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Create tomorrow today - Febelmar congress

Last week, I had the opportunity to go the the annual Febelmar conference. Having never been to this before, I did like the idea to see what this was all about.


The theme this year was 'Create tomorrow today' and I have to admit, there was a lot of talk about the future and what it would bring. Seeing presentation about what people think would happen by 2025, getting background on the newest trends from 2 futurists.


Quite interesting in all. Not to forget about the workshops of course. In one workshop our little group got drafted to do a mime act. Admittedly, my first thought was, god**** why did I have to get one of these assignments.. However, after having seen other groups perform dances, sing songs or poems, my point of view quickly changed. 


Next to being fun, it was also interesting to think out of the box to get the message across. Ironically, the intro to the workshop was given by a powerpoint presentation saying that powerpoint is not the right format. Somehow this doesn't rhyme to me.


I do agree with the content tough, there is a very strong tendency to keep with what you know, and powerpoint is quite an easy medium to help you. But there is a great need for us to change this, and to start thinking about what impact we want to make with our research.

We pride ourselves on being very good at research, at understanding and at getting to the core, but then we clutter this up with a lot of extra charts and information and visuals and ... and in the end, we don't even get the simplest message across.

We need to change how and what we communicate to our clients. And this will only get more so in the days to come.

Why is this, simply because big data, or integrated data or however you want to call it, is here to stay. But in order to work through the tsunami of data, our clients and we together with our clients need to start thinking differently about the data.

We have to think of what data do we have and how can we transform this into insights. And we as researchers have to relearn our former skills. We have to be inquisitive, innovative in how we approach the data and how we get the key insights out of this. And this insight will not be delivered in a 200 page powerpoint presentation, but in a very simple answer for our client. Our clients need to get simple answers for their questions, even more so now as a lot of our clients are shifting from the classical marketing/communication people who know research and data to involve IT, Sales, Backend.

In order to bring all stakeholders in line, it needs to be our job to be translators, to tell what the data is saying to us, in simple insights, clear output and appropriate to our audiences. Or to put it like MR Radeep (Unilever) said it, we need to go from Big data to Smart data. And I would like to add one further step, to Smart insights.

by Frederik De Boeck,
Senior Data Scientist
on 08-03-2016

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