Call it old school or call it experience, there is always something phenomenal you notice when you have been around the block. With over 35 years of being part of the research landscape and having the fortune and pleasure of working in tandem with some of the stewards of the industry, it continues to amaze me how rapid change has been.
Recruiting for research initiatives has changed from a rolodex approach to an increased focus on having representative inclusion of the right audience. This reflects our changing society. And of course, technology follows this trend to help us achieve those goals.
Being a part of Marketing Systems Group has given me the opportunity to work with clients who strive to achieve excellence in their field of research. We traverse between feature requests, recruitment requirements, bugs, and security audits. Although as DataTech geeks, it has been nothing but exhilarating to solve production problems (like a deluge of incoming traffic resulting in a million visitors signing up over a weekend, or requirements from customers to build a data warehouse that can help them mine and understand consumer behavior), this year we have certainly pushed our limits.
We decided we really wanted to understand what makes our customers true innovators. Not only that, we also wanted to show our appreciation and share their innovation. With that agenda in mind, we went on a hunt to find the stewards of today, the shakers and movers of our customers who have gone beyond the basic tech stack and pushed the envelope.
The next challenge was, how do we identify them? What are the common traits of these stewards? As I continued to ponder this with the team, we agreed on three things that would help us identify them:
- I truly want to understand my research participants so that I can make better decisions on how to improve their experience. How do I get more data and information to help me make these decisions?
- I want to make my team efficient so I can do more research. How can I use technology to automate and streamline the process?
- How do I make my research community more inclusive and representative of my research?
Armed with these questions, I started working with my team to map out all the work that we have done the past year coupled with our knowledge of what our customers have implemented within their organization, whether on our platform or outside. And Voilà! It is so amazing to see what they have done, and we are enormously proud to be a part of it.
- An accessibility friendly participant portal so no one is excluded from research.
- From check-in, to reminders, to replying to cancelation messages (automating where possible) and creating process flows to seamlessly handle communication with research participants.
- Building complex data warehouse and KPI dashboards to keep the entire team abreast of the ops, as well as providing insights to decision makers.
- Using workflows and other tools to automate repetitive tasks improving the overall efficiency of the team.
This is where I realized that true innovation does not happen because we at MSG built something cool. True innovation happens when what we build serves as a tool and is used by the craftsman of our industry to solve real world problems.
Here is where I raise my hat and smile at the winners of 2023 ARCS Innovators Award. We are inspired by what you have accomplished.