10 Market Research Challenges

February 23, 2010
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Data Privacy on the Web?

As part of the recent BAQMaR Conference in Ghent Belgium, 10 upcoming challenges to the market research industry were identified. Several of the speakers at the event were interviewed about what they thought about them.

One of the topics which I think will become increasingly important is privacy, especially as it relates to new media research (social media and social networking research). I’ve included one of 10 interview clips below.

Thanks to text analytics, screen scraping and link analysis we will soon have access to data we only once dreamed about.

While Niels Schillewaert of InSites Consulting and I both agree that this is an important ‘gray area’, and that we should behave ethically, I’m not sure that I agree that we need to set up a bunch of new rules to follow so early in the game. For instance…

Data Privacy on the Web?

As part of the recent BAQMaR Conference in Ghent Belgium, 10 upcoming challenges to the market research industry were identified. Several of the speakers at the event were interviewed about what they thought about them.

One of the topics which I think will become increasingly important is privacy, especially as it relates to new media research (social media and social networking research). I’ve included one of 10 interview clips below.

Thanks to text analytics, screen scraping and link analysis we will soon have access to data we only once dreamed about.

While Niels Schillewaert of InSites Consulting and I both agree that this is an important ‘gray area’, and that we should behave ethically, I’m not sure that I agree that we need to set up a bunch of new rules to follow so early in the game. For instance, do we really need to transfer the individual level anonymity guidelines from survey research into the screen/web scraping projects on the web? These comments were after all posted on the internet for all to see.

I’m not so sure comments in the public domain aren’t fair game, and I definitely don’t feel we know enough at this point to work out a whole new set of guidelines. I would be afraid unnecessary rules may arise to hinder the development of new market research techniques and tools that we so desperately need in order to stay viable as an industry.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this topic.

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