Formula for Piecing Together Great Insights: an Interview with VP of Operations, Mike Oberholtzer

Blog, ProdegeMR - April 15th, 2019

When he’s not overseeing operations for ProdegeMR, Mike Oberholtzer spends his spare time following his Chicago sports teams and brushing up on his sports broadcasting skills (as a kid he aspired to be the next Harry Caray). Read on to learn more about the innovative research Mike manages and ProdegeMR’s upcoming workshop at IIeX in Austin on April 23rd at 12pm: Turning Big Data into Digestible and Actionable Takeaways”.

What do you feel are the biggest hurdles currently when it comes to behavioral data collection and analysis? There’s just so much data out there that distilling the data, and gleaning insights from it, can be challenging — even for brilliant data scientists with sophisticated analytic approaches and tools at their disposal. Some methods of data collection result in a large volume of data that is irrelevant to understanding a consumer’s purchase decision or journey. Confronted with all of this data, researchers find themselves asking: “how do I find those needles in a haystack of big data that will allow me to piece together a great insight”?

In my opinion, prior to gathering behavioral data, we should design a “behavioral data collection plan” in the same way we might design a questionnaire or a qualitative discussion guide: define the metrics we’re interested in (Purchase behavior and in which product categories?  Visitation to specific stores or websites?) and alongside that we might define what we want to know about our consumers in terms of demographics, category intention and psychographics (e.g. understand if they purchase based on price, convenience or brand loyalty) so that we’re analyzing relevant behavioral data gathered from a targetable audience of consumers who purchase, or are open to considering, the client and/or competitive brand(s) and product(s).

What is ProdegeMR doing to help clients in this area? At ProdegeMR we have some of the industry’s largest global panels of consumers who’ve opted-in to participate in market research projects. Our terrific Product & Technology team has developed tools and applications which enable us to collect a high volume of shopping data from our panel members which could be used as targeting criteria for a survey and/or could be analyzed alongside data from survey questions which help to explain the ‘why’ behind those shopping behaviors. We gather both online and in-store purchase data enabling clients to conduct research among recent purchasers of specific categories, brands or products, or among those who shop at particular retailers (Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kroger, etc.) or types of retailers (Big Box or Grocery shoppers).  We collect online purchase data via browser extension technology and offline purchase data via our innovative Receipt Scanning app which our members use to upload their receipts.

You mentioned that members upload receipts. How does that work and what information can be gleaned from the receipts?  Receipt Scanning is an amazing technology and our panel members love earning rewards by sharing their receipts. In short, our members take a photo of their receipt, upload it using our app and the data from the receipt is saved to our database.  We know which retailer or restaurant a member visited, the location, which brands they purchased, price paid for each item, as well as the total amount paid (total cart value). We can also leverage receipt-capture technology within surveys using technology where we geo-fence store locations and when our members spend a minimum amount of time within geofenced locations they receive notifications on their phones about new survey opportunities.  For example, we conduct exit surveys where we ask respondents about their shopping experience and then, if they made a purchase, they upload their receipt to the survey. I think it’s a powerful way to combine behavioral data with more attitudinal survey data to get a holistic read on consumers.

Will we see Prodege at a conference to discuss these timely topics anytime soon? You will! At IIeX in Austin at 12pm on April 23, ProdegeMR will be represented by Dmitry Shlafrok, Senior Manager of Data Solutions as well as by Mike Linck and Tony Story who are Directors on our Sales Team. We will be leading an interactive workshop that will delve into behavioral data collection.

Bess Devenow

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