Why Market Research Outsourcing Is the New Black?

As businesses around the world struggle to return and reimagine their game plans in the new normal post-COVID-19, corporate strategy heads are busier than ever.

They are always juggling ideas and straddling at alternatives to discover ways to innovate products and services to accelerate revenue, despite tough conditions.

Along the path, they use market research as a powerful tool to conduct studies including industry/ product benchmarking and competitive landscaping for products/ services launches, expansions, or even targeted mergers and acquisitions.

With increasing access to data resources (such as Bloomberg, Statista, Alacra, EMIS) and sector-specific databases (such as AIOCD and IQVIA for Pharmaceutical Data), conducting detailed studies/ analysis is relatively easier.

However, with the accelerated adoption of digital channels, collecting primary data has increased manifold from online surveys to web-based experiments and social network analysis.

Given the data burst in today’s age, it is imminent that new data sources have to be combined with existing information through data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) driven market research.

In this light, the article explores the benefits of engaging a third-party firm for market research services to buttress the strategic decision-making process. Globally, the market research services industry is valued at USD75bn 2020.

Here’s why the 3rd party market research firms are preferred by our clients:

1. Perform as Specialists

The third-party Market research professionals are a crop known for harnessing vast knowledge pools to decipher a complete and accurate state of any industry. From time to time, they do a deep-dive on a variety of problem statements to deliver solutions to customer groups.

As subject-matter experts, their magnified understanding of an organization’s audience and demographic needs act as catalysts of strategic agenda. This positions themselves as an extended arm of the organizations they serve thus increasing the bandwidth of in-house senior personnel to focus on their core functions.

This flexibility presents a huge time and cost-saving plan for the outsourcing entity on a platter without having to worry about upskilling existing internal resources at regular intervals or the need to ramp up the fixed cost resources.

2. Skilled at Data Gathering and Interpretation

With evolving trends in the adoption of digital mediums, structured and unstructured data can be synthesized well for complex analysis. Highly unstructured data in the form of sentiments and images can also be synthesized using machine learning and deep learning technologies, respectively.

Professional teams with big data expertise, powerful database technologies such as Hadoop or NoSQL, coupled with strong sector capabilities, can deliver superior results. The data visualization tools like Tableau and Power BI facilitate insightful data analysis and offers more power to zoom-in and zoom-out the data for more granular to aggregate views.

Consequently, such evidence-based analytical insights turn into actionable ideas that drive well-informed decisions.

3. Beefed Up Analytical Toolkits

Third-party firms have access to global databases and use sophisticated applications to perform a series of functions on large data sets. Also, such firms have a pulse on emerging trends and invest in products giving them a competitive edge. Organizations can leverage such firms to tap on an array of tools that otherwise be cumbersome running an in-house capability with restricted budgets.

4. Scientific Results through Data Modeling

With the size of data expanding beyond human calculations, there is a rise of scientific statistical modeling techniques that aid effective outcomes from big data.

For instance, within seconds the banks and NBFCs can evaluate the quality of their huge loan portfolio (that comprises millions of data records!) by identifying probable loan foreclosures. The modeling techniques such as logistic regression, random forest model, KNN, SVM, and Gradient Boosting, and XGBoost Models perform multiple iterations or scenarios of the given data set to arrive at accurate statistical results.

However, it needs a strong domain-specific AI expert (i.e. BFSI Specialist with AI expertise) to conclude on the results and design a plan of action or recommendations.

5. Holistic, Unbiased Point of View

Most companies rely on a single analytical technique to solve a problem or test business opportunities. Besides, internal departmental conflicts within companies tend to blur rationality in approaching such decisions.

Together, this induces a layer of biases acting as a hurdle in effective decision-making. On the other hand, third-party firms use an integrated approach to problem-solving through a range of scientific quantitative and qualitative methods and provide independent and objective analysis and insights. This helps the strategy leaders to bypass the bias and facilitate objective decision-making for achieving targeted returns.

6. Speed and Agility to Scale Up and Down

Business leaders face newer and challenging environments to thrive in the post-pandemic world. As they are under constant pressure to achieve set milestones, they look at expansion programs of varying scales. All this entails significant ramping of resources and execution power. In such cases, a third-party firm comes in handy to manage such rapid execution involving analytical excellence with finesse.

For organizations, outsourcing strategic intelligence to third-party specialized firms with data, research and analytical savvy professionals seems to be an added pillar of strength. Especially with the need to combine traditional research with emerging powerful tools such as AI and data analytics, there is an increasing scope to leverage each other’s forte.

This apparently underpins the merit for engaging a third-party market research firm that imparts higher confidence levels amongst strategy leaders in decision making during uncertain times we live in currently.

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About Girish Bhise

Girish Bhise is the Founder & CEO at ValueAdd Research and Analytics Solutions LLP (ValueAdd). Primarily responsible for business development, research delivery, client servicing, marketing, and organizational development. Girish has over 20 years of research experience across investment banking, equity and fixed income research, and business strategy research. Has serviced large global clients including JP Morgan, HSBC, Credit Suisse, and Oaktree Capital Management. Has an extensive experience in successfully managing large-scale research right-shoring transitions across multiple regions. Prior to starting ValueAdd, he had worked in leadership roles with Moody’s Analytics, Capgemini Consulting, Sutherland Global, HSBC, JM Morgan Stanley, and CMIE. He is an MBA in Finance from the University of Pune, and Bachelor in Commerce from the University of Mumbai.
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