The Art of the Quick Read

Open book in hands

GutCheck and Quirk’s teamed up to present their thinking on ways to enable teams to rapidly answer critical business questions. When typical research projects can take weeks to design and implement anything we can do to put the right data in the right hands sooner is a strategic victory.

Matt Warter, CEO of GutCheck and Lisa O’Conner, GutCheck’s Client Services Guru started off by acknowledging the speed of information is increasing. Innovation is critical to business growth and agility is the fertilizer needed for that process. Traditional MR has not always been viewed as agile, to say the least. However, we are being presented with new technologies and methods, both of which can provide research and insight teams the ability manage both longer scale projects as well as those requiring a yesterday deadline.

Webinar participants were asked when the last time an unplanned research request occurred. For nearly half, it was within the last week. Over 80% had received such a request within the last month. Clearly, there is a need to be able to respond to last minute research questions.


What does agile mean in this context? Respondents to interviews GutCheck conducted with customers and prospects provided this Agile = Quick Consumer Read. Which translates into I have only a few days to gain insights or I move ahead without consumer input. The “consumer” part of the equation relates to being able to gather data from specific segments, in their location and language. The final variable is the “read”. Here respondents indicated they needed pragmatic research focused on a limited slate of business critical questions.

To deliver on the agile promise researchers need access to global sample sources from respected panel providers. Multi-language capability needs to be addressed, especially in the consumer space where English may not be the language of choice. More often than not these type of requests benefit from software resources that allow for both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Both methods, when combined, allow for greater flexibility in resolving the research problem.


The sample project above shows an example of the agile approach. In the initial quant phase (Concept Prioritization) nine concepts were tested over the course of five days. The winning three, based on top box scores for purchase intent, uniqueness, believability, value, appeal and fit with brand, were passed to a qualitative phase (Concept Refinement) for optimization.

Key takeaways include: get used to short order research – it is becoming increasingly accepted as a means to doing business. Regardless as researchers, we have to have the tools and the partnerships lined up to ensure that short time lines do not cast a negative impact on the quality of results.

Greg Timpany directs the research efforts for Global Knowledge in Cary, North Carolina, and runs Anova Market Research. You can follow him on Twitter @DataDudeGreg.


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