We interviewed Significant Insights 30 Under 30 nominee Elisabeth Schneider who is a Research Consultant at quantilope, and helps empower marketing and consumer insights managers, as well as market researchers, to conduct DIY research in order to gain valuable insights with impact.
Take us through your industry journey so far? How did you arrive at this point?
Very early on I realised that I wanted to understand human behaviour – especially decision making. That is why I decided to study psychology and fell in love with research – a tool to understand and predict human behavior.
Working as a statistics tutor during my time at university I realised that many students struggle with statistics or even fear it.
As a consequence, I noticed that these students were choosing topics for their research projects that didn’t involve complex statistics rather than going for the topics and research designs that suit their interests best. I thought that was a pity as research is a great tool to gather valuable insights and to broaden knowledge in various fields.
After university, I gathered some practical experience in internships but it was the last one, my internship at quantilope, that convinced me to choose a career in this industry. Quantilope is an insights automation platform that is very intuitive to use. Even very complex research methods, like implicit association tests, are easy and fun to implement and analyse. Thinking about all the time and effort that other students and I have invested in data analysis with SPSS or R, I appreciated the insights automation platform a lot. In particular, I saw its high potential to tighten the researcher-practitioner gap in simplifying market research and, consequently, making it accessible even to non-statistics experts. This is important because tight timings and lacking research expertise should not result in decision making based on gut feel.
That is why I started working at the platform as a research consultant. I wanted to make research accessible to everyone and be part of the insights automation revolution.
And this is exactly what I did – two years later, I am empowering marketing and consumer insights managers as well as market researchers in conducting their own research quickly and easily, gaining valuable insights that deliver a great impact within their companies.
I am very happy and proud to succeed with my mission and support the development of my clients as they become DIY researchers. But the journey does not end here: we just started to expand in the UK market, and I am very happy to be part of this adventure.
So, what is so inspiring about our industry?
The market research industry is inspiring for various reasons! First of all, being involved in research projects allows you to learn new things about consumers and the market every day.
You are up to date about new consumer trends. Additionally, you learn about different types of consumers. I used to think that most people share my personal opinions as well as the opinions of my family, friends, colleagues, and other surroundings. However, working in market research gives you the opportunity to reach out to people you usually would not interact with. In doing this, I realised that people differ more than I thought. It is very interesting to investigate their different needs, opinions, behavior intentions, personalities etc. and to find patterns.
Secondly, it is very inspiring and exciting to learn from research insights. Hypotheses that fail might lead to new questions resulting in a follow up project. I love conducting agile, flexible and iterative research in order to gather insights with great impact.
Thirdly, it just feels great to actually see the impact of the research in real life. For example, if I see a product innovation in the supermarket and know that I was involved in the process.
Lastly, the research industry is extremely exciting to follow. There are so many interesting ways to investigate and predict consumer behavior. Especially regarding the technological development and the use of Artificial Intelligence in this industry.
What message do you have for anyone considering a career in our industry?
1. Don’t be afraid of statistics. These days there are great tools on the market that simplify the statistical part of research a lot.
2. Find a company that suits your values and personality. Work will be fun if the company culture suits your personality.
3. Be open to learn and adapt: the industry is changing so quickly. With a high pace new and exciting research features and tools are developed.
How do very junior researchers stand out?
1. Be brave: take chances even if you are out of your comfort zone and believe in your skills and potential.
2. Gather feedback from colleagues (actively ask for it) and implement it – measure it and set your own learning goals. Additionally, take chances to learn from experienced colleagues.
3. Focus: do not say “yes” to everything but rather find your passion and become an expert.
4. Sit on the driver seat instead of just being a passenger. You can be part of implementing new processes in your company. If you have an idea, observations from your daily work or feedback from your clients you should share it within your company.