By Julie Rose, SVP Client Experience, SIVO
(Photo: Microsoft 365 Stock Images)
I’ve been in the workforce for over 30 years (GASP!). I’ve witnessed and been part of a lot of change. Changing technology is a mainstay in the Age of Information, which is centered on accessing information and knowledge easily and quickly. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning is another advancement in getting that knowledge even faster and more quickly. With each advancement or new tool, there is the inevitable talk of our jobs going away because the latest advancement is expected to replace us. In many cases, with advancement in technology, there are shifts that do render obsolescence. From my experience, it is the past technologies, not people, that have become obsolete. As people, we adjust, we leverage, we apply critical thinking, we learn, and take advantage of technological advancements to be more effective and efficient but we typically are not replaced.
Experience with Workplace Technological Advances
Early in my career, I was on the Email Task Force when email was just being introduced in the workplace. We grappled with tough topics, like were we going to allow employees to send personal emails. Yes, this is a true story! Email technology has made information flow much faster and easier. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I faxed something to someone. Email improved the way I work, but it didn’t replace me or make my job obsolete. I also remember leading a team that was evaluating social media listening techniques and tools as we were trying to glean insights from the vast number of online conversations and content. People wondered if we would ever need to conduct primary market research again. People wondered if they would be replaced with Do-It-Yourself Digital scraping tools. It didn’t happen. I’m still here providing custom insights by leveraging the best market research tools to meet my clients’ business objectives.
The latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence have impacted every industry, and we are all evaluating it to figure out how to safely leverage it and integrate it into our current best practices. My reflection on the many changes I’ve personally experienced has helped me to formulate my thoughts on it. I’ve been asked quite a lot recently by friends, colleagues, and clients what do I think about AI, machine learning, and specifically natural language AI like ChatGPT or Google’s BERT. My latest answer . . . It’s the Soup-Starter, but it’s not the Soup (or the Chef!).
New tools like, ChatGPT, are an excellent way to access information and knowledge quickly and to easily get started on a topic or approach. It starts the soup, but it doesn’t finish the meal. Just like soup needs a chef, research needs a researcher, and insights require an Insights professional. It takes discernment, creativity, experience, and nuanced choices to make a delicious, complex, flavorful pot of soup and the same goes for a custom market research study. Just like the chef might consider certain stocks and spices to start the soup, a researcher can start with ChatGPT to contemplate potential objectives, methodologies or questions before designing a custom market research project that fully meets the needs of the business.
Using ChatGPT in Market Research
When it comes to market research, we at SIVO have found ChatGPT and other AI tools to be a useful starting point in the following ways:
1. Defining your business objective: Understanding and defining the business problem and the customer problem to be solved.
2. Collecting background information: Collecting what is already known on the topic in the research design phase.
3. Exploring research options: Exploring research approaches or methodologies before arriving at the final research design.
4. Beginning survey development: Exploring research question types, projective activities and techniques to consider for discussion guide and online survey development.
5. Identifying themes during analysis: Using only secure AI tools (and not open-source options), for organizing data and synthesizing transcripts and video footage to assist with the analysis and creative storytelling for the research report and presentation.
Evolve toward the Future
As AI technology evolves, we will evolve with it. We will leverage it to improve how we operate. For now, it becomes our new “soup starter” but we still own the recipe and must make the soup. All of us need to experiment and decide how AI can improve our ways of working but we will continue to apply our craftsmanship, critical thinking, and intuition to finish the job.
At SIVO, we are dedicated to understanding your business challenges and questions and will then use our expertise, resources, and access to technology to recommend a learning plan and approach that considers all variables and delivers on your needs.
About the Author
Julie is a seasoned insights executive with a proven track record in delivering business results and guiding organizations toward adopting a consumer-first mindset. With skills and expertise in designing research strategy and guiding execution, she drives organizations and teams forward in using meaningful insights to solve business challenges and capitalize on white space opportunities. Julie builds engaged, productive, and collaborative teams within and across functions. Executives depend on her to bring the “voice of the consumer” to bear in solving key business challenges and question status-quo thinking to unlock and accelerate growth.