The Statistics and Statistical Tools Used in Market Research in 2017

In August NewMR ran a survey about the sorts of statistics and statistical tools used by market researchers and gathered the views of over 300 people. Ray Poynter has created a short summary which shares the top four findings and the two key charts.


By Ray Poynter, NewMR

In this post I am sharing the summary and two key charts. The eight-page version of the results can be downloaded.

The top four things that I want to share about the use of statistics and statistical tools are:

  1. Most statistical tests/approaches are not widely used. Only Correlation, Regression, z- or t-tests, and Cluster Analysis have been used by more than 50% of the participants in this research, during the first half of 2017 – and this sample probably over-represents people using statistics, and under-represents those using statistics less often.
  2. SPSS is the dominant software package amongst people using statistical packages. Given SPSS is approaching 50 years old, that may not be the sign of a dynamic industry? But, there are many people using tools such as Q, Sawtooth Software, SAS – and beyond them programs such as Latent Gold, Tableau, and XLSTAT.
  3. One of the growth areas is the use of tools is the use of integrated data collection / analysis solutions, for example Confirmit, Askia, Vision Critical, Qualtrics. The use of these tools requires the researcher to make fewer decisions. For example, survey monitoring flows into the analysis without any extra steps, the packages have a default way of looking of testing differences (for example t-tests) – making it less likely that the researcher will consider less convenient options, such as Chi-squared tests.
  4. The most widely adopted complex solution is R, an open-source programming language that leverages large numbers of libraries for things like advanced analytics, data science, and data visualisation. People have been highlighting the growing role of R for a few years, and it seems to be gaining a stronger share of market research and insight analyses.



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2 Responses to “The Statistics and Statistical Tools Used in Market Research in 2017”

  1. Rohit Sharma says:

    September 11th, 2017 at 6:09 am

    What you shared is really enriching. I have been studying about market research and writing a few pieces over it. This is where I use statistical data. What I have noticed is that the statistical figures simplify the complex data so that the users can’t encounter any friction while comprehending it. It’s true that R is more widely used tool. And I’m a great fan of it. I found it a bit intricate technique. But yes, many researchers always tend to search for the market research and data mining techniques that are automation-driven…….

  2. Margie says:

    September 13th, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Open-source R language has a base with quite literally thousands of user-developed packages. As a Market Researcher and an R user, I’d be interested in the groups, packages and other “favorite functions” that other marketing researchers use in R – I haven’t found any sites that focus on R’s use in marketing beyond the book (and corresponding site) by Chris Chapman & Elea McDonnell Feit titled, “R for Marketing Research and Analytics” (

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