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Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Find Me Some Data

Posted on  16 October 12  by 

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Market Research is in need of a matchmaker. No, I’m not talking about finding a date – we’ll leave that job to Yente. Instead, I’m referring to the decidedly unromantic field of multi-source data integration. With so much new customer information available, how do you find the right sources to marry (pun intended) with Research’s own data?

Good matchmakers are successful because they’re trusted and they know their clients well. Those same principles can be applied to identifying the best places to collaborate with other data source owners. Rather than leave it to individual researchers to seek out diverse sources, successful data integrators like TIAA-CREF delegate that responsibility to functional heads who have a broad perspective on their own departments’ resources and capabilities and the authority to directly collaborate.

Source owners meet regularly to discuss new project requests and the best ways to work together. MREB members, read more about how TIAA-CREF conducts planning meetings to ease collaboration and successfully integrate new data sources.

For large projects that require more coordinated knowledge sharing, a source contribution template can help organize the process. MREB members, access the template here.

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Improving a Content Taxonomy: Taking Cues from You

Posted on  2 April 12  by 

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MREB is running a very quick card sorting exercise to make improvements to our Web site.  To participate in this 5-minute exercise, click here.

Making sure that information and insights are easily accessible is a big part of a research team’s job, and we here at the MREB are focusing on that now more than ever.  We recently published work on embedding knowledge into the organization, and some of our most popular work remains are profiles of Research portals.

For example, one of our more popular portal profiles is of Adobe’s market research portal, Goldmine.  To make access to information as user-friendly as possible, the Information Resources Group developed a business- and technology-based taxonomy of 13 supertopics and relevant subtopics.  Grouped with email alerts, save searches, a personalizable area of the site, and a blog, the team was able to create a dynamic and proactive research tool for the entire organization.

We too have a taxonomy of topic centers on our Web site to try to make our information as accessible as possible.    To make sure that parts of our taxonomy are user friendly and make sense, I am fielding a very quick (5-minute) card sorting exercise to understand how researchers think about projects.  Please click on the link to provide your thoughts and help make our content more accessible. 

Thanks so much for your help!

Rethinking Organizational Design

Posted on  28 March 12  by 

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Now that spring is here, I’ve been heading outside to enjoy the fresh air, blooming flowers, and newly-green trees (FYI – D.C.’s famous cherry blossom trees had their third-earliest peak bloom last week!). For those of us living in suburbia, springtime also comes with fun activities like lawn-mowing, spring cleaning, and a general dusting-off of things left alone during the winter. This might involve taking stock of a yard and driving to the hardware store for some quick fixes. Other folks begin by first checking out what the neighbors are up to for ideas.

Much like attempting a home DIY project without the right blueprints, tools or inspiration, restructuring an organization can be painful and frustrating. To alleviate these struggles, the Market Research Executive Board provides a handy set of organization profiles as a benchmarking tool, useful for seeing how other teams are structured within the same industry, team size or business model.

While our original profile collection has been popular, we are always looking to keep them current and as interesting for members as possible. For this reason, I am excited to announce that our latest research project will be to create a new set of organization profiles. In particular, we hope to depict in greater detail how companies are arranging regional and global research units, particularly as market research departments become more globalized.

The more companies that participate in this project, the more valuable these profiles will be to anyone using them. We encourage you to be included by taking our survey. Like our original profile collection, all company names will be hidden; the profiles are available simply to give members an anonymous peek into their neighbor’s yard and see what the possibilities are.

As we compile our new profiles over the coming months, we’ll keep you updated on what we’re finding. As always, we would love to hear any feedback, particularly on what you’d like to see in the upcoming collection, so free to email us or leave a comment below!