Market Research - A complexity approach using SenseMakerTM


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A complexity approach to market research has been derived from the science of Complex Adaptive Systems, where the nature of a complex system is such that there is no one right answer. There are range of possibilities and options due to the myriad of factors that could determine cause and effect. Complex systems are by their very nature emergent, and the challenge with market research in this environment is be able to understand the emergent properties of complex systems that allow decision makers to make informed decisions and monitor impact over time.

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Market Research - A complexity approach using SenseMakerTM

  1. 1. Market Research A complexity approach using SenseMakerTM FEBRUARY 2010
  2. 2.  “There  is  nothing  like  looking,  if  you  want  to  5ind  something.  You  certainly   usually  5ind  something,  if  you  look,  but  it  is  not  always  quite  the  something   you  were  after.”    - J.R.R. Tolkien  A complexity approach to market research The  business  environments  of  the  21st  Century  are  shaping  up  to  be  radically  different  to  those   many  of  us  have  experienced  previously.  Recent  market  shaping  events  such  as  the  Global   Financial  Crisis  were  not  widely  foreseen  and  who  is  to  say  that  an  unprecedented  events  such  as   these  will  not  happen  again?  As  we  enter  the  second  decade  of  a  new  century,  the  pace  of  change   will  only  conJnue  to  accelerate  with  the  scale  and  scope  of  informaJon  available  to  assist  decision   makers  only  growing  in  defiance  of  comprehension.  Market  Research  in  this  environment  needs  to   embrace  a  toolkit  that  allows  companies  and  business  alike  to  understand  the  complexity  that  they   deal  with  on  a  daily  basis  in  order  to  make  effecJve  decisions. A  complexity  approach  to  market  research  has  been  derived  from  the  science  of  Complex  AdapJve   Systems,  where  the  nature  of  a  complex  system  is  such  that  there  is  no  one  right  answer.  There  are   range  of  possibiliJes  and  opJons  due  to  the  myriad  of  factors  that  could  determine  cause  and   effect.  Complex  systems  are  by  their  very  nature  emergent,  and  the  challenge  with  market   research  in  this  environment  is  be  able  to  understand  the  emergent  properJes  of  complex  systems     that  allow  decision  makers  to  make  informed  decisions  and  monitor  impact  over  Jme.  “Changing  the  way  we  measure  things  is  vital.  So  is  decompartmentalising   society  -­  making  sure  that  economics  and  politics  are  not  divorced  from   other  crucial  areas  of  life”      - David Attenborough Page 2
  3. 3. SenseMakerTM - designed to support narrative-based research and decision making  A  natural  and  intuitive  approach  to  gaining  multiple  perspectives   and  new  insights  into  complex  problems  that  have  until  now   proved  to  be  intractable  for  both  strategic  management  methods   and  software The  CogniJve  Edge  SenseMaker  SoNware  Suite,  is  fully  integrated  with  a  body  of  facilitated   processes,  is  the  outcome  of  several  years  of  research  into  human-­‐based  organizaJonal   complexity,  sensemaking,  decision-­‐making,  knowledge  sharing  and  impact  evaluaJon  by   CogniJve  Edge. It  provides  a  natural  and  intuiJve  approach  to  gaining  mulJple  perspecJves  and  new  insights   into  complex  problems  that  have  hitherto  proved  intractable  for  both  strategic  management   methods  and  soNware. The  SenseMaker  SoNware  Suite  has  been  used  to  address  complex  issues  associated  with: •   Making  decisions  in  inherently  complex  environments;   •   Assessing  the  intelligence  available  on  compeJJve  actors  and  their  strategies;   •   Developing  leaders  who  can  adapt  to  constant  change;   •   Managing  knowledge  that  is  criJcal  to  their  business;   •   EvaluaJon  of  impact  of  iniJaJves  and   •   Assessing  customer  saJsfacJon  and  employee  morale. Large  amounts  of  unstructured  data  are  used,  such  as  peoples  experiences  and  responses  to   prompJng  material,  news  arJcles,  blog  entries,  and  pictures,  where  the  way  in  which  these  are   tagged  enables  the  idenJficaJon  and  analysis  of  paWerns.    TradiJonal  staJsJcal  analysis  is  also   available. Current  esJmates  are  that  the  cost  is  in  the  range  of  20-­‐25%  of  more  tradiJonal  survey   approaches.    AddiJonal  benefits  are  that  the  source  data  remains  the  property  of  the  client   organisaJon,  the  skills  for  analysis  and  interpretaJon  are  transferred,  and  the  date/Jme   stamping  enables  tracking  of  trends  and  changes  -­‐  small  and  large. “There  is  no  difference  between  a  terrorist,  a  citizen,  an  employee  and  a   consumer  –  all  represent  the  problem  of  asymmetry  in  which  an   organisation  has  to  understand  multiple  interactions  and  decision  from   large  populations  which  cannot  be  predicted  or  controlled  by  that   organisation.”      - Cognitive Edge Page 3
  4. 4. Emerging  OpJons  uses  SenseMakerTM  to  capture  large  volumes  of  narraJve  with  respect  to   the  specific  area  under  consideraJon.    Literally  thousands  of  stories,  anecdotes,  pictures,   arJcles,  verbal  records  and  much  more,  can  be  captured  at  a  minimal  cost.  Those  who   provide  the  stories  or  submit  other  sense  making  material  answer  a  number  of  quesJons   that  provide  the  indexing  criteria,  and  subsequent  reporJng.  Indexing  is  customised  to  meet   the  needs  of  the  research,  and  central  to  the  CogniJve  Edge  Sense  Making  soNware’s  ability   to  shown  paWerns  that  could  uncover  emerging  trends,  issues  or  insights  that  are  not  readily   apparent  with  tradiJonal  methods  of  data  interrogaJon. SenseMakerTM  will  allow  for  the  uncovering  of  paWerns  in  the  complex  issue  being   invesJgated.  The  dataset  collected,  will  also  form  the  basis  for  the  ongoing  benchmarking  of   idenJfied  insights  and  drivers  moving  forward. The  kind  of  complex  organic  database  created,  can  help  you  find  out  who  is  saying  what,  and   how  a  challenge  or  project  is  being  handled.  For  example,  six  clicks  of  a  mouse  buWon  can  tell   you  all  the  stories  told  by  an  experienced  staff  member,  facing  a  crisis,  involving  deep  conflict   and  emoJons,  told  from  their  point  of  view,  with  the  intenJon  of  teaching.  Depending  on  the   number  of  queries  you  look  at,  you  can  narrow  or  expand  your  potenJal  insight  about  what   might  be  relevant  and  what  might  not. Benefits  of  SenseMakerTM: • Ability  to  allow  mul-ple  perspec-ves  to  be  visible  and  recognized  -­‐  to  make  the  “invisible  voices  visible” • Ability  to  value  dissent  without  requiring  a>ribu-on  of  blame • Providing  perspec-ves  and  frameworks  that  enable  people  to  take  ac-on  in  addressing  complex  issues • Compliment  and  work  in  conjunc-on  with  exis-ng  research  tools  and  processes • The  use  of  narra-ve  as  a  key  component  of  collec-ng  and  understanding  knowledge  in  context • A  founda-on  for  benchmarking • A  bo>om-­‐up  approach  to  iden-fying  issues  masked  through  organisa-on  hierarchy • A  near  real  -me  view  of  the  organisa-on  and  how  it  manages  complex  issues • Making  key  decisions  where  to  invest  scarce  research  or  marke-ng  budgets • Gaining  compe--ve  advantage  through  deep  insights  from  real  people.   • Know  how  customers  and  compe-tors  talk  about  the  issues  under  considera-on • Iden-fy  customer  segments  and  context  within  which  they  talk  about  issues  being  researched • Formulate  targeted  marke-ng  messages  that  most  resonate  with  target  audience   Page 4
  5. 5. SenseMakerTM - a look under the covers Key  to  SenseMakerTM  is  the  removal  of  the  role  of  the  “expert”  as  far  as  possible.  Experts  will   not  give  opinions  as  to  what  people  think  -­‐  this  is  gathered  from  real  people  in  the  target   research  audience.  By  recognising  that  each  individual  understands  their  experiences  beWer   than  experts,  and  allowing  them  to  interpret  their  own  material,  SenseMakerTM  is  able  to   provide  in-­‐depth  quanJtaJve  analysis  in  research  areas  typically  only  quanJfied  in  a   superficial  manner,  or  covered  by  qualitaJve  research  alone. SenseMakerTM  avoids  pre-­‐hypothesis,  categorisaJon  or  pre-­‐determined  demographic   definiJons.  The  use  of  emergent  research  allows  the  groups  to  be  discovered  based  on  actual   characterisJcs.  TradiJonal  survey  techniques,  focus  groups  or  standard  quesJonnaires  are   not  used.  By  using  indirect  quesJoning  and  gathering  responses  in  a  narraJve  format,  we  are   able  to  probe  to  a  deeper  level.  The  material  gathered  contains  not  only  the  respondents   experiences,  but  nuanced  insights  into  their  views  in  the  context  of  real  experiences.  These   details  enable  the  content  of  the  responses  to  be  understood.  The  result  is  a  staJsJcal   analysis  of  the  paWerns  of  responses,  which  can  be  drilled  down  into  to  examine  the   qualitaJve  narraJve  underneath  the  numbers. Summary Statistics for graph: In this story people feel they are -- Lacking choice X The people in this story could be described as -- Old ways But everything else is great.. Number of items: 36 If your lucky you'll get a competent supervisor. If ~~~~~ X axis (In this story people feel they are -- Lacking choice) not you can end up with someone who doesn't do Frustrated &" their job but will always appear to others that they Mean: 68.6667 powerless! are helpful and hard working. They will take credit Median: 79.5 25th percentile: 36.25 for your hard work and even put their name to it. 75th percentile: 97.75 They will quietly and without witnesses bully you all Standard deviation: 31.9616 the while justifying why they need you to do as they say. If your not good at dealing with this type Skewness: -0.6409 (skewed to the left) Skewness standard error (SSE, sqrt(6/n)): 0.4082 of conflict you often feel angry and frustrated. Skewness Z score (skewness / SSE): -1.5699 Dominant Attitude! Skewness indicates normal distribution (abs Z score < 2): yes Kurtosis: -1.1866 (platykurtic or heavier in the tails) Standard error for kurtosis (KSE, sqrt(24/n)): 0.8165 Kurtosis Z score (Kurtosis / KSE): -1.4533 Kurtosis indicates normal distribution (abs Z score < 2): yes ~~~~~ Y axis (The people in this story could be described as -- Old ways) Mean: 65.8056 Median: 79.0 25th percentile: 24.0 75th percentile: 99.0 Standard deviation: 33.0427 Going through ! Skewness: -0.4929 (skewed to the left) the motions! Skewness standard error (SSE, sqrt(6/n)): 0.4082 Skewness Z score (skewness / SSE): -1.2074 Skewness indicates normal distribution (abs Z score < 2): yes Unnecessarily" Non existent! Leadership! Interfering! Kurtosis: -1.4432 (platykurtic or heavier in the tails) Standard error for kurtosis (KSE, sqrt(24/n)): 0.8165 Restrictions Kurtosis Z score (kurtosis / KSE): -1.7676 Kurtosis indicates normal distribution (abs Z score < 2): yes We're under staffed, under resourced, aging Correlation demographic. Use parametric correlation test? yes Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient: 0.4346 Pearson correlation significance: 0.0081 Significance threshold: 0.05 Correlation is significant? yes Whose "increased selfishness"?? Litigators?? That will hinder many volunteers, regardless of time, attitudes, and generations. Who can seriously afford to be sued for any perceived wrong doing while do gooding?? Like everything in our highly dynamic society today, volunteering attitudes and experiences are shifting. Some more positive, some negative, and many traditional volunteer beliefs and services need to mirror these changes to move with the times to survive the times. !Who killed the Volunteer? Frustrated &" powerless! Dominant Attitude! Going through ! the motions! Unnecessarily" Non existent! Leadership! Interfering! Page 5
  6. 6. SignificaJon  of  experiences  provided  by  respondents  occurs  in  two  primary  forms  -­‐  Triads   and  Opposing  Opposites. Triads: Assessing the relationship between three competing Interests! Triads  are  a  visual  form  of  gecng  parJcipants  to  indicate  the  relaJonship  that  exists  between   three  compeJng  interests  within  an  issue  under  consideraJon.  To  respond,  the  parJcipant   will  move  the  ball  within  the  triad  to  where  they  think  it  best  sits  in  relaJon  to  the  the  three   areas  of  interest  (one  at  each  apex). SenseMaker  in  its  analysis,  will  then  use  the  aggregate  of  these  responses  to  build  “heat   maps”  of  paWerns  of  responses  provided.  Where  interesJng  paWerns  appear,  we  can  drill   down  into  the  experiences  to  understand  the  paWern  and  context  of  responses. Triad Interpretation: How three competing themes relate! Work environment open to new initiatives:! Area of the business most impacted:! Encouraged use of! Team! new learnings! Risk! Too much else! Averse! going on! Me! Organisation! Difference to the business:! Process! Money! Clients! Page 6
  7. 7. Polarities: Opposing opposites to uncover layers of meaning! Opposing  opposites  are  an  addiJonal  form  of  signifier  used  by  SenseMakerTM.  TradiJonal   surveys  will  oNen  use  a  scale  running  from  a  negaJve  posiJon  to  a  posiJve  end,  with  the   desirable  outcome  usually  posiJve  and  obvious  to  the  parJcipant.  This  is  done  for  two   reasons  -­‐  to  “mask”  the  ideal  outcome  and  deny  a  simple  answer  and  to  provide  an   addiJonal  dimension  for  sensemaking.  By  asking  the  respondent  to  rate  their  response   between  two  extremes  we  get  a  deeper  understanding  of  the  response. Page 7
  8. 8. Impact Dashboard: Measurement of Impact over time! An  Impact  Dashboard  can  be  developed  based  upon  the  areas  where  deep  insight  is  sought   in  the  domain  area  of  enquiry,  using  the  polariJes  that  parJcipants  have  responded  to. The  parJcipant  would  have  moved  the  ball  in  the  slider  bar  to  the  the  extent  that  they  feel   the  issue  under  consideraJon  is  present.  SenseMakerTM  will  then  aggregate  these  responses   into  an  overall  distribuJon.  In  a  perfect  world  we  would  see  a  normal  distribuJon  centered   around  the  ideal  state.  In  reality  this  rarely  happens  and  we  are  looking  to  see  the  deviaJon   of  the  mean  of  the  distribuJon  (red  line)  from  the  Ideal  State  (blue  shaded  area).  By  drilling   down  into  the  narraJve  we  can  find  the  context  as  to  why  the  deviaJon  from  the  ideal  state   is  occurring.  Furthermore,  intervenJons  can  be  developed  to  shiN  the  mean  back  towards   the  ideal  state  which  can  be  monitored  over  Jme. What interventions might be required to shift the mean back towards the Ideal State of “participants having the ability to experiment in an environment where it is safe to fail”?! Safe learning environment! Ideal State! Too scared to! Over protected! try anything new! Role management! Learning! Engaging with colleagues! Being often the leader on projects, I took less of a variety of skills, approaches and thinking I would share my positive thoughts on the leading role to help others. I was able to observe the in the business - evident from working interaction with colleagues, the challenge project management leadership and role definition together in teams. Insight from watching in delivering an outcome in a short time process and the impact of these in reaching an colleagues present as a client - increased frame. Would also suggest that the outcome. This was very educational to see from the awareness of how a customer might see classroom learning and activity were outside and the positive (consensus) attributes and us when we pitch to them.! disconnected but it didn't undermine the adverse impact of not having clear roles which I will overall value of the course. ! use in my role. ! Page 8
  9. 9. MulJple  Choice  QuesJons  provide  a  second  level  of  significaJon,  allowing  analysis  to  be   further  segmented  based  upon  responses  to  each  mulJple  choice  quesJon Signification: The person who provides the experience decides what it means! Page 9
  10. 10. About us: Emerging Options are a consulting network specialising in complexity and ways of helping organisations and groups understand the world in which they participate in order to act. Vivien Read is a founder of Emerging Options. Viv has over 30 years experience as a consultant and manager in organisational strategy, change management, industrial relations, leadership development, and action learning. She has co facilitated 4 Cognitive Edge accreditation programs, in Australia and South East Asia. She is currently involved in projects using the Cognitive Edge tools and processes in Australia and Singapore. Viv is a frequent presenter at conferences, seminars and professional groups including knowledge management societies, facilitator networks, and training and development groups. Chris Fletcher is a co-founder of Emerging Options. Prior to starting Emerging Options, Chris was the Asia Pacific Director for Knowledgement Management at Deloitte. He has over 20 years experience working in Marketing, Business Development, Strategy and Knowledge Management - predominantly in the professional services sector. His current focus is on using Cognitive Edge tools and processes to help organisations and groups understand complex issues, connect people and develop networks. Chris is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars in the Asia Pacific region. For more information on this project or to express interest in participating, please contact: Viv Read email: Phone: +61 414 294 339 Chris Fletcher email: Phone: +61 402 308 403 Page 10