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Paul Hudson Writes on London for Research Live

On April 6th,  FlexMR CEO Paul Hudson published an article exploring how insight, presented as art, can spark important conversations - using the city of London as an example.

The article begins with a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you discovered important qualitative insight throughout the course of a research project. How would you communicate that insight in a debrief? How do we bring to life the essence of what that insight truly is? And, perhaps more challenging – make it memorable. PowerPoint? Quotes? Dashboards?

All of these options are fair game. Although this is a qualitative insight. It describes an emotion, a set of feelings and a way ‘of being’. And it was teased out through qualitative discussion. Dashboards dehumanise it, losing some of the meaning along the way. Quotes will suffice, to an extent. In fact, they are the most common way of communicating qualitative findings.

A New Approach to Reporting

But, Paul asks, can we do better? He explains how our team have been looking for an approach that is not just viewed, but digested, queried and internalised. A tall order, to say the least. We have had success though – specifically with artworks, created to capture the essence of qualitative insight, and paired with expert explanations that guide consumption.

The result, is something that captures attention, drawing viewers in to query and think about the meaning behind the frame. And as they do, our audiences engage and interact with the insight itself. Not the research process or the data or the findings, but with the actual insight and meaning found within the work.

Paul continues, to explain how the we uncovered about London insight is represented in the example artwork.

London, as Described as Qual Insight

The city, in this piece, is depicted as a mythical, fantastical bird. The vibrant colours and inspiration behind this subject’s form are a direct reflection of the vivacious life found in the metropolis, while the distinctive patterns highlight the melting pot of cultures that can be found within its streets.

As an animal, birds represent the feeling of ultimate freedom – the joy of flight a metaphor for the unbridled enthusiasm that Londoner’s chase opportunity with. But these opportunities are only there for those with the capacity to reach them – requiring both financial and emotional effort to sustain.

The background is an equally important aspect of the composition, contrasting sharply with the core subject. The grey texture blends together Renaissance styles with modern abstraction. The strange new skyline hints at how the history and heritage of the city is proudly remembered, but still capable of clashing with modern life in a way that can cause very real frictions.

So, what does it all mean? Paul suggests that few researchers would first turn to a mythical bird as a representation of London. Nor would we expect to see insight portrayed in such an abstract fashion, with such little help to navigate. There are no quotes to help audiences find their way around. Just notes, and a visual abstraction. And that is where success of this experiment lies.

To find out why, and read the full article click here. Or to get involved in the Insight as Art project and see your brand in a radical new light - visit our overview page

About Research Live

Owned and operated by the Market Research Society, Research Live is the world's leading source of industry news, opinion, special reports and feature articles for market and social researchers, data analysts and consumer insight professionals. Covering the latest trends and techniques from behavioural economics to big data analytics, as well as hot topics like polling and privacy.

For Press Enquiries

To discuss press and media enquiries please contact Christopher Martin, FlexMR Chief Marketing Officer, by email at chris.martin@flexmr.net or via telephone on 015395 65455.

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