Update: We are continuing to evolve our understanding of Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the Market Research industry. For an updated perspective on AI in market research, check out our latest blog: Augmented Intelligence.
According to Zeta Smart Marketing Platform, “artificial intelligence enables you to become a more human business.” While this statement is a paradox, it makes sense. Companies spend so much time researching that they forget about the reason they started collecting data in the first place: the customer. With artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more prominent in market research, industry professionals could be taking strides toward more efficient, more accurate and lower-priced data collection. While these are internal benefits, anything that benefits you benefits those who use your services.
Think about all the time that is spent writing surveys, conducting in-depth interviews, holding focus groups and generating reports. Now imagine cutting that time in half, or even less. This is what AI is striving toward: saving time.
With the continued development of different AI features like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG), AI is growing its capability to understand different qualitative and quantitative data fed to it. This means programs can write individualized reports based on keywords or subject areas that a client is interested in, which can save hours slaving over PowerPoint.
Cost is a major reason to use AI as well. It is “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence;” so, by nature, it performs repetitive and easy tasks quicker than humans. By implementing an AI program, companies can cut costs by cutting the time it takes to conduct research. AI already can parse massive amounts of open source data, like seeing what words are associated with each other, doing sentiment analysis, and a few other things. In due time it will be able to go beyond those sources and gather meaning from published pieces, which will inevitably reduce research costs.
AI can produce accurate data simply because it reduces the chances of human bias. In a focus group, information is collected by interacting with people. The person doing the interviewing will remember things in a certain way; therefore, creating a chance for bias to show in the report. With AI, human bias is basically eliminated because the program processes informational factoids only.
Further, AI can improve customer relationships. It takes care of data collection and processing so your team has more time to investigate interesting findings and personally connect with the client.
While the initial implementation of AI in market research may cut administrative jobs, in the long run, it has potential to create jobs that require more specified skills like “collaboration, communication and creative problem-solving.” According to industry analysis, companies using AI will add more jobs than they cut, and that’s promising. AI will create a change within a company, but it is a change that can enhance growth and reveal new opportunities within market research.