Building a Research Technology Stack for Better Insights

Technology stacks are more frequently discussed in the marketing and software development industries. As the name suggests, these are personalised ecosystems of technology created to work in conjunction with each other as and when they’re needed, sat ready and waiting for teams to use on a daily basis. With the amount of software out there for insight professionals to take advantage of in all industries, building a technology stack that works for any occasion has never been more feasible.

First Steps to Stacking Technology

With the amount of technology available to sift through, it can be hard to know where to start looking for the right service for your market research. We need to get the best value for our money, choose the right pieces of tech to service our daily work at every stage of insight generation, analysis, and activation. There will be a myriad of technological services needed to facilitate each step, which ones do we need to pick? The ones we need to use every day, both for the big projects and the background tasks.

  1. Recruitment — What sample will you need access to, and how are you going to gain access to them? Will you use social media or a sample provider or a recruitment service?
  2. Data Collection — What methodologies do you need access to in order to complete your research?
  3. Management — This can be both stakeholder management or participant management software/services.
  4. Data Analysis — What tools do you need to analyse the data you gather? Is it just Microsoft Excel or do you need something with a bit more automation?
  5. Reporting — How will you create your reports? Do you use Microsoft PowerPoint or would you like to aim for something more creative?
  6. Activation — How are you going to distribute these insights so that they’re easily accessible to all stakeholders at the time of decision-making? What software do you need to better facilitate insight activation?

Stacking Technology in Real Life

There are a few basic considerations to factor in when researching your options:

  • Is this technology compatible with the ones you already have?
  • How much value would this technology add to my work and stack?
  1. Request a full demo of the tools and include anyone who will be using it. Ask questions!
  2. Check references for each tool and company you are considering.
  3. Negotiate for the best pricing and be sure to compare apples to apples when comparison shopping, including during a cost negotiation. Be transparent, to a point, if you legitimately don’t have the budget for your tool of choice.

Building the Right Technological Ecosystem

Susan White Frazier is right to place a lot of emphasis on asking questions, as this is the only way to make sure you’re creating the right research technology stack for you. We all need to be able to conduct the right research project in almost a moment’s notice, but with each project having unique research requirements it can be hard to ensure you’re picking the right ones.

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