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Insight Blog

Read the latest thinking from the crossroads of marketing, insight and technology.

Blockchain, Big Data and Market Research: What Does the Future Hold?

Blockchain will revolutionise the way the insight industries work. Not because we need to change the way they work or because it will create an advantage for us or even make our jobs easier... Blockchain doesn’t solve a problem that we have. Blockchain will completely disrupt our industries because it changes the way data is owned, stored and shared. It will disrupt us so completely, precisely because it’s not about us, but it’s about the people who we collect the data from. It’s a technology created for them to help them solve their problem. The most disruptive technologies are those that create a revolution from the bottom-up. There is a tsunami coming our way.

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Blockchain doesn't solve a problem that the insight industries have - It will disrupt us completely. precisely because it's not about us. but the people who we collect data from

What is Blockchain?

This is very, very early days for Blockchain so it’s a bit like trying to describe the future of the Internet during 1994 - for reference, I’d barely even heard of the Internet back then, let alone used it! But suffice as to say, Blockchain is a technology very similar to the Internet. In fact, if you think of it as being “Internet 2.0” then it is much easier to grasp its potential influence. Blockchain is a network, an infrastructure invention that isn’t really owned by anyone and can be used ‘open source’.

Blockchain was designed to give power back to the individual. In the same way that the Internet was designed to liberate the way users share information, communicate and exchange services, Blockchain now secures their data during these processes. I am vastly simplifying a very complicated topic and technology here, but that’s it in essence. In the new Blockchain world, individuals will decide which ‘blocks’ of their data ‘chain’ they would like to share, with whom and at what price. Their problem: that of personal data privacy is therefore resolved.

Blockchain and the Insight Industries

Every entity from commercial to non-profit will feel the impact of a mass Blockchain adoption but as data is at the literal route of the business of the insight, our industries will be affected even more so. Here are just a few considerations…

Big Data - Whilst the big data revolution has only just begun, Blockchain WILL disrupt it. At the heart of big data’s success is the explosion of readily available passive behavioural data; precisely the thing that Blockchain is set to manage.

Surveys - If surveys do survive they will have to adapt. Firstly, they will have to connect to the Blockchain data available - participants will not have the patience to answer questions about their devices or their use of them when they can give you access to their Blockchain records.

Qual - Blockchain with crypto-currency alignment will incentivise all participants to contribute in a meaningful and honest way, as dishonesty will affect their Blockchain reputation.

It’s Anyone’s Game - The large data warehouses will no longer have control, and neither will the client in terms of customer data. Every insight agency, regardless of size, will have equal access to exactly the same personal and behavioural data via the Blockchain.

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In the event of mass Blockchain adoption large data warehouses will no longer have control - Every insight agency. regardless of size. will have equal access to the same personal and behavioural data

To Conclude

Blockchain wasn’t invented to help the insight industries, nor does is immediately resolve any current industry challenges; improving survey response rates, increasing analytical automation, etc. but regardless, it could completely change the way market research, insight and data analytics industries operate…

For a more in depth look at the impact of Blockchain on the insight industries check out the free whitepaper: How Blockchain will Revolutionise the Consumer Insight Industry. In the meantime if you have any predictions as to the impact of a Blockchain future please do share them in the comments below.

How Blockchain will Revolutionise the Consumer Insight Industry

Paul Hudson

Written by Paul Hudson

CEO and Founder of FlexMR, Paul has over 20 years of market research experience. As an experienced online researcher, Paul remains active within the insights industry and is dedicated to innovating market research techniques for online application. You can follow Paul on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Topics: Survey Panel, Insight Innovation