Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014: Day 2 Highlights

Highlights from the presentations by Market Research leaders on day 2 of Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 in Los Angeles.

Understanding PEOPLE (i.e. not shoppers, not consumers, not respondents) - but people - across platforms and touch-points in an increasingly interconnected world threaded together with always-on technology, presents an opportunity for us to know people more deeply - and take strategic action.

Technology is the central driving force amongst the foremost mega and macro trends across industries. It's advancing at such a rapid pace it is not only changing how we do things but changing how we understand the world, business, and people.

The FOCI 2014Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 (May 19-21, 2014) at Los Angeles explored the emerging role of decision science and the convergence of knowledge points - insights, foresights, social science, marketing science and intelligence with technology a central driving force and profound connector.  This year's theme was "Technology and the Humanization of Data: Synthesizing Insights, Analytics and Relational Database Strategy."

This event was about accelerating disruptive innovators in the research space and pushing people to take risks to think outside of traditional research methods and insights gathering end explore new tools and technologies.

We provide here a summary of selected talks along with the key takeaways.

Highlights from Day 1.

Here are highlights from Day 2 (May 20, 2014): Ann Cavoukian

Ann Cavoukian, Privacy and Information Commissioner of Ontario, Canada gave a keynote titled “Data, Data Everywhere – The Need for BIG Privacy in a World of Big Data”. She reviewed the immense shift occurring on the privacy front and the implications for businesses. She is the architect behind a landmark resolution approved by international data protection and privacy commissioners in Jerusalem in 2010 dubbed “Privacy by Design” (PbD).

The PbD framework sets out seven foundation principles aimed at ensuring that privacy is embedded into new technologies and business practices from the outset and boils down to three key tenets:
  • Trust and control
  • Freedom of choice
  • Informational self-determination

Privacy is really becoming a battle for personal control of one’s data—a concept entirely at odds with the service-for-data business models of many social media companies, email providers, search engines and mobile services (where location data is becoming a big business). She said that privacy policies are becoming meaningless to people, and warned the audience not to hide behind them. “Privacy isn’t something people think they should have to ask for; it’s a presumption,” she added. A privacy policy may protect you from a lawsuit, but it won’t help you in the court of public opinion, where the stakes may be much higher.

She also stressed that it’s much more difficult and costly to build privacy onto what already exists. So from a programming standpoint, make sure it’s in your code from the get-go. Talking about Big Data, she exhorted the audience to abandon zero-sum thinking and embrace win/win systems, emphasizing that Big Data and Big Privacy can co-exist.

Simon ThompsonSimon Thompson, Director, Commercial Solutions, ESRI talked about “Location and the Art of Business Analytics”. He quickly explained how location-based business analytics powered by GIS (geographical information science) and geo-informatics are transforming the world of intelligence. He mentioned that approximately every 21st century data set contains locations and by 2020, it’s estimated that there will be 50 million connected devices that are location aware. Moreover, the consolidation of gadgets into smart portables - from TVs to stethoscopes to POS systems- paired with location data is opening a world of intelligence possibilities. “Location is the new ‘cookie’”, he added.

“Place impressions outperform page impressions.” He said we’re so fixated on looking at the individual that we miss all of the insight to be gained from aggregated location data. “Big Data is not the problem; it’s the people who use it,” he remarked. He said we often confuse correlation and causality. (Ex. Google Flu Trends). “Intent and sentiment are not the same things” he said. “Think similarly about location data as providing context.” He advised marketers to stop focusing on location-based coupon-ing. “No one goes to the store to save money,” he said. “We go to buy or to research. So find a way to use location data to improve my experience based on my needs.”

Jandie LaneJandie Lane, Principal, Jandie Lane Brand Strategies, LLC delivered a talk on “Insights to Integration”. She proposed a way of thinking about pursuing insights that entails a pronounced departure from the cool detachment that underpins research traditionally. Jandie (a P&G insights alum) said researchers have over the years increasingly distanced themselves from people in a misguided attempt to establish objectivity and at the expense of making the connections needed to really understand other people.

About 93% of communication is non-verbal, but observation alone won’t get you there, either. She said the job of researchers should be to advocate for the consumer, which means influencing decision makers. “When you really ‘get’ me, you feel compelled to act, and that’s how a brand discovers where it can fit in someone’s life. When we find that fit, we show a person that we understand them and a bond is formed” she said.

Highlights from day 3.