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Predictions for Qualitative Research in 2018

Predictions for Qualitative Research in 2018

As the end of the year approaches, it is not uncommon for individuals to reflect on the previous year as well as make predictions for the next one. Part of our role as researchers lays in leveraging data to predict future trends. By taking a retrospective look at some of the developments in 2017, the following presents a speculative look at what 2018 has in store for qualitative research:

  1. The Individual Consumer

As marketing and communications become more individualized, brands are likely to look for research partners that can provide similarly detailed insight into the individual consumer. As brands seek to embark on this mission of personalization, this is likely to translate in a shift from the use of trackers and segmentation to the use of tools such as communities, diaries, single-source panels, etc.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

Ever the buzzword across circles extending far beyond research, the scope of implementation for artificial intelligence in the research industry will likely develop further in 2018 as researchers become increasingly pressured to provide data at faster rates. Some industry analysts also predict the use of home-based, voice-controlled smart speakers (such as Amazon’s Alexa) as interview devices as being on the horizon in the near future.

  1. Data Privacy

The fast rate of technological development often means that legislation tends to be a few steps behind. In light of recent large scale hacks of prominent companies such as Yahoo and Uber, data protection laws are likely to become stricter and savvy consumers are likely to be more reluctant to share personal data for free. Opt-in panels and loyalty programs are likely to serve as more common databases for research.

These three points provide just a snapshot at what 2018 may have in store for the research industry, and are by no means exhaustive. What trends do you foresee impacting qualitative research over the next 12 months?