MMR continues its commitment to educating the next generation of researchers through its partnership with the University of Georgia. Recently, two of MMR’s senior team hosted seminars for UGA students in the Master’s degree program.
MMR Research Seminar Series: Data Visualization
Kristen Downs, MMR’s Graphics Specialist, led students through a discussion of data visualization, showcasing its importance by demonstrating specific techniques on how to create effective visual communication in a research report. Because the human mind processes visual information better and faster, it’s important to choose an appropriate display method that is relevant to the data.
When done right – formatting in a simple, clean and logical manner, using color effectively, labeling accurately and reducing clutter – good imagery creates links in the reader’s mind that assist in guiding focus throughout a report. This helps the reader retain the information being presented and improves overall understanding.
Best takeaway from this seminar: data visualization isn’t just a concept, it is a critical skill that can be learned. In an industry where so much of the information being reported is numbers-based, being an effective visual communicator “makes it easy on the client” by directing the focus where we want it to go.
MMR Research Seminar Series: Consulting in Research – Implications for Reporting
A second seminar was taught this semester by Bruce Olson, Managing Partner, who offered a forum ostensibly on Report Writing, but which also focused on the role of research and the need to develop and apply consultative skills to move research more effectively from insights to action. Brian Stifel (VP Brand Strategy and Consumer Insights Cox Communications Inc.) called in to help launch the session by discussing researchers’ need to be a proactive “driver” of decision-making and take responsibility for both whether and how information gets used.
Key takeaways from this seminar: Role of research is to “drive” decision-making by providing an objective, fact-based POV. Reports must be short, focused and easy to digest; it’s not about “story telling”, good reporting is about “selling” your conclusions and doing so with the minimum of information. The two most important words in research are “So What”? Consultative skills can be learned, but have been long neglected by the research industry. Therefore, researchers should be evaluated and evaluate themselves based on the impact they make, rather than on volume of work produced.
Commitment to Mentoring Future Researchers
UGA’s Speakers Series is designed to expose students to current trends, topics, and techniques that are not covered in the Marketing Research curriculum. This vibrant series invites nationally recognized leaders in various areas of expertise to share their experiences with UGA students. MMR is passionate about helping educate the next generation of researchers, so the Speaker Series is a nice fit as it provides a window into more recent industry developments.
“Because of immersion workshops like the ones MMR brings to us, our students are better prepared to enter the workforce,” explains Marcus Cunha Jr., Associate Professor of Marketing. “These hands-on workshops with a large number of exercises get the MMR students extremely excited about the new tools that they are adding to their research toolbox.”
The MMR Research Seminar Series is not just for students. We have seminars on a variety of topics that can be tailored to fit your specific information or education needs.