A recent survey conducted by Qualtrics, an experience management company, sheds light on the sentiments of researchers regarding job security and their perception of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field. The study, based on responses from 3,050 researchers across 14 countries and 12 industries, offers valuable insights into the market research industry’s evolving landscape.
According to the survey results, a significant 87% of researchers expressed confidence in their job security. This positive outlook suggests a stable and promising environment within the market research industry, where professionals feel secure in their roles.
AI’s role in accelerating analysis
The research also revealed that over half of the surveyed researchers, precisely 56%, believe that AI will play a pivotal role in expediting analysis and providing quicker insights. This optimism regarding AI’s potential to enhance their work underscores the industry’s readiness to embrace technological advancements.
Researchers see AI as a valuable tool for their work, with 56% believing that it will lead to faster analysis. This positive perception of AI’s capabilities aligns with the growing trend of incorporating AI-driven solutions in research processes.
Minimal concerns about AI outpacing abilities
Interestingly, only 25% of respondents expressed concerns about AI outpacing their personal or team abilities. This suggests that the majority of researchers view AI as a complementary tool rather than a threat to their expertise.
A substantial 62% of researchers noted that their companies now rely significantly more on their research and insights than they did in the past two years. This increase in dependence on research underscores the importance of data-driven decision-making in today’s business landscape.
Furthermore, the study revealed that insights budgets are on the rise, indicating that organizations are willing to invest in research and data analysis to gain a competitive edge in their respective markets.
AI integration in research practices
The research by Qualtrics also highlighted the integration of AI in research practices, with 47% of respondents already using AI to analyze qualitative data sets sourced from surveys, product reviews, and focus group transcripts. Additionally, 46% expressed their intention to utilize AI for analyzing survey content, addressing issues like bias, readability, and duplicate questions.
Researchers also expressed a positive inclination towards automated data quality solutions, with 37% finding them extremely helpful and 42% rating them as very helpful. These solutions aid in identifying and rectifying poor-quality responses in data sets.
Challenges in generative AI and remote data collection
While AI adoption is on the rise, researchers acknowledge challenges in certain areas. Approximately 43% of respondents agreed that identifying and preventing AI-generated responses poses a challenge when collecting data through online providers. This underscores the need for continued vigilance and quality control in AI-driven research processes.
Another noteworthy finding is that in-house research teams face challenges in keeping up with new methods, with 33% resorting to outsourcing projects due to a lack of internal skills. This skill gap highlights the importance of ongoing training and upskilling within the market research sector.
Remote and virtual research remains prevalent
Even post-pandemic, remote and virtual research methods continue to thrive. An overwhelming 87% of researchers reported conducting more than half of their qualitative work remotely. However, 36% of respondents admitted that developing as strong a rapport with participants online as in-person remains a challenge.
Mark Martiak, managing director of investments at Alliance Global Partners, believes that tech is poised for a resurgence, supported by improved fundamentals and a more favorable economic backdrop. Moreover, Oppenheimer and Truist Advisory Services have both endorsed the tech sector, citing strong balance sheets, cash flow generation, and earnings potential as key drivers for continued outperformance.
UBS Global Wealth Management echoed these sentiments, asserting that fears over tech fundamentals are unfounded, as earnings growth is expected to support further outperformance. Solita Marcelli, Chief Investment Officer Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management, emphasized the positive long-term outlook for AI and the software industry, particularly bolstered by Microsoft’s leadership in AI.