Face CEO Andrew Needham and US Office Head, Philip McNaughton, were at the Insight Innovation Exchange conference in Philadelphia earlier this week. I could not attend, and I was rather disappointed. While I know I have work to do, I still wanted to see Andrew and Philip present on Socially Intelligent Research and catch up on the latest industry buzz.
So I hopped on Pulsar TRAC and started a simple search looking for mentions of the conference and its hashtag (#iiex), similar to how we tracked Le Web two weeks ago. This way I could gather the digital buzz, and that’s the next best thing to being there.
Using Pulsar TRAC I was able to gather all the mentions o the conference. Granted, total volumes were only around 1,500, but that’s not the point. The point is that using Pulsar TRAC’s ability to parse the data, I was able to see what ideas presented got people excited, what articles were shared, and who I should be following on Twitter.
People enjoyed the morning’s action-orientated presentations. Charles Trevail’s talk, “Inspiring the Future” was all about how to find breakthroughs in the face of adversity. When Jeffrey Henning summarized it on GreenBookBlog.org, the message continued to travel around the conference the rest of the day.
Trevail was followed by Robert Moran, who kept the energy up with an emphasis on how the industry will look in the future. Apparently we’ll either be futurists, identifying trends, or doing “fast fashion” data analysis, looking at data in real time to facilitate improvements.
Ryan Smith went up next to talk about “Cheaper Faster, Better: How Technology Delivers ROI to Insight Organizations.” His focus on the importance of the researchers who make sense of the data and the continuing development of technology was well-received online.
Following Smith, Jasmeet Sethi from Ericsson spoke about being frugal, both by necessity and choice, in order to help spur innovation. This was perhaps one of the most buzzed about talks, driving mentions at the time and afterword with the sharing of the summary of it on GreenBookBlog.org.
The afternoon’s online chatter continued where Smith left off. Two different speakers, Seth Grimes and Zachary Nippert, had a very similar message: big data is only as good as it is useful, and we need tools that will help us make it useful.
Day 2’s online buzz was focused more around behavioral economics with two keynote speakers, Mark Earls of “I’ll Have What She’s Having” fame and John Kearon of BrainJuicer driving most of the online chatter.
The ideas that resonated were, again, that we need to focus on the people, not the technology. According to Earls, rather than focusing on the new technologies themselves, we should be focusing on how this new technology can enable researchers to identify how people are connected to each other, what goes on between them, and finally how things spread from person to person.
Kearon, in turn, discussed the role of emotion in decision making. He focused on the need to understand emotions and habits in order to understand how we make decisions. This resonated with the audience, probably at least in part because of such lovely quotes as the one below:
Using Pulsar TRAC’s bundle visualization, you can see that “people” – though not the most frequent keyword – ran through most of the other topics discussed online the rest of the day.
The first spike at 9 am focused quite a bit on Simon Chadwick’s talk on investment in market research. People retweeted the stats in his presentation, focusing on such things as a 141% increase in VC funding for MR, particularly in big data, mobile, and social media but not in traditional research at all.
But perhaps the biggest driver of mentions on the last day was sharing links. During the entire conference, only 12.6% of mentions included a link, but on the last day, 22.7% of messages included links.
The top shared links of the day were all summaries of presentations:
- The RadioNewMR webinar that aired live at the conference, summarizing from the event.
- Jeffrey Henning’s, “Always on, always watching,” summary that focused on advancements in passive tracking technology, both online and off, and surveys, showing the survey is anything but dead.
- “#IIeX: They Showed You What?!” – also by Jeffrey Henning but this time summarizing a talk on using mobile to access private moments by Sion Agami from P & G and Rick West from Field Agent. In this case the “private moment” was putting in and removing pads from panties!
- Dana Stanley’s summary of the Insight Innovation Challenge
- This is not to be confused with the Insight Innovation Competition, which was summarized here, also by Jeffrey Henning.
But who would I have met?
That’s all well and good, but beyond going to a conference to hear about what’s hot in the industry, I go to them to meet people. How could PulsarTRAC let me do that?
I used Pulsar’s ability to find influencers based on not just volume, but also engagement to reveal who I should be following online. After all, I don’t just want to follow people who are vocal – I want to follow the people other folk turn to.
From this list, the top 5 influencers I should be following out of the Insight Innovation Exchange are:
- @melcourtright, Melanie Courtright, VP of Research Services at Research Now, presented “Research Now and Experien: Bridging the Digital Gap” at the conference
- @Pspear. Peter Spear of Spear Strategy, “brand listener”
- @SpychResearch, Ben Smithee, CEO of SpychResearch
- @lennyism, Leonard Murphy, Editor-in-Chief of the GreenBook Blog and key conference organizer
- @AndrewNeedham, Andrew Needham, CEO of Face… I do believe I know this influencer
But what was it all about?
The conference was an interesting combination of technology and research methods. At first I was worried that we’d get side-tracked by sexy displays of technology, but it remained focused on how we can use technology to assist and augment our research and analysis. But while the first day was marked by excitement, the next two days saw lower online volumes as people got into the routine of going to panels. The panels themselves were very quick, mostly only 20 minutes long, so there was less to Tweet about for each speaker.
I wish I had been there in person – but seeing as I had work to do in New York, this Pulsar TRAC search was the next best thing.