Iceberg Metaphor

Good technology is mostly unseen

Ray Poynter explains how the iceberg metaphor explains the relationship between new research technologies and end users of insight.

Happy Thinking People

Generation Digital Detox?

Guest post by Edward Appleton, 29 November 2019 Millennials, Gen Z – totally hooked on Social Media, chatting, sharing, smartphone obsessed, with less and less time for the “real world”. True or false? If you have a teenager in the family, you might agree. In our research around the world, we’re beginning to pick up on something different – a growing push back against digital, an awareness of the hold it’s taking, concerns about potential addiction. We wanted to understand this emerging sense of “digital discomfort” better so carried out our own studying, exploring with young folk in India, UK and Germany. The results are fascinating reading – one participant talked for example about digital getting in the way of being in touch with the immediate surroundings, in this case nature: “….I definitely feel my brain is much happier when I’m looking at the leaves on the trees rather than FB” Another enthused about a de-digitalized nightclub scene in Berlin: “I love the smartphone-ban in Berlin nightclubs. You engage with the people around you. In the UK it’s often just people doing Insta stories left, right and centre … it’s annoying but it’s actually quite sad” Interested? The report touches […]

Virtual Reality Headset

Do you know how to assess innovations in market research and insights?

Posted by Ray Poynter, 1 November 2018 We are surrounded by new approaches to understanding customers and markets, for example: behavioural economics, automated facial coding, neuroscience, chatbots, passive tracking, Artificial Intelligence, and of course big data. However, evaluating these new options is becoming ever harder, because there are so many of them, and because they make claims that are based on technologies that are hard for non-experts to understand. In this post, I want to share some of the techniques I use to assess innovations in market research and insight. In essence, I look at the following issues: Can it be provided by multiple suppliers? If an innovation can only be utilised via one supplier, it is much less likely to be successful, and I am much less likely to recommend it. Good innovations benefit from competition, prices come down when there is competition, and the diffusion into a market is accelerated if several solutions are available. When online surveys burst on the scene, we could use several different platforms to write the surveys, and choose between several difference panel companies for the sample – this promoted adoption, and cost reductions. Does it increase speed and/or reduce net price? In […]

Lights in the trees

Bias Runner 2049

Story-with-a-meaning post by Ray Poynter, 11 October 2018 Tom Torquemada was looking forward to his interview today, he was off to the Global Broadcasting Corporation to talk about his work, and he loved his work. Tom was a Bias Runner, one of a team that hunted down and retired errant AI systems. Tom had been thinking overnight about the best, non-technical, way to describe what an errant AI system was and how he and his colleagues identified them. The scale of the problem was clear to everybody – nearly everything today, in 2049, was determined by AI. Machines and bots determined who got a job, who got the next home loan, who might commit the next crime, and whether in this brave new world your schooling/conditioning would result in you being a labourer or artist. But with this transfer of power to the AI machines came a fear, a fear that the machines might not play fair, they might be biased or simply error-prone. The job of the Bias Runners was to find the biased or error-prone machines and ‘retire’ them. There were two key types of problems that the Bias Runners were looking for ‘biased machines’ and ‘unstable machines’. […]

AI illustration

Answers to Questions about Artificial Intelligence

Posted by Ray Poynter 13 September 2018 Note, in response to questions, I have started adding additional answers at the foot of this post – and I will be tweaking some of the existing answers. The post was first uploaded on 13 September 2018, and was most recent changes made on 18 September 2018. [Ray Poynter] One of the hottest topics around at the moment is artificial intelligence (or AI). Indeed, it has become so hot that many people are reluctant to ask simple questions in case it makes them appear out of touch. So, this article provides answers to some of those simple questions. 1) Is artificial intelligence already in use? Yes! Siri, Alexa and Google home are examples of AI. Driverless cars, the facial scanners at airport security, and Google translate are also all examples of AI. Programmatic advertising, Amazon’s ability to predict what we want, and Netflix’s analysis of viewing are all AI. One of the features of tech is that we tend to change its name once it becomes commonplace, just as the electric iron became the iron, and the smartphone is becoming the phone, we have stopped thinking of everyday AI as AI. 2) What […]

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 […]