Editor's note: Jake Wolff is managing director, North America, at research company Cint, New York.

Fuelled by tech firms that are not focusing on complex methodology, researchers are gathering quick insights and current data. Tech start-ups have moved rapidly into the marketing research arena, facilitating easier access to quick surveys through innovative platforms and tools that include support for mobile-based research. These tech firms specialize in helping companies draw insights from available data via unique technology-based solutions. By replacing manual processes with technology in the MR supply chain, firms hope to help researchers obtain pinpoint data and also provide time efficiencies and cost-savings.

As this trend evolves, the pressure on existing delivery models will grow. Quality checks and other steps involved in deploying and delivering surveys will become increasingly automated. The application of technology in the market research industry, coupled with the need for speed and a thirst for immediately-actionable insights, means that a large and growing group of MR clients are emerging that do not fit within the traditional MR model.

The need for traditional surveys and data analytics will never disappear but the recent trend – coming largely from the U.S. – has been toward gathering fast responses to a limited number of questions to quickly ascertain opinions. This has been driven by a number of players, Google being perhaps the most prominent. With these platforms, business or marketing decisions can be made quickly based on the up-to-date data and insights.

So what effect is this having on the industry? This need for speed inevitably impacts the way client services teams operate and deliver while catering to new demands. Automation is replacing once manual processes and researchers are looking for:

Researchers are looking for faster delivery and more current and focuse...