We’ve been on the GRIT list of most innovative research companies for five years now. I’m proud of that achievement and of the fact that we’ve moved up 10 places in those five years (many much larger firms rank lower or not at all). I think the key point for me to share though is that we don’t innovate to make the GRIT list, but rather GRIT simply recognizes what is a way of life at TRC.
TRC was founded in 1987 at a time when more than half of all phone interviews were done using hard copy paper and pencil forms and almost no one had a PC on their desk. From the start, every TRC employee had a PC on their desk from interviewers through our top executives. To do this we installed what was, at the time, the largest PC network in the world (PC World Magazine wrote an article on us). From there we adopted digital recording technology so we could quantify quality, and then went on to become very early adopters of using the internet to do surveys.
Beyond data collection, we innovated in techniques. Over the years we created techniques like asymmetrical key driver analysis (which doesn’t assume that all features will have the same positive and negative impact) and Bracket (a more efficient way of doing ranking exercises). We also applied things that we learned from our many academic partners such as Smart Incentives (a gamified incentive aligned method for ideation within quantitative surveys).
We continue to come up with new ways of driving insights. Some are improvements on existing methods (such as better ways to do Discrete Choice) and some are applying new tools to better understand what drives consumer behavior (such as text analytics).
Why do we do this? We can’t help ourselves. TRC is staffed with curious, smart, senior researchers who need to find the best solutions for our clients. From top to bottom our staff supports the need to improve the tools at our disposal.
I expect the coming year will be one of our biggest yet. As clients put work on hold in April and May (due to Covid) we focused our staff on coming up with yet more innovations and I’m excited about some of the things they came up with. I’ll be talking about them in a future blog!
Innovation is ingrained in our company culture, so you could expect it from us even if GRIT didn’t publish the Most Innovative ranking. Read GRIT’s 2020 Report here.
Rich brings a passion for quantitative data and the use of choice to understand consumer behavior to his blog entries. His unique perspective has allowed him to muse on subjects as far afield as Dinosaurs and advanced technology with insight into what each can teach us about doing better research.