Skills for Insight – ESOMAR talk

Amanda Osenton
September, 2016
On Wednesday the 21st Liz is debating the new skills needed by the Insight industry as part of a televised event, forming part of this year’s ESOMAR conference.Variety

Market research and Insight always included a huge variety of roles involving a very wide variety of skills, covering almost every sort of competency. Roles involving highly analytical, detailed project management, to creative roles involving blue sky thinking. However today the variety of skills used in Insight has grown still further as it used in a greater variety of ways using a greater variety of information sources. The list of skills needed today, is almost endless including a long list of programming skills, plus other completely new areas like programmatic, and UX, resulting in an almost bewildering range of skills for those planning their career. It’s as well that 37% of the industry site variety as the number one reason they choose to remain with the industry, in a study we did with ESOMAR and Chime Insight and Engagement.

Indepth Market Understanding.

The ability to add strategic insight to research findings has always been an essential skill within the more consultative parts of the industry particularly at a senior level. Now as the range and amount of data grows, the ability to cut through the numbers and provide insight becomes even more important. The growing range of information sources also means Insight professionals need to be knowledgeable about a far greater range of data sources and the best way of utilising the information they provide.

In addition knowledge of a particular market helps when it comes to adding insight to the analysis. In the past knowledge of the FMCG sector has always been the one that is most requested. Today the range of companies using data in all sorts of ways has grown massively and whilst at ENI we are still often asked for FMCG market knowledge it is no longer the sector to have knowledge of as it was in the past. A quick analysis of our current jobs show just 19.5% request FMCG experience, while 39.1% ask for media/communications specialist market knowledge.


Whilst the growth of information sources has led to an increase in the need for those with insight skills to make sense of the data. It has also led to an increase in the need for people with Operations skills, to process and sort all that information. It’s difficult to analyse advertised market research roles and see how many are operations focused, as operations cover such a wide range of roles, but on Indeed roughly 10% of the market research roles advertised today are for operations positions.

Data Science – the huge growth area.

On the 8th of September, there were 9,798 new Data Science roles advertised on Indeed in the UK. There were 645 Qualitative roles advertised (and this includes areas like UX and digital qual) and 944 quantitative research roles advertised. The huge need for Data Scientists means their salaries are often considerably higher than those in traditional research roles. Indeed estimates the average market research salary in the UK to be £28,122. It estimates the average Data Scientist salary to be £54,270

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