of sourcing research that does not provide any meaningful insight into their marketplace, clients or competitors. As the economy expands and more business opportunities emerge, having a productive and efficient business research model will therefore be an essential tool in gaining a competitive advantage.

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Manoj MadhusudananManoj Madhusudanan
Managing Director of InsightBee

InsightBee is an online service that provides high quality insights at an affordable rate, quicker – all researched, analysed and compiled by our global network of highly qualified consultants. Whether you need competitor analysis, executive profiles, company reports or wider industry analysis, InsightBee provides a fast and accurate response. InsightBee sourced data from the ONS and used statistics based on 2,863,000 people in the professional, scientific and technical sector.

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