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What “ResTech” Means for the Insights Industry

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Author: Isaac Rogers, CIO

Like most industries, we love a good buzzword to help describe emerging trends or concepts within our world. One of the latest terms to enter our collective lexicon is “ResTech,” a term used to identify all the technology and automation solutions that exist to serve the market research industry. I think the rise in the use of this word over the past year signifies a few things for our industry and how we are growing and evolving our business.

First, the emergence of the term highlights just how critical technology has become to the practice of market research. In the not-too-distant past, our industry was mostly reliant on manual methods for data collection and analysis. I bet many of you still remember hand-tabulating data or doing 100% of your research in the “offline” world. Yet, in the past decade, we’ve seen technology rise from a set of simple tools that aid in data collection to today’s enterprise-grade research platforms and fully automated sample marketplaces that have totally changed what’s possible. The rise of the term ResTech signifies how important our tech stack has become to delivering results in today’s MR landscape.

Second, as we talk more sophisticatedly about our personal “ResTech stack,” we begin to think in more strategic ways about how we use best-of-breed tools and approaches. We can hire talent and train our teams to have deeper knowledge on how we get the most out of our company’s chosen set of technical tools. We’ve moved past simply having a primary survey tool/online community platform/programmatic sampling partner to thinking about our technology choices holistically; what parts of our ResTech stack can integrate with one another? What part of our ResTech stack could we see benefit from additional training? It’s becoming more and more common for agencies to advertise their “ResTech stack” in job descriptions – indicating what tools they leverage and looking for teammates who have existing experience with those technology platforms as a way to fast-track onboarding.

Lastly, having a concrete label for research technology allows us to define and highlight products “built for research.” As our industry has matured over the years, we’ve seen companies trial data collection tools meant for adjacent industries – sometimes with mixed success. By having a ResTech label, buyers can quickly identify tools and software designed to serve the unique needs of our industry versus inadvertently picking up tools meant for other purposes.

So you’ve read this far. But what does it all mean to you? I recommend every researcher who wants to leverage the power of ResTech not only use new technologies but also invest time and effort into understanding how technology works together – from training on platforms to developing the best practices that work for you and more. ResTech exists to make your research more effective; get out and take advantage of it.

And if you aren’t sure where to start, I love talking about this stuff. Feel free to reach out to discuss your ResTech game plan.