In today’s data-dominated business landscape, the importance of data providers cannot be overstated. However, the mere provision of data falls short of the mark in our contemporary age. Moreover, a particularly enlightening anecdote in our most recent podcast vividly captures this transformational journey. This anecdote highlights how a data provider metamorphosed from being a simple data provider to an unparalleled data insights entity.
The Rise of the Knowledge Agency
At the heart of the transformation for companies like Nielsen, Kantar, and Synovate was a pivotal decision to rebrand themselves as a “knowledge agency”. In other words, the focus shifted from simply providing data to delivering actionable insights. This shift goes beyond the semantics. In an age where information is plentiful, the true differentiator lies in converting this information into actionable knowledge. This involves a detailed understanding of the data, a synthesis of diverse datasets, and an overarching perspective of the various market scenarios.
The Art of Client Comprehension and Dot-Connection
Central to the renewed strategy is the profound necessity to genuinely comprehend client needs. To achieve this, the focus has moved away from simply bombarding clients with a barrage of numbers and graphs. Instead, the emphasis is on weaving a cohesive narrative, or “connecting the dots.” By creating a clear and coherent story from the extensive and complex data they collect, the company highlights a crucial aspect that helps clients comprehend the profound implications of the data. This skill in constructing a logical and compelling story from large volumes of raw data lays the foundation for developing strategies rich in practical and actionable insights. In other words, the aim is to provide clients with not just data but also the knowledge and guidance to make informed decisions based on that data.
The Odyssey of Knowledge Creation
Gathering data is just the beginning. The real value comes from turning that data into useful information. Market research companies that have evolved now focus on creating knowledge from data. This means going through massive amounts of data to find patterns, trends, and hidden insights.
As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management once said, “Data is not information. Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom.”
Market research remains the underpinning force behind all these transformative strides. These companies’ commitment to understanding the intricate dance of market dynamics, capturing what consumers like,and staying updated with current trends ensures that the knowledge they share is both relevant and up-to-date.
Stepping into the Advisory Arena
Transitioning from a role of data presentation to one of insightful advice is no minor feat. You will find market research companies today are beginning to become more ambitious in venturing into advisory services underlines its unflagging dedication to not just provision insights but to shepherd businesses on harnessing them to their fullest potential.
Shishir Varma, a man who has led various market research firms into transforming into knowledge agencies, embodies this change. “We took pride in saying, we’ll help clients understand the why behind the data. And that will be our reason to work with clients, and that will be the reason why clients will be actually ready to pay a premium compared to the rest of the industry because we don’t supply just the data. We will go to the level of answering. And in trying to get to the why, we use neurosciences, we use marketing sciences, we use many other angles.”
Guiding the Application of Data
The most significant aspect of this transformation with today’s agency’s is their unwavering focus on providing actionable insights. They no longer just present data trends; they also actively guide clients on how to apply these insights in the best possible way. This involves offering clear, easy-to-understand, and practical recommendations, which solidifies their role as essential partners in the decision-making process.
The evolution of data providers reflects the changing nature of the data service industry. Data providers are now being called upon to go beyond their traditional roles and provide insights, knowledge, and advisory services. In a world awash with data, companies like the aforementioned are the ones leading the way, helping businesses navigate the complexities of decision-making. Looking ahead, it’s likely that knowledge agencies will become even more integral to business success, as companies increasingly rely on data to drive their decisions.