Insights Association ATL/SE Chapter Conference Recap

The 2017 annual conference for the ATL/SE chapter of the Insights Association focused on “The Next Chapter” for researchers as well as the organization itself. Patricia Houston represented MMR both as a chapter board member and on a panel during the event held in Charleston, SC. Below we recap some key learnings.


A central theme of the speaking agenda was how much value is created when the power of collaboration is fully realized. This presented several key learnings:

Collaborating across data streams yields smarter research. According to Roddy Knowles, Director, Product and Research Methodology at Research Now, the future impact of research hinges on integrating various, often currently unconnected data sources. Why ask respondents information that’s difficult to recall or articulate when existing data records can do the talking for them and provide more accurate responses? Connecting existing data leads to shorter and smarter respondent experiences.

Strong relationships enable collaboration. The conference’s main panel session focused on rethinking the relationship between clients and suppliers. This is a topic we here at MMR are passionate about and, as Patricia stated during the panel, we feel that trust, respect, and communication are the keys for growing true partner relationships. Without a strong relationship, true collaboration is often not possible which leads to risk avoidance, missed opportunities for innovation, and researchers who stay in their silos.

Collaboration isn’t always easy. It’s not always a straight road to the back-end value of collaborative engagements, and more often than not there are lots of bumps along the way. Mike Kessling from The Coca-Cola Company shared how good communication helped keep a collaborative project on track despite roadblocks.

Collaboration is also very important for taking the research industry into “The Next Chapter” because the lines continue to blur between research, analytics, and consulting. The new Insights Association was  inspired by the 2017 merger of CASRO and MRA to help empower intelligent business decisions as a voice, resource and network advancing the companies and individuals engaged in this important work. MMR Research Associates was founded in 1999 with a similar belief that research can be better:

– We work collaboratively because we are more than just information providers

– We are not constrained by size – our expertise enables speed, effectiveness

– We will take personal responsibility for research impact, always focused on outcomes

The alignment of our company values with that of the Insights Association is a point of pride and we look forward to being part of The Next Chapter.