7
Mar

How Telematics and Research Exposed a Driving Lie

How Telematics and Research Exposed a Driving Lie

By: Dania Rich-Spencer, Vice President of Automotive Growth & Innovation

 

Human nature and free will are the worst enemies of research. I found this to be particularly true recently during a groundbreaking study which, unintentionally, discovered the following: Drivers, when questioned about their driving habits, will invariably lie about their adherence to the law.

To be fair – we don’t necessarily think the study participants intended to lie about their driving habits; instead, much the same way that an angler recalls their catch to be bigger than it actually was, these drivers tended to recall a better self-image of their doppelgangers behind the wheel.

But first, some context: This past winter, researchers from Market Strategies InternationalMorpace had the chance to partner with three very bright Michigan State University (MSU) students who were working towards their M.S. in Business Analytics. As part of their Capstone project, these students were required to work on a real-world, big data project prior to graduation.

We saw a dual benefit to the students’ partnership – we were working on a project that required the analysis of a large amount of vehicle telematics data from both passenger and commercial vehicles, and we needed the help! But for these students – who will soon be on the job market – it was a valuable way to help them understand a mega-trend in employment.

According to the latest GreenBook Research Industry Trend (GRIT) report, companies are on the hunt for new skill sets to meet the demands of a rapidly changing marketplace. Further, the report found that data analysts and data scientists are in high demand. The MSU program is dedicated to preparing young talent for the future of connected devices, and for the future of mobility by partnering with companies who are also preparing for a new generation of consumer engagement and business models.

With our team assembled, we set out to understand the relationship between self-reported driving behavior collected via an online survey, and observed driving behavior collected via an onboard telematics device.

As researchers, we know there are limitations associated with every research project, and there is an array of reasons why participants don’t, or can’t, provide accurate responses.  Of course, we design research projects to minimize limitations, but it is impossible to account for all factors that may influence research findings. As such, telematics offers a rare opportunity, through technology, to better understand the relationship between self-reported and directly measured behavioral data.

Through the comparison of telematics data collected from 130 passenger vehicles against self-reported data collected from an online survey, the researchers and MSU students learned something surprising –the actual driving patterns of more than half (55 percent) of participants did not match their self-reported tendencies.

While we expected a degree of mismatch between the telematics and self-reported data, we, honestly, didn’t expected half the sample to be wrong. We also observed that men were more likely to misreport – both in stating they had an aggressive driving style but actually were passive, or self-reporting they were passive when they actually were aggressive.

We don’t believe our participants intentionally lied. Instead, we believe that a case of “social desirability” bias – the tendency for people to over-report “good” behavior and under-report “bad” behavior – was at work here. Another explanation may be something called “compromise effect.” This is a result of the tendency to choose the middle option, rather than options on the extremes, when presented with choices. This also can happen when options are not clearly stated, or are vague. Though we believed we had provided three clearly-written descriptions of driving styles to choose from, and while we put considerable effort into crafting these descriptions, we perhaps didn’t entirely hit the mark.

So what does this mean for survey research? While using data from a connected device – in our case, a vehicle – may not be possible for every research project, as an industry, we need to take advantage of enabling technologies that will allow us to better understand the extent of the gap between intended and actual behavior, where feasible or appropriate. I do not believe we will be able to forgo engaging with consumers to solely rely on passive data. But, we certainly can complement self-reported feedback with observed behavior for more confident business decisions.

If we at Market Strategies International-Morpace can be of assistance to you in conducting this type of analysis, please reach out to me: Dania Rich-Spencer, Vice President of Automotive Growth & Innovation

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25
Jun

Changing Tides in IoT New Product Development

By Lucas Lowden
Research Director

In early February 2018, I was lucky enough to embark on what many might consider the trip of a lifetime.

My wife and I, along with three other couples, arranged a bareboat charter to sail around the Abaco Islands in the northeast Bahamas for eight days and seven nights. The chartered 40’ catamaran was our “home” for the subsequent week’s adventure of going somewhere new and different each day.

If you are considering taking a trip like this, I can’t recommend it enough. As Nike says – just do it!

Back home, and finally remembering what I did for my day job, came a realization.

