Research World (October 2005)

Date of publication: October 1, 2005

Catalogue: Research World 2005

Author: ESOMAR B.V.

Abstract:

Every sector of our industry is now using advanced equipment or technology for computer assisted collection of information, for database storage, transmission or analyses for data mining purposes. Tools such as the familiar tachistoscope and camera have been supplemented by advanced meters, monitors, observation systems and other devices for applications such as scanning, neuro-marketing approaches and even for interpretation. The emphasis is usually on generating insight based on aggregated information but increasing use is also being made of real time research at the individual customised level, “utilising geo-coding, RFID, CIS, CIPS and other passive information sources” (Pring - RW July/August 2005). The underlying shifts in technology, from analogue to digital, from semiconductors to microprocessor, from single to multimedia... and the corresponding developments and breakthroughs in software, systems and networks will continue to drive change in the years to come. Of this there is no doubt. And this will generate further growth in the market research industry, accelerating change and transforming our sector. But what are the consequences of these developments? The requisite skills and competences to handle the new technologies are becoming even more important, indeed not everyone has the capacity to work with these new tools. There will also be a need to place a greater focus on ethics: privacy versus safety. In fact, consumer protection is already a hot issue. The time has come for us to start paying more attention to technological developments in research.

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