Chris Dowsett a Market Research and Social Media Analyst at Quantum – An Interview with a Professional

Chris Dowsett

Chris Dowsett, Market Research and Social Media Analyst at Quantum, has an 8-year long career in research, specializing in quantitative and tracking research. Chris has worked on both local and international studies, and has been published in The Financial Times, UN research journals, Eurostat articles, The Guardian newspaper, social research journals, The Australian newspaper and other publications.

“Analytical brainchild of Sesame Street. Numbers-guy. Terrible golfer. Smoothie afficionado.” – Google + profile

How would you best describe your current job role and duties at Quantum?
 
“I’m in a hybrid role at Quantum where I look after all the research needs for the company throughout the world as well as coordinate all the social media efforts and analytics. This is a great position because I get to measure and influence so much of the analytics in social media (or the new research frontier as I call it). I can run experiments to find out what works, what doesn’t and look at how our audience responds. Being a quantitative researcher by background, it’s great to be able to collect and play with mountains of data and develop sophisticated ways of measuring social media ROI for the company.” – Chris
it’s great to be able to collect and play with mountains of data

 

“Outside of that, the research component involves everything from keeping a pulse on customer satisfaction to working with analysts on data for new product markets, trends and industry developments.” – Chris 
 
What are you most excited to see happen with market research in the next few years?


“I think market research is in a very promising position to go beyond what I call the “1 to 5 perception” that we’ve had in the past. By that, I mean so much of what people perceived as the researchers role is writing out generic questions with generic answer scales. I’ve seen some brilliant things coming out of the industry all over the world – things like interactive dashboards, online focus groups, intuitive website interactions, social media sampling and other exciting projects are changing the way people think about market research. There is a lot of innovation in data delivery at the moment and different ways to interact with data.” – Chris

interactive dashboards, online focus groups, intuitive website interactions, social media sampling
 
“So for the next few years, I’m excitedly watching those ingenious researchers push the boundaries of what’s possible and take market research to new heights of development and greater value to the wider business community. I’m excited to watch technology become more ingrained in the research products, not just methods, to showcase the talent behind the data.” – Chris  
 
What’s the most interesting piece of market research insight you have ever come across?
 

“I’m a numbers guy so anything with a percentage symbol, an index or a statistic peaks my interest. It’s not so much one insight that I’d say was the most interesting but a collection of insights on one topic that has been authored into an infographic. Some of the infographics that are being published on different sites at the moment are fascinating to read and brilliant in the delivery of data.” – Chris


The most interesting one I can recall was on a website called “GOOD” (good.is)



“The most interesting one I can recall was on a website called “GOOD” (good.is) and it looked at the growth of the US job market by wages and education level. It’s a fascinating but worrying tale of what seems almost common, accepted knowledge these days – the high school graduation rates are worryingly low in the US but the workforce is increasingly demanding more qualified workers. The delta is widening all the time and that will undoubtedly impact the ability for the US to compete on the global stage. I’m not an educational expert but these simple facts show a worrying trend.” – Chris

 
Where do you see social media playing the biggest role for client organizations this year?
 

“Social media is a big one. So big that when I took over the social media role at Quantum, I lost sleep. Lots of it. The mental sanity of having a research project that often follows a finite process (e.g. questionnaire, fieldwork, presentation) doesn’t really exist in social media so it’s constantly on the to-do list. That means there is a need for constant interaction, constant feedback and constant streams of data coming in that need to be looked at. Brands could ignore all that data but it would be a crime to ignore the level of insight that was a black hole until just a few years ago.” – Chris 


there is a need for constant interaction, constant feedback and constant streams of data

 

“So, to me, the biggest role of social media for client organizations this year and the next year is all about the data. There is so much there! Insights, processes, triggers and so, so much more. There’s research insight, financial data and even social psychology data that can be a huge asset to brands and research organizations that have the resources to analyze the numbers.” – Chris 

“Beyond that, there are a lot of social media ‘experts’ blogging and writing and talking about the best ways to utilize social media which gives researchers a huge opportunity to be the evidence behind those ‘best practice’ guides. We need evidence and proven data to inform the experts and social media advocates as the industry grows.” – Chris
 
What is your favourite research methodology or analysis and why?
 

“I’ve been lucky enough to work all over the world and on a whole range of research projects and methodologies. However, I always come back to working for the Office for National Statistics, as part of the UK government, and working on business price indices that impacted government spending, taxes and even inflation.” – Chris
  

“I found the index work fascinating because there are some very complex statistical methods that go into creating a very accurate index that measures and can predict trends like inflation or prices. But on the front end, the index is a great way of presenting longitudinal data that can be easily understood. It can be as simple as an index moving the right or wrong direction – or it could be as complicated as a detailed breakdown of the index, the factors shaping the changes and their weighted impact.” – Chris 

many of our measures of success are based on an index or indices 

 

“As a society, many of our measures of success are based on an index or indices like inflation. And we’re impacted by indices in almost all areas of our lives like buying groceries, mortgage rates, credit cards and buying gas for the car. It’s fascinating to me that so much relies on a single index or group of indices. It’s also interesting that there is so much in statistical analysis behind an index but there is the versatility to present the data in a simple graph or in a more complex breakdown.” – Chris

If you have any question for Chris Dowsett please feel free to leave comments below this article, comment on Chris’s blog, or send Chris a message through Twitter!

“Thanks once again for coming back to read my latest article on The New Market Research blog. I look forward to reading everyone’s comments!”

Sean Copeland is a certified marketing research professional (CMRP) known for his broad knowledge of the research workflow, his disruptive approach to problem solving and for building strong client relationships. In over 5 years Sean has developed, sold, executed, and managed hundreds of consumer research studies using a variety of new and traditional research methodologies.

Contact Sean Copeland:

T: 647-269-5085

E: sean@abacusdata.ca

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