In the 2020 Q Report, researchers around the world made it clear they were up for the challenge of redefining insights and identifying the skills necessary to survive the unknown. This year, as the marketing research and insight industry works to manage a changing economy – including shifts in individual markets, consumer behaviors and research trends – we thought it appropriate to see what new skills and/or expertise researchers think would be most beneficial to their careers. 

While some respondents reported the need for more tools rather than expertise/skills (“I just need tools better than Excel.”), most responses focused on a combination of industry-specific hard skills, general soft skills and the importance of continued education. 

Researchers made it clear they are committed to upping their digital game, though the focuses were quite varied. Respondents shared the desire to improve skills around a variety of programs and software, ranging from Zoom, PowerPoint and Photoshop to Tableau and SAS. One respondent simply wrote, “Anything that has to do with online/technology.”

Big data – a leading buzzword from years past – was only mentioned by name a handful of times. But there were multiple mentions of AI, data science, conjoint analysis, technical coding, programming and data analytics. 

Many made it obvious that the need for specific new skills stems from companies bringing more tasks in-house.  

Scaling in-house research teams, further education in developments and new capabilities in DIY/in-house research.

Be more independent in survey-building so that more in-house research can be done without spending on third-party and related analysis skills.

Training on advanced survey programming/analytics. I came from a large market research firm where we had a team of programmers and statisticians that would handle everything related to programming an advanced survey a...