7 books for Market Researchers, as diverse as their interests
This eclectic selection is once more contributed by Netquest, thanks to guest blogger Carlos Ochoa. When I first read his post, I couldn’t resist the multi-disciplinary nature of this recommended reading list.
On this blog, we regularly advise that insight requires data, analytics & research. So, as well as extolling a broader definition of customer insight, I’m glad to encourage this thinking. I hope research leaders & market researchers find it useful & perhaps a prompt for some summer beach reading?
Over to Carlos to introduce the thinking, behind his 7 recommended books for market researchers…
Books for Market Researchers, on Sant Jordi Day
Today is April 23rd, a very special day for us. Here in Barcelona, the city where Netquest was born around 17 years ago, we celebrate Sant Jordi (Saint George).
I can’t be very objective on this issue. I honestly think that Sant Jordi Day is one of the most beautiful, and spiritual celebrations in the world; for its simplicity and symbolism. Every 23rd of April, men give women a rose, and women give men a book. Over time, this tradition has evolved to go both ways.
This celebration coincides with World Book Day. Recognized by UNESCO since 1996, as April 23rd. A day when two of the greatest authors passed away: Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare.
This post is dedicated to books, objects of worship in all their beauty. Books are at the origin of our evolution as a species. They preserve and transmit knowledge, and culture. Values intimately connected to our profession: research.
Taking this day into account, the Netquest team wants to offer you a list of 7 books, that every market researcher should read. It is a free of choice, a multidisciplinary list. It includes books on statistics, thinking, behavioural psychology and even a novel.
We hope you like them:
A masterpiece of pedagogy, much more than a practical book, on Bayesian statistics. Through simple practices, McElreath leads us on a journey, to understand in-depth, a predictive process. This work combines a critical look, at many practices valued today, with a great and entertaining lecture. Something rare to find in an academic book.
This is a great book, one that will influence me for the rest of my life as a data scientist. The style is informal, adventurous and open. It very much treats statistics as an open discipline where many approaches can “make sense”, and it’s all just a big playground really.
2. Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil
Big Data is changing everything and offers us unlimited possibilities, but… to improve our way of living? O’Neil warns us of dangers, that we face as a society: growing inequality and low-quality democracy. The algorithms are never neutral, collect prejudices, ideologies and objectives of their creators. Interesting reflection for researchers: are we designing really objective statistical models? Or do we echo our clients’ own beliefs?
The author explores the ethical and moral dilemmas generated by algorithms that contain within themselves the prejudices, biases and preconceptions ofThe author explores the ethical and moral dilemmas generated by algorithms that contain within themselves the prejudices, biases and preconceptions of the algorithm designers.
3. Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari
After bringing out his brilliant book Sapiens, a shocking history of humanity, Harari shares his vision of the human being’s future. Once the great enemies of the past have been defeated (hunger, disease, and war), man will become the first owner of his destiny. A destination dominated by artificial intelligence and its – expected – brutal impact on society. Undoubtedly, a must-read book for any researcher who wants to put his work in context in the next years.
Although you’ll find repetitions between the books, it won’t do you much harm, for the volume of information dispensed is too large for one to completAlthough you’ll find repetitions between the books, it won’t do you much harm, for the volume of information dispensed is too large for one to completely assimilate everything in a single read.
4. Ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis, by Hadley Wickham
The new market researcher faces several challenges. One of them is to adopt a statistical analysis languages such as R or Python. This requires programming skills, instead of choosing options in a prefabricated menu. The difficulty is big, but the reward is even bigger. This book helps us in one of the most powerful (but difficult) phases of the new tools: the creation of graphics. Ggplot is a powerful graphical library that adopts a new paradigm in the visual representation of data. Nothing better than having Wickham, one of the greatest contributors of R and great pedagogue, to help us on this journey.
ggplot2 book. Read 25 reviews from the world’s largest community for readers. 1. 1 Welcome to ggplot2 ggplot2 is an R package for producing statistical, …
5. Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
Yes, of course, you’ve probably heard about Kahneman to the point of satiety. As I’ve said in another post, any speaker at an event dedicated to market research quotes Kahneman. But put it another way: for a reason “Thinking, Fast and Slow“ is a dense book, but of enormous academic and practical value. Kahneman shows us the failures of our cognitive system. Your job will be to understand the implications – which are many – for market research. A practical utility book in our professional day-to-day.
Your mind has two different systems. One works quickly and intuitively, and is often wrong. The other is analytic, and can get the right answer, but iYour mind has two different systems. One works quickly and intuitively, and is often wrong.
6. 1984, by George Orwell.
You’re probably thinking … really? Are you recommending “1984” as a reading for researchers? I think Orwell’s novel demonstrates the present more than ever. Issues such as the loss of control of our data or the ability of some governments/rulers to rewrite history. Creating new “truths” (fake news) on demand, connects us fully with the Orwellian world. The infamous ministry of truth may already exist somewhere.
7. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Nick Bostrom
Could it be that we are heading into a world, in which our existence and presence, are dominated by superintelligence? Bostrom proposes future scenarios in which artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. A Disturbing reflection of a theme already addressed by the fathers of science fiction (Isaac Asimov and his rules of robotics).
I am quite unsure what you are imagining when you imply that an AI can have no goals. If the seed AI only wanted to improve itself, that would be it’sI am quite unsure what you are imagining when you imply that an AI can have no goals.
One more for free: Behavioral Data 101, by Netquest
We want to make our small contribution, to the research industry. Research with digital behaviour data is one of the most promising new research methodologies. This didactic ebook will help you understand what behavioural research is and how you can use it an effective way. I’m delighted to see this already shared with the Customer Insight Leader blog.
Are you still only using surveys for your research projects? From determining the best moment to launch a new product to measuring the impact of a marketing campaign, are surveys still your go-to? Surveys are great but, you’re missing out on new types of insights: Market research is evolving, and with it, so are our research methods.
What book would you give, the Market Researcher in your life?
Thanks to Carlos for that entertaining list. Certainly plenty of varied books for market researchers, to keep them entertained & thinking.
Do you have an alternative list? If you are the leader of a research or insight team, are there any books you regularly recommend to your team?
Please do share your suggestions, either through the comment boxes below, or on social media. It’s always good to hear from our customer insight leadership community.