The market research industry is a very special and niche segment in our global economy. On the one hand, the market research industry is part of the business process within every self-respected company or institution. On the other hand, it is a society of its own.
One thing is sure, the market research industry is service-oriented, helping clients to better understand consumers, employees, citizens and customers to improve relationships and allow brands to better fulfill needs and requirements.
Collecting the right, authentic and trusted data is becoming a challenge, especially as factors such as social media continue to expand the world.
Innovative and new tools are entering the marketplace constantly and new features are added almost every month. Qualitative and quantitative research are merging together.
Once data is collected it needs to be prepared, cleaned, weighted, constructed with new variables and more. All of this is necessary to produce sensible reports with tables and charts for end-client deliverables in static paper format or in online interactive portals with dashboards and KPIs.
When looking at this whole process, from data collection to end-client deliverables, one of the main challenges is understanding how the data structure in the market research industry is built and handled. Many technical people coming from outside of the market research industry have difficulties understanding the impact of the MR data structure. As a result, many providers and vendors of generic reports, analysis, portals, dashboards and other end-client deliverable systems have failed to come up with a suitable solution for the market research industry.
Of course there is a difference when comparing a simple ad hoc study with a couple of thousand respondents with 50 variables each to a very complex tracking study with millions of records, respondents and variables included.
More and more, the simple studies are becoming a commodity. It is the complex and/or tracking study that will allow market research industry agents to add value to the end-clients’ businesses. It will allow them to add consulting time to implement adjustments to their client’s business process based on their expertise and the findings of the market research studies.
Red Centre Software
It is for this reason Australia-based market research software firm Red Centre Software (RCS) has developed software to create end-client’s deliverables from data that has been collected, including necessary features. Inspired by Quantum, one of the most successful tabulation software packages in the market research industry, RCS started in the early 2000s, years after the software development on Windows from Microsoft. In doing so they have taken an open approach to development that allows them to easily integrate with other packages using APIs.
At the moment the RCS software contains all necessary features to produce the simple as well as the more complex, tracking study output with reports, tables, charts and dashboards, static or dynamic on a portal or integrated with MS office. It even can handle Quantum data and often integrates with Quantum scripts with help from our consulting team.
Having worked with SPSS for over 20 years and being part of the SPSS MR initiative as VP-EMEA, I have learned a lot about the industry and met with many people who worked with data and reporting solutions for many years. That is also where I learned the market research industry’s specific needs and requirements and how they differ from our corporate and governmental clients.
In the late 1990s, SPSS decided Dimensions should become the market research industry standard for data collection as well as client deliverables. However with all of today’s technology at hand no one in the industry has succeeded to replicate the strength of Quantum.
Even with all its short comings – scripting only for Linux or Windows, no graphical interface, no charts and poor-quality printed output – Quantum is still used by hundreds of experts in the various MR departments and consulting service agencies.
Quantum had no support services from any company after IBM sold the acquired SPSS solution to Unicom, and had not been updated since the year 2000, until now.
Quantum’s second life
Knowing there are hundreds of Quantum users still working with the software on a daily basis in the MR industry, Unicom, together with Cobalt Sky in the U.K., decided to start an update process project for the software. The first step was an update to a 64-bit version to overcome limitations in speed and process time as well as allowing it to handle more data.
At the moment the new 64-bit version will be available for existing users as well as new clients. Included in a license will be a maintenance and service fee enabling clients to get help desk support and new updates.
Knowledge Navigators Research (KNR)
KNR is acting as a distributor for RCS as well as for Quantum clients in the U.S. and EMEA.
We have a global network of many former SPSS colleagues who combined forces to support the MR industry with new suitable solutions to grow their business better, faster and cheaper.
If you are interested in one of our solutions, Ruby and/or Quantum, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will help you find a good alternative for your present solution.
Knowledge Navigators Research
1231 KA Loosdrecht,
+31 (0)6 53 32 93 48