My sailing trip parallels well with the development of innovative solutions here at Morpace, and the lessons we continue to learn in the product development process:

  1. Find someone to captain the ship in unfamiliar territory
  2. Focus first, then iterate development so you don’t end up marooned at sea
  3. Don’t let rough seas deter your development – embrace a flexible and adaptive mindset that comes with new adventures

My focus over the last 18 months has been facilitating a cross-functional team to develop big data and IoT capabilities within Morpace – specifically, our first-ever commercially-released mobile application, DataDialogue™|Pulse. This app takes our knowledge of commercial fleets and their business purpose as well as our experience working with telematics data to provide fleet professionals with an easy-to-use mobile app designed to prioritize performance issues adversely impacting profitability.
With data management and analytics in our marketing research DNA, that sounds pretty straightforward, right? Hardly. It has required deep internal engagements, a lot of perspective, and some key partnerships along the way.

  1. In any new venture, it is paramount to be strategic in your pursuits, working closely with partners, as needed.

Seems like a no-brainer, but it is not always easy. This requires you and your team to be completely honest with yourselves—taking a good, hard look in the mirror. The key is to play to your strengths and find partners to supplement you where needed.

In my boating analogy, a friend in the group is a certified and licensed captain, so we were not required to hire a captain or crew. With the captain in place, the other seven of us were the de facto crew. While this was our second trip as a group, we still leaned on his expertise to navigate us safely through the sea. Who knows where we would have ended up if I was captain of that ship.

As we’ve built DataDialogue|Pulse, there are skills and workflows required that are not necessarily the forte of a traditional marketing research company. After some internal cross-functional efforts and debate, we partnered and consulted with a Michigan-based fleet, data scientist, and application development agency (among others) to supplement our product development process with their deeper subject matter expertise.

We see this in today’s changing automotive landscape as well. OEMs are acquiring or partnering within the mobility and autonomy ecosystems with focused start-ups in hopes of getting a leg up in the race to establish a presence in this emerging space. Generally, the more narrowly-focused start-ups lend a much deeper, specific expertise to the broader-focused OEM.

  1. You want to start with the end in mind. Develop a solution that delivers the minimum acceptable level of value and iterate solutions from there.

Especially in today’s tech-centric approach to development, you must begin with a vision for a minimum viable product – a set of features and content that is essential to the success of the product or service. From there, you can plan for more detailed development around expansion in future iterations.

This also requires you to acknowledge selecting tools that work best for your problem/solution, and not vice versa. For example, we built the proof of concept within Microsoft’s PowerBI offering. This worked quite well for that stage of development, however, we ultimately opted for a custom app build to deliver the long-term scalable solution.

Our trip began and ended at the same marina, so we planned an overall course to achieve this. We certainly couldn’t stray hundreds of miles into the open ocean -after all, we had to end back where we started. This required deciding which islands and cays would best fit into a desirable route. Lastly, we decided on the specifics of choosing which islands and activities we wanted to enjoy.

  1. Despite all the planning in the world, your development process will ebb and flow. In the face of it, you will forge ahead even better if you remain flexible.

Doing so requires an adaptive mindset. Seas and weather change, much as does the business environment. You have to constantly assess your situation for disruption or, if you’re lucky, opportunity. Things do not always go as planned, so you need to be able to think quickly, improvise strategically, and move on.

Fortunately in sailing, if the weather becomes prohibitive, there isn’t much of an option than to stay put and ride it out. In business, that generally isn’t the best strategy. Many times, it may require reversing some decisions or work completed to get back onto the best path of development. Do not be discouraged by setbacks; rather, embrace them and learn from them. Sometimes, small setbacks can be the catalyst for an even better strategy.

In our app, we had assumed a relationship of one fleet manager to one fleet business. We quickly learned that one fleet manager may oversee multiple business lines. This dynamic forced our hand to allow for one user to profile multiple fleets’ data sets. While it was a step back in development, it also gave us a more scalable and robust solution in the long run.

