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Where Will Your Data Story Take You?

Prologue

Magical worlds are not without their imperfections. Whether reality or fantasy, any CEO or leader will always have high expectations for success; we will likely always see defections, more new hires, loyal ‘Knights’ or employees, battles for the top, battles for the brain.

In 2017 we live in a world transfixed by chaos and uncertainty as well as an unyielding drive to formulate some definite, analysable conclusions about it all – every action, every reaction, every decision, every data point.

Juicy Plot

In 2087 this need to ‘button up’ will be become more exacerbated, more pronounced. A need will exist at every turn not only to tell the story, but to live the story − becoming one consistent, continuous, definable action of measurement – and becoming one with it. We currently yearn for the perfect story, a way to tie every project up in a nice bow to offer insights that are actionable and interesting. Like eating or sleeping, we strive to stand out. For are we not battling our competitors for market dominancy, share of voice; do we not project an arrogance that being first-to-market seems to allow? And do we not find that, regardless of how much effort is expended, nothing is ever perfect? We find imperfections that invade our perfect data set and tarnish a perfect study. We draw our metaphorical swords to defend our data, calling upon that heroic margin of error to save the day against census statistics. We check and balance to ferret out the troublemaker data points so that our story to the outside world makes sense.

We measure strengths, weaknesses and threats, as we don our brave masques, every day, to save our companies from being swallowed up by our opponents to, in a vicious, victorious circle, win the day…to maintain our business another 100 years and beyond.

Finale and Questions for the Future

But we do not yearn for a sample on which we never need to screen? To sample with 100% certainty … to prevent refusals and terminates, and to generate 100% response rates? To know, without question, what everyone is thinking, 24/7? To live in the data and experience the story?

Do we not imagine ourselves as princes and princesses, heroes and heroines? Conquering quintessential rogues and villains, rescuing from castles and keeps, wrestling dragons in dungeons via swords and shields? To live in Disney’s world of Belle, Prince Adam and a ‘Tale As Old As Time’ to see, after all of the falling petals, a perfectly, restored rose?

This white paper was written by me for as well as published by ESOMAR and presented at the ESOMAR Congress in 2017 in Amsterdam. I hope you enjoy reading it!

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