Great to hear from our 2023 Global 30-under30 honouree, Emily Huang who is from Taiwan. She is a multilingual third culture kid that grew up being inspired and so she thrives to inspire others too. She enjoys translating insights to help users make more informed decisions and tell better stories.
So, how did you get into the industry, and take us through how you got to this point?
The industry found me!! During one of my marketing class in my masters program, a director of Marketing Science from Coca-Cola came as a guest lecturer, introducing some of the analytics that are used in the real world. Towards the end of the class she shared that they have an opening and I just had to apply! After a couple interviews, I landed in Tokyo to start my career at Coca-Cola as a Marketing Science Analyst. During that time I built a foundation using different types of data to quantitatively evaluate business strategies and help support future planning. From there I then moved to a more category focused perspective, working closely with the marketing teams to support any research needs. After spending 4 years on the client side, I wanted to expand my knowledge and skill set, strengthen my ability to translate insights across industries, and build myself towards a professional, reliable insights consultant. COVID also kicked in around this time so I wanted to be closer to home. This thought led me to transition to the agency side of things, here at NielsenIQ Taiwan.
What are you most proud of from your career so far?
If it has to be MR related, I must say it’s being on the program committee for the ESOMAR Congress 2022. It was such an extraordinary experience to be a part of a group of smart, diverse, kind people! If it doesn’t have to be MR related, I think it would be co-founding the millennial voices group at Coca-Cola Japan, an employee led group that started with the goal to connect across generations in the workplace. The group did some great work such as started Coca-Cola Japan’s participation in the Tokyo Rainbow Pride, completely based on volunteers, which was then successfully transitioned to an annual initiative of the Marketing team!
What two things should junior researchers focus on as they progress in their careers?
Don’t lose sight of the purpose. Having walked the same path myself, I understand how daily execution tasks and communications back and forth can easily make you lose track of the objective of the research, especially when a project stretches over a long period of time, or when the ‘political’ reasons end up winning. But as long as we remind ourselves and be conscious of what the research objective is and how the results can be used, we will be able to feel the value of our work.
Stay curious, look out for inspiration. We are super fortunate to live in a time with easy access to abundant information and connecting to someone new is only within a few clicks reach. Keep yourself updated with what’s happening in the world, it’ll help you connect the dots!
What message do you have for anyone considering a career in our sector?
One of my personal favourites about our sector is the connection (a.k.a. possibilities) to all the different sectors, since research can be conducted in literally everything in life! Even the exact same research objective, same methodology, same criteria of It is a great starting point since lots of the hard and soft skills are transferable, from project management to strategic planning, from story telling to effective communication. Whether or not you decide to stay in the research industry, the experiences here will definitely be beneficial for your career overall.
Do you have any advice for our sector as a whole?
I think one of the threats we’re facing as a whole is data fraud, and this would require us to come together to discuss the severeness and possible mitigation/solution on data fraud and data quality. With the advancement of technology, fraudsters can now easily write codes for “robots” to pass screener questions and easily completing the survey, thus getting the incentives. Data quality not only affects the outputs of our results but also the reputation of our industry. Regardless of the position (client side or agency side), data quality is something we shouldn’t take for granted and should remind ourselves to watch out for.
Another point is the transition towards a more ‘insights consultant’ position rather than the conventional ‘market researcher’ title, especially when appealing to the younger professional of our industry. Some common perceptions that I received from younger or fellow colleagues around me for example, that it is a sunset industry, where somewhere down the road data won’t have to be collected or even interpreted by humans anymore etc. While the ability to analyze and play with the data is great, I believe the human aspect to truly understand the why behind the figures, the empathy behind the story telling, are even more important qualities for life and qualities/skillsets our industry offers.
And do you have anyone who has helped your career so far that you’d like to acknowledge and say thanks or give a shout out to?
I’d like to give a HUGE shout out to Vanessa Oshima, not just because she nominated me for 30 under 30, but also because she is a true leader, mentor, caring mother, friend, senpai, and the list just goes on. She is so generous in sharing her wisdom and her experience. I have learned so much from her, and I’m still constantly being inspired by her! Thank you Vee!