Editor’s note: Michel Feaster is the chief product officer of research at Qualtrics. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title “What skills should market researchers focus on in 2022?”

In a bid to understand constantly changing consumer behavior, especially over the last few years, organizations have embraced emerging market research technologies and shifted to tech-enabled insights. From autonomous tools and natural language processing to APIs and platformification, market research and statistical software is evolving at an incredible pace. They’re giving researchers deeper, more meaningful insights than ever before. With these capabilities, market research professionals can forecast future trends, understand consumer behavior and develop more robust and scalable research strategies.

But are researchers themselves keeping up? As these technologies and platforms empower individuals and teams to glean insights, are market researchers keeping their skills up to date – and if not, what are they missing out on?

Recognizing the issues

Despite 67% of organizations investing heavily in new technologies, many cite a lack of market research skills and training as what’s preventing them from leveraging insights and creating effective strategies. Forrester Consulting found that 75% of organizations outsource their tactical market research work. While outside perspectives can be helpful in certain circumstances, it’s clear that outsourcing appears to stem more from gaps in in-house capabilities. The challenge is ensuring that organizations onboard the right people with the right market research skills to execute on strategies.

How can organizations bridge the gap? What are the key skills that modern market researchers need to improve research projects?

In 2021, the three most sought after skills were statistical analysis, integrating multiple data sources...