Paul has always loved exploring and manipulating numbers and puzzling out solutions to difficult problems. So it’s no surprise that he’s had a storied career in market research from beginning as a data analyst to his current role as data operations director at Quantum. Along the way, he’s found Q and radically reshaped market research processes bringing data collection, processing and analysis in-house under one roof. Paul continues to be dedicated to finding the most efficient solutions for his clients and empowering his team to be the best researchers they can be.
Over his 22 years in market research, Paul has seen a lot of transformations and been responsible for a few of them! One of the biggest was at Quantum with Paul launching an in-house data collection team four years ago and expanding the team of analysts dramatically. With a helping hand from Q, Paul has helped researchers rely less on a data processing team and more on finding the answers themselves quickly. Paul is particularly passionate about segmentation and seeing his work with data have a real impact on lives.
Paul says that “Q has been a game changer for Quantum.” Researchers used to have to run table specs and try to identify segments or patterns in the data without having the data in front of them. When a client would have a simple question, the researcher would have to ask the data processing team and wait on an answer for a day or two. As Paul says, “at the time it seemed normal, but looking back, it was frustrating for everyone involved.” Talk about a nightmare!
Having Q in their back pocket means that researchers can now answer questions from clients in minutes without having to rely on anyone else. It’s also helped researchers feel more confident carrying out advanced analysis. Paul states, “Q has a lot of advanced functions, so you don’t need to go to other specialist tools or platforms to find answers.” Within a year of starting with a single Q license, Q replaced the whole data processing operation.
On a personal level, Paul’s role has naturally shifted quite a lot since beginning to use Q for data processing. Previously he would do all the data processing, manipulation and weighing manually. Switching to Q has given Paul the ability to expand his capabilities and branch out into areas like project costing and questionnaire design. The extra time not taken up by data processing has also meant that Paul can “concentrate on new technologies, whether it’ll be using AI to code open-ended responses or Voice-of-the-Customer instant feedback surveys”.
Each project is not just a job to Paul. He relishes working with a client and seeing a result that makes a direct impact on people’s lives. For instance, one of Paul’s favorite segmentation studies involved diving deep into data on public safety. The study revealed that women didn’t feel safe on public transport at night and as a result a greater police presence was put in place in certain areas at certain times. Paul says, “sometimes there are hidden stories within the main story and Q allows us to find those segments and little clusters of people and what’s driving their perceptions, thoughts and attitudes.”
Paul strongly believes that the future of market research will involve clients having more control over their data. Similar to how researchers no longer need to rely on data processing teams, clients won’t have to go through a researcher to find a key result. Online platforms and visual dashboard will play a huge role in clients having more access to their data and the freedom to self-serve. That’s not to say that the expertise of market researchers won’t be necessary. Paul loves keeping up with developments in data collection and analysis. His big passion at the moment is working out how to improve text analytics and analyse unstructured data better.