Quirk’s Chicago & IIEX Austin 2024: 3 things we can’t stop talking about

Recently, our Insight Director Steve Becker and Client Director Claire Reid from the New York office hit the road and caught up with industry experts and clients at Quirk’s Chicago and IIEX Austin. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some key takeaways and thoughts they brought back – it’s certainly an exciting time in research and insight.

1. Everyone is talking about AI

AI continues to be a hot topic, and thinking back to previous years, it’s clear that attitudes have changed! Only a few years ago it was being talked about in a negative light; people were concerned that it would eliminate the human element of insight, leaving all the interesting work to machines. Although we’ve seen some early adopters of AI tools and methodologies over the last few years, it’s clear we’ve now hit a tipping point. 

There’s been a real evolution in thinking, with lots of great examples of how AI can complement the work that we do as researchers. We saw some really interesting use cases for AI across all areas of research; whether improving the quality and validity of respondents, the analysis of unstructured data, simplifying complex data outputs through automated dashboarding, or ways of working. 

2. Joining all the dots has never been more important 

A consistent theme across both conferences was that brands are being pushed to do more with less. There was a lot of conversation about how to best structure data and learnings to ensure that clients are able to get the most value out of all research they do. Getting to a place where clients have one single source of truth encompassing all previous research and being able to re-research and iterate is the goal, and whilst some people are further along that journey, it’s clear that no one has quite got there yet. 

3