As inspiration to you on your path to new product development, I share a handful of adages that ring true for us on our path to developing DataDialogue|Pulse:

  • Be a trailblazer, take the road less traveled
  • If it was easy, everyone would be doing it
  • Take calculated risks – nothing ventured, nothing gained
  • Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow, but fail fast
  • Enjoy the ride – it’s about the journey as well as the destination

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for dedicating your valuable time. Feel free to contact me directly to discuss our new product development journey, more details about my sailing adventure, or to tell me how much you love/hate my blog at llowden@morpace.com.

And don’t forget to pay attention for more news from Morpace and the upcoming release of the DataDialogue|Pulse v1.0 mobile app!

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8
Nov

Tactics For Humanizing Data From Connected Devices and IoT To Drive Business Outcomes

By Lucas Lowden, Research Director

Connected devices. Automation. Machine learning. Artificial intelligence.

Just a few short years ago, we would’ve thought we were watching a science fiction movie.

There is much discussion around these technologies – and for good reason! Each are critical components of scalable Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Today, it is the reality of our day jobs. With the support of various functions across the organization, we are actively establishing Morpace’s thought leadership and positioning for what we believe will be the future of the market research industry.

In support of these technologies, the importance of the human element should not be discounted.

There are numerous human interactions that provide crucial inputs to enable successful automation of machine processes. Doing so allows for a broader understanding and application of big data to produce actionable insights for business outcomes.

With several years growing in this space, we have developed a passion about leveraging big data and IoT systems. We have also realized the importance of Big Context – the intersection of man and machine that layers contextual understanding and lends business meaning to these massive data systems.

Are you leveraging Big Context in your business? Are you finding the humanity within your organization’s data?

Join the Strategists on Morpace’s Growth & Innovation Team – Jason Mantel (Sr. VP), Dania Rich-Spencer (VP), and myself, Lucas Lowden (Research Director) – for our webinar from Qualtrics’ Experience Week, Big Context: Humanizing Big Data From Connected Devices” and learn about tactics for driving positive business outcomes. To sign up and view our webinar, click here.

In the webinar, we explore the tenants of Big Context and how we have proven the importance of the human element and answering the question “Why?” for an automotive manufacturer and a transportation & logistics fleet.

We encourage you to reach out to us directly for any questions or further discussion around humanizing your organizations’ data at information@morpace.com.

 

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3
Sep

Three Ways to Quickly Communicate Your Message With Data Visualization

By Dustin Lock, Senior Graphic Designer

Data Visualization

 

The sheer amount of data generated in the big data world is immense—IBM estimates 2.5 quintillion bytes are created every day. This data tells a complicated story, but it’s hard to get this information across to busy C-suite level executives who don’t have the time to read through an information-dense report.

How can you get critical data seen to create better-informed decision makers? Use data visualization. With 40 percent of people being more responsive to visual information than to plain text, data visualization that includes infographics, simple imagery, and creative charts helps your information make an impact. At Morpace, we’re helping customers leverage their data to create better stories on a daily basis. Here are three tactics we employ to help communicate messages and strategies with data visualization.


Infographics

Infographics combine related data sets with an attractive layout. Key points from your research are arranged in a way that attracts attention and encourages sharing. Short descriptions explaining each statistic provide important context for the readers, without overwhelming them with extensive supporting data.

The infographic may also generate interest in the more extensive report the information comes from, especially once the reader understands the value of the presented data. The design should present the most important and attention-grabbing statistics and quotes, with an easy-to-read font and graphics relevant to the information provided.


Simple Imagery

A weighty report filled with essential data points is loaded with important information, but is bound to lose the attention of a busy audience. Simple, relevant imagery breaks up the text volume and adds an attractive visual to the page.

When choosing simple images for data visualization, use pictures and illustrations relevant to the information being discussed, whether in a direct fashion or through an abstract connection.


Creative Charts

Creative charts in reports provide a visual way of grasping the information presented by the data. Charts improve data comprehension by making it easier to understand the relationship between data sets, as well as presenting the data in an eye-catching manner. Mark the related data sets so the charts provide a clear relationship between data points, and position them near the relevant research for easy reference.

Data visualization makes it easier for your data to be seen and understood by C-suite level executives who need this information for effective decision-making. Use multiple visual content strategies to tailor data visualization for your audience and make data comprehension easier.


Are you using these tools as part of your communication process? What tips and tricks would you add to this list?

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