Turning Insight Into Foresight: The Great Challenge

Malcolm Law
FutureView International Ltd

The Issue

When I started out in the research industry, almost 20 years ago to the day, Market Research, and in particular quantitative research, was arguably far more about providing Information than it is today. In the intervening years we have all become a lot more aware of the need to provide an interpretation of the numbers and we have become adept at turning Information into Insight, thereby increasing our worth to our clients.

But in the increasingly fast-paced society of today, our Insights have a shorter and shorter shelf-life. What was a brilliant thought only a couple of months back could already be superceded by some innovation from a faster-off-the-mark competitor. Thus, it is no longer enough to provide our clients with brilliant insights. We need to be thinking more about how we can provide them with brilliant foresights. And in this regard I would contend that we as an industry are under-performing and failing to make the most of what, for many of us, is our bread-and-butter business the large quantitative survey.