Principles for Solution Focused Analytics

With the re-launch of our brand, positioning and website, I thought it would be a good time to share a few of our “guiding principles” when it comes to our Marketing Sciences function, analytics and our research philosophy in general.

Even the most analytical thinkers are predictably irrational; the really smart ones acknowledge and address their irrationalities.

Dan Ariely

A wise boss shared with me years ago about how clients, “don’t want drill bits, they want holes.   Stay focused on the solutions, not the approaches.” It is with that mindset that I share the following.

1. “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” I believe Einstein had this right.   There are a whole lot of things that we can do, but that doesn’t mean that we should. We should only add analytics onto research plans where it will help answer the business question at hand or answer another important question that we suspect may arise.   The second part of this quote is important too, though. There are often times when we will not be able to “analytical derive” an answer to a question.   Some things will remain a mystery, at least from a statistical viewpoint.

2. If our client isn’t going to understand it, or be able to act upon it, we won’t do it.  That doesn’t mean we’ll never do it, it just highlights an opportunity for working more closely with our client.   While we can better educate them on our approaches and possibilities, we can also better learn their business to understand what limitations and constraints they may be facing.   Ultimately, we are here to help make our clients’ job easier (not harder!) and set them up for greater success.

3. Common sense sometimes trumps significance.   My statistician friends give me grief for this one, but making decisions solely by the numbers will not lead to success every time.   It’s really uncomfortable to say, “Well, the analysis says X, but all other indications point to Y”.   But sometimes, you have to do just that. The best solutions are those that take a holistic view of the question or problem at hand.

4. Beliefs… inform decisions… which lead to outcomes.   We aim to help our clients make better informed decisions by adding to their knowledge (beliefs).  This leads both them, and us, to more desirable outcomes. You’ll be amazed at how often that little framework comes into play – in many aspects of life.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but I hope it gives you an idea of how we approach the role of Marketing Sciences specifically, and Marketing Research in general, within our organization.   By no means will we get all of these right 100% of the time, but that is certainly our goal. I also hope that it gives a more tangible idea of what we mean by the term researchWISE®.

~ Bud Sanders

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