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Fair Data

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International Journal of Market Research (IJMR)

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Geodemographics Knowledge Base (GKB)

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A statement from Jane Frost CBE, Chief Executive

The growth of our sector to £4.8bn in 2016 was hugely encouraging and a good position from which to consider the changing nature of the business of evidence.

The sector is evolving rapidly, driven partly by technology and big data, but also by the increased need from businesses to ask the ‘why?’ of their data, not just ‘what’. MRS must support the needs of clients and agencies in this changing environment. We continue to provide the training and professional development needed to support teams with diverse needs: from data science to storytelling, through to behavioural and qualitative methodologies. Capability and capacity development – particularly as GDPR begins to bite – is critical to the improvement of research, and our recognition of this is one of the reasons MRS is a global leader (p.5).

That proper insight effectively applied delivers growth to any organisation is now a given. The challenge is in the process and the people. Striking the balance of skills was well demonstrated in our Delphi report ‘Towards an insight driven organisation’, with the insight sweet spot clearly identified (p.6).

There were real signs that the sector is not only taking this advice to heart, but is thriving as a result – as demonstrated by record attendance to our one-day conferences, MRS Awards 2016 and annual conference Impact 2016 (p.8).

With such a pace of change, there has never been a more exciting time to enter this sector. The launch of our re-vamped network for young researchers: &more, provides the inspiration and peer support that young people need as they establish their careers (p.4).

As we said a fond farewell to outgoing MRS President Dame Dianne Thompson DBE, we were delighted to announce at annual conference that Jan Gooding, Global Inclusion Director at Aviva, would become the new President of MRS. Jan doesn’t lend her name (and time) to causes lightly, and her acceptance is a further example of the importance with which this sector is viewed.

Inclusion is important to our sector; if we cannot reflect the society we seek to understand we undermine our very reason for existing in the first place. We must ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential. We need to ensure that the brightest young people – whatever their background – see our sector as a great career opportunity. I am delighted that our university roadshows are thriving and that the MRS Mentoring Scheme is growing fast. We all agree that more should be done, and MRS is developing to support our members as new needs evolve.

Jane Frost, CBE Chief Executive Officer, MRS