Insights from GRIT Futures List Honoree Amy Greenwood
The FlexMR team is hugely proud of our Head of Research and Insight - Amy Greenwood - who was honored in February 2020 with a place on the GRIT Futures List. To understand what makes a future leader tick, Greenbook have published 16 insights from interviews with the honorees. Here's what Amy said as part of the interview series:
What inspired you to take up a career in insights?
I think it’s quite common for a lot of people to fall into a career in insights, but this wasn’t the case for me. I left university with a strong intention to become a market researcher based on elements of my degree I really enjoyed. I was given the opportunity in my final year to team up with a local third sector charity and conduct a research project for them which would then be used to make key decisions in their organisation. What inspired me to enter a career in insights was the ability to influence those key decisions and make change.
The role of a researcher has also suited my personality very well; I’m inquisitive, always wanting to know more and have a great desire to influence positive change for my clients.
What advice do you have for those starting a career in insights?
A career in insights is fun, challenging and ultimately what you make it. Over the past ten years, the amount of support out there for new researchers has exploded exponentially. So, seek out the opportunities you’re interested in, develop a specialism and keep abreast of the new developments in the industry.
As a researcher, especially at a junior level, it can be hard to find balance between the day-to-day work and engaging in wider industry discussions. But it is those macro and emerging trends that will have an impact on your career in 5 years’ time – so engage early and pursue those that interest you most.
And, perhaps above all else, find a mentor who is going to fight in your corner. They may be a manager, a senior colleague or from elsewhere in the industry. But wherever you find one, a mentor is an incredibly valuable asset to have.
What challenges do you see as technology advances?
While it’s likely there will be the challenge of developing and adapting to the new skills that new technology will necessitate, I don’t think that’s the largest challenge new research professional will face. The industry, and those working in it, have adapted to that before.
I think the largest challenge will be how to make effective technology decisions when the landscape becomes so large. Even right now, the choice of method and supporting technology is relatively limited. However, as emerging technologies become more mainstream, and the choice available to researchers expands, it is going to become increasingly difficult to effectively evaluate which solutions best meet the needs of a particular research challenge.
There’s also likely to be the challenge of retaining control, as technologies continue to automate more and more processes. Which aspects of research require human intervention? Which don’t? Answering those questions will become a big challenge.
Where do you see the future of insights heading in 10 years?
The research industry feels as though it is at a critical juncture. As the volume of passive data sources increase, and legislators & tech giants alike take bold stances on consumer privacy – I think the next few years will be mired in technical and legal complexity. But on the other side of that transition is a future where active, permission-based and consumer-controlled data becomes the new norm.
While this is happening, it’s also safe to assume technology will show no signs of slowing down. More and more of the simple, repetitive research tasks will be automated – leaving market researchers with a greater amount of time to dedicate to complex, behaviour led studies and engaging insights activation.
Read the full article and insights from all the GRIT Future List honorees here.
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