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Why not give a point of view for us to ponder? (SAMRA Journal Editor, Duncan Brett)


If you were fortunate enough to attend this year’s SAMRA conference, you would have got to hear some great talks in beautiful surroundings. It’s a testament to the presenters that most of us stayed inside to listen instead of going outside to play.

If you read widely it can broaden your horizons and push your boundaries. And with the advent of the digital age, there is no shortage of things to read. In fact there is so much pouring out that a new term has been coined: ”infobesity”.

We are a relatively specialised industry and we would all benefit if we had a trusted forum of research practitioners putting forward some articles to help us think outside our own box. Even better if it is from our own backyard. Our industry needs to be and stay thought leaders. And there is a lot to think about.

The ideas of behavioural economics have increasingly come to our attention, and by now most of you will have at least a rudimentary understanding of system 1 vs. system 2 thinking. The work of Daniel Kahneman and others has a lot of implications for the way we conduct research. Online and mobile panels have become an attractive means to conduct research, but what does it mean for sampling? And what of sampling today anyway? Many feel true probability sampling in today’s age is a pipe dream. Businesses and even whole industries have been built on the idea of segmenting your market and building loyalty amongst customers. Others argue the route to growth is a function of penetration. There has been phenomenal growth in the analysis of big data, some feel it will provide all the answers you ever need. In a sea of data it can be much easier to find correlation and forget about causation. All of these make and many more would make great material for articles.

So, why not throw some ideas out and give a point of view for us to ponder. Let us know what books we should be reading, and what areas we should be exploring. The future is likely to be very disrupted, and the way we, and everyone else, does business will probably change radically in the coming years.

I recently read a near century old, short book called Obvious Adams by Robert Updegraff, which reminded me of the value of gathering and assessing the information required with no preconceptions and applying clear thinking. In many ways, this process is what the best research does. Our tools may change, but there will almost certainly always be a market for intelligent thinking, decent insights and how to apply it. Good advice is unlikely to go out of fashion.

SAMRA has built its offer considerably over recent years. I hope the online journal will give you another good reason to visit the website regularly. If you use twitter, follow @SAMRA_Journal and we will keep you notified of new articles.

Here’s wishing you happy reading and a wonderful second half to 2015.

The Ed.

Question or Comment?

2 comments on “Why not give a point of view for us to ponder? (SAMRA Journal Editor, Duncan Brett)

Hi Ruane – you can post it here, or email publications@samra.co.za

Ruane Bester

Hi. Where can I send my comments and suggestions to?

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