Keyboard with New Skills

Courses and Workshop with NewMR – 2018

Posted by NewMR, 17 October, 2018 Sue York and Ray Poynter are widely involved in a wide range of training initiatives and consultancy, with NewMR and a variety of organisations including trade bodies, client-side companies and research suppliers. In this post, we highlight some of the courses we are currently offering to your company or organisation. Using Social Media to Build Your Brand Australian-based Sue York, who is one of the most connected insights professionals in the APAC region (see here and here), will show you how you can use Twitter and LinkedIn to build your brand. The workshop covers: Creating an impactful and memorable profile; How to find the relevant discourses; Finding your voice; and, using tools to increase the impact and reduce the workload. The workshop can be delivered as a half or full-day session at your offices (in Australia or within the APAC region), as a series of online lectures, as an e-learning course, or as consultancy. For more information about this course, or to find out about availability and costs, email admin@newmr.org.   Five Courses for Insight Professionals UK-based Ray Poynter, has selected the five courses/workshops that are currently the most requested: Find and Communicate the Story […]

Chart showing Donald Trump Popularity and Unpopularity over time

How to Use Comparisons to Understand Data

Posted by Ray Poynter, 15 October 2018. Most individual numbers do not mean very much. In many cases, in order to see the real meaning in most data, you need comparisons. For example, if I tell you that the Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx won 11 Grand Tours, you will no doubt guess that he was a good rider. But, when I tell you that 11 is the most any rider has ever won, and that only one other rider has won 10, and only one other rider has even won 8, then you start to get a sense of how special Eddy Merckx’s was. So, this post focuses on how to use comparisons to understand the story in the data, and how to use comparisons to communicate the story in the data. How Popular/Unpopular is Donald Trump Nate Silver’s FiveFiftyEight.com provides a wealth of data on US sports and politics and provides a really good example of how to use comparisons in their regularly updated series ‘How popular/unpopular is Donald Trump?’ The chart below shows the picture on 12 October 2018, 631 days after Donald Trump took office in January 2017. Note, in the US the election for a new […]

Image of Angry Bird game

Will anything replace PowerPoint soon? (a forecast from 2011 revisited)

Posted by Ray Poynter, 29 August 2018. Until 2012 I used to write a blog on Typepad and recently I have been tidying it up so that the blog can be deleted. The post below was originally posted on 30 July 2011 – back in the days when Angry Birds was all the rage. I thought I would re-post this blog now to help emphasise how little has changed and how far we are from having a new paradigm for reporting. “Will anything replace PowerPoint soon? Posted by Ray Poynter, 30 July, 2011. It is hard to imagine anything replacing PowerPoint in the foreseeable future. There are some key elements that a system for delivering results and insights has to have to be a standard, including: Available technology, the system needs to be able to produce PDF files and a file format that can be widely read by clients (e.g. Excel, Word, or PowerPoint 1997-2003), or WMV. The standard deliverable must not need to access the Internet, the intranet, or supporting files. The standard deliverable needs to be static, so that different clients see the same view, this rules out deliverables like What-if models, GapMinder, and interactive tables. The standard […]

Image of digits

How many significant digits should you display in your presentation?

Posted by Ray Poynter, 27 August 2018 Too many digits can obscure the story being communicated by numbers. Let’s consider a simple example from a trip to your gym and its hi-tech weighing machine. Perhaps the machine says that your weight is 101.7865 kilograms and that it should be 82 kilograms. The story is that you are about 20 kilograms too heavy. To see the story you need to focus on comparing 102 kilograms with 82, not 101.7865 with 82. If your presentation or report displays too many digits you will obscure the story you are trying to communicate. The choice about the right number of digits to display is the choice about how many significant digits to display – the topic of this post. Digits Obscure – Example 1 Consider the table below, which is extracted from the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and shows how many mobile phones there were in each of the countries displayed, from 2010 to 2017, per 100 people. If you click on the data tables they get bigger. The data shows four decimal places and is not very easy for most humans to quickly review. This data is not friendly for the analyst looking […]

Image of Escher's Relativity

What can Market Researchers learn from Escher?

Posted by Ray Poynter 30 July 2018 Last week I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Miracle of Escher exhibition at the Ueno Royal Museum. After the visit my mind turned to the lessons market researchers can draw from the works of MS Escher. 1) The first lesson is that humans see patterns, even when patterns are not really there Escher’s Belvedere creates a building that can’t actually exist. If you look at the man and the ladder, you will note that it sits across the narrow dimension on the bottom floor, but arrives at the wide aspect of the upper floor. Most researchers will have faced a situation when there is an error in the data, but their initial response is often to make sense of the data. They tend to see a pattern when one does not exist. 2) Stories can help identify problems By following a story through you can often see the fallacy of a false pattern. Taking the example of Belvedere, If we follow through the story of the man on the ladder we can see that he starts on the narrow side of the building but arrives on the wide side […]

Image of framework of knowledge

What is a Framework of Project Knowledge?

Post by Ray Poynter, 10 July 2017 On 19 July I am running a workshop on finding and communicating the story in the data for the Japanese Market Research Association (and a similar one in London for the MRS on 5 October 2018). One of the concepts I will be covering is how a Framework of Project Knowledge should be utilised. Below I have set out the basics of this way of thinking and working. As the image above shows, the Framework is divided into four segments. Known Unknowns In most well run research projects this segment is usually covered effectively. This is what market research has traditionally focused on. The researcher asks the client what the business questions are, what success would look like, and what actions they plan to take after receiving the insights from the study. From these elements the researcher can define what needs to be discovered through the research process. Known Knowns This element has two key aspects. Firstly, finding out what relevant knowledge already exists. This includes things like previous research projects and published information, but also includes the assumptions that the business is operating under and predictions about the results of the research. […]