Collaborative ResTech landscape
Our industry needs a clear identity: ResTech
When I first began the crusade for Research Technology (ResTech), I knew that at some point, we’d need to build a visual landscape of the category we’re trying to define. As brands, companies, and researchers improve and streamline their research and data collection methods, a common question is emerging from the CIO or the Head of Insights of the enterprise: “What does your research tech stack look like?” And it’s an important question to ask.
With over $1.2B in sector investment and Qualtrics going public, it’s high time for a ResTech scape to visualize the growth and company relationships. Inspired by the industry standard, LUMA Partners LUMAscapes, we wanted to create a ResTech landscape which would identify and group the firms already in the space, give a means of understanding how ResTech is evolving, where new spaces are being carved out, and learn how ResTech firms interact with one another (more on that later).
Building an industry landscape also yields the major benefit of helping people outside ResTech understand the players and environment we work in – which makes investment firms, media outlets, potential business partners and others all the more willing to focus on our space.
Having a clear identity is important to our ecosystem, particularly as it expands into new terrain. It’s time to visualize how “sample,” “insights,” “market research,” and other niche industries are part of this larger landscape.
We want YOUR input on the ResTech scape
We’re asking you to take a moment to share your feedback:
Yes, this post includes a brief survey – because we want you to build the ResTech landscape with us. A great deal of research has gone into this first iteration, and we want you, our peers, to help shape it. Please review the ResTech scape (below) and complete the survey to let us know how we can improve it.
How we defined individual groups within the space
I’ll explain our methodology.
You’ll notice that the scape is capped on either end by “brands/researchers” and by “publishers.” Brands and researchers typically enter the ResTech value chain through a research agency partner (such as Ipsos), or through a platform (such as Qualtrics). Depending on their access point, as well as the level of direct control over the research and data collection process, they will engage with Sample & Fielding and potentially also Analytics and Visualization.
Publishers are the sites and social media platforms that create engagement with users or respondents that actually take all the research surveys that drive the industry.
Truth be told, there were also companies that could arguably fit into more than one category (such as Dynata), which is another reason we are keen to hear your feedback on the landscape.
We also want to clarify some of the definitions that are used:
Full Stack Survey Platform: A survey platform that is typically used as a general purpose survey tool that can fill a significant number of research methodologies and use cases. FSSP companies also provide a deep data analysis and visualization capability. Usually, these platforms offer the user maximum flexibility in terms of survey design and data analysis.
Agile Research: A survey platform that is typically used as a specific purpose tool or fully automated tool with a limited number of research methodologies and use cases. Agile research platforms provide analysis and visualization based on the subset of methodologies that they support. These platforms tend to offer the user speed, agility, and automation instead of breadth of flexibility of survey design and data analysis.
Market Makers: These are typically data collection and sample fielding specialists that provide buyers with the tools and services needed to succeed in their research objectives. These tools and services include matching buyers with sellers, programming and hosting, translation, data cleaning, data reporting, and more. Market Makers play an integral role in the overall ecosystem with a strong correlation to their role in financial services.
Global vs Regional Audiences: Broadly, the term “audience” refers to the modern definition of panel or sample – meaning how users or respondents are recruited into ResTech platforms. Global Audience companies have large volumes of capacity in all four major research regions: NA, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM. Regional Audience companies either focus on one or two regions at the most.
Tell us what you think
It’s our hope that this landscape will evolve over time, as we collect feedback from industry partners, and as the space continues to grow and change. Please note that we tried to fit each company into a single bucket, so we are bound to have a few questions or disagreements. And we welcome those questions!
We recognize that we’re just one part of the landscape and want to incorporate more voices and opinions to make this a living, crowdsourced document. As I mentioned, we encourage you to fill out this survey – and you can also email us at email@example.com. As we continue to digest your feedback, you can look forward to seeing this landscape continue to evolve.