Industry Overview Services: Challenges in Recent TimesAnthony Johnson
Several factors such as national policies, international trends, regional challenges and manpower challenges affect an industry and in turn, any company operating in that field. Strategic as well as tactical intelligence studies help in obtaining a better understanding of the industry specific factors. Strategic intelligence involves the study of issues affecting the industry in the long term whereas tactical intelligence includes the analysis of issues affecting the industry in the short term. For example, strategic intelligence will answer questions such as “where will the industry be in X years?” and tactical intelligence will answer what products are being sold in the industry and its price.
CATI or computer aided telephonic interviewing is the process of interviewing the respondents over the telephone and recording the same on a computer whereas CAWI is computer aided web interview where the respondent types his responses to browser based questions. Activities such as arranging sample surveys, making questionnaires, obtaining and collecting data and analyzing them, making questions available in local languages as far as possible, help in industry overview services to provide better insights to the decision makers.
What are the challenges?
In the past few years, industry overview studies have faced a few tough questions such as making the reports more impactful, give a whole picture and assemble all scattered information. Another challenge is the continuous technological up gradations and the usage of latest tools in research. A researcher has to be aware of the advances in technology that assists in the research.
The vast amounts of data generated from primary as well as secondary research, their analysis, data management and their integration is another major challenge in front of the service provider. Handling clients or the companies that employ the researchers is a major task since most clients are demanding and expect quick results. This emphasis on quick results is at the cost of accuracy.
There is an additional pressure of cutting research costs forcing the researchers to work with lower budgets leading to loss of quality. Many times companies are not clear about the research objectives and keep changing them midway leading to loss of time and resources.
Failing to meet research deadlines as a result of such last minute changes reflects on the performance of the researcher and the agency providing such services. Meeting client expectations as promised at the start of the research project is a challenge that depends whether the client was given a realistic picture initially.
Lack of trained talent and grooming new researchers is a continuous challenge for any industry overview services agency. The availability of few experts in statistics, big data, and research methods slows down the research process.
The emergence of social media, Internet, and mobile technologies is another major area of concern for researchers due to the vast amount of data available and the ability to process it. The shift towards mobile devices, the emergence of e-commerce and social networking platforms has only made it more difficult for the researcher.
Thus, the industry overview services agencies have a constant battle to differentiate themselves from similar agencies to stay relevant and to display their unique value to clients.