What's the best way to change to a new market research platform ?  


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What's the best way to make the change to a new market research platform?

It's hard for somebody who is a researcher, who knows their existing systems really well, and they're under tight time frames, so the client needs this report out right now, the choice they have is... do I take time, a little bit longer, to use this new platform or do I just do what I know and get it out to them. We acknowledge that that is a challenge and we work with people to overcome that challenge. 

One of the ways that you can ease a brand new platform like Harmoni into your existing workflows is by not insisting that you swap everything out at one go. That would be hard and it's not really practical, for example, your clients may be relying on specifically outputs and specific systems that you're currently using to do what they need - so there's a whole downstream effect of making too much change, too fast. With Harmoni, we can introduce the platform in pieces and bits, you don't need to change everything out all in one go. For example, it may be that you have a system at the moment where you are specifying tables that you want, the researchers might spec the table and somebody else creates those tables. Well, that process can actually stay, you can stick with that process, if you want. It's relatively inefficient, but if that's what's locked in, you can do that and ease yourself into - The researcher themselves doesn't need to write specs and send them to somebody else to put together in Harmoni, they can do it themselves, because it takes exactly the same amount of time to do what you want to do in Harmoni and have the job finished, as it does to spec it and have somebody else do it. But if that's the process you've got, you can do that and you can retrain the people as they go get those skills or to apply the skills they already have to these new tasks.

If you've got a PowerPoint decks that you're currently delivering your reports in, getting things out to PowerPoint is one of those continuity breaks that introduces error and inefficiencies, but if that's the system that you've got, stick with it. In parallel you can start to see that the benefit of building online dashboards and online reports in Harmoni in order to obviate the need for the PowerPoint, but you don't need to stop the PowerPoint straight away. 

So whilst you don't have to change everything in one go, you can overlay the new platform with those more traditional or legacy systems. There's definitely benefit in making that change, so take for example, that example I gave about writing table specs you've got - this happens sadly way too much and the research world - is that you’ve got researchers that have to think ahead of time about all of the different analyses that they think they're going to need to do the reporting they want, and so they write a specification that covers all of those analyses and they send it to somebody else who puts together the tables, the cross tabs for them, and then sends them back and the researcher will go through those tables. They'll think ah, I forgot something or I've seen a result, that prompts me to ask another question for which I'm going to need another table and so they send the specification for the table back. A day later, maybe two days later it arrives back and they can carry on their work. But that breaks the continuity of thought, it doesn't let that flow of seeing an answer, having that answer prompt another question, get the answer to that question and build the insight as you go. So there is definitely a benefit of ending those old processes as fast as you possibly can.

The alternative to that of course, is that the researcher just asks the question of the data in the platform immediately, gets the answer straight away, sees another question, answers that one straight away and gets to the insight, finds visualizations that are going to help communicate that insight, build a report that capture the insight and share the report out all in that one platform.

So whilst it doesn't have to be scary, there are definitely benefits of getting to that new world, that future as fast as possible. 

So just to bring it all together in a nutshell - Why is it that you should have a look at a platform like Harmoni if you're in a market research agency that does all the things that Harmoni does, that is take data and turn it into insights for clients? There is quality. You will increase the quality end to end of the things that you're doing for your clients, the insights you're generating for them.

You will get those insights to them faster because the whole process is more efficient, and you will get much cooler stuff out to your client that they're going to love more because of the visualizations that are available to you in the platform. That's it in a nutshell.

- Geoff Lowe, Executive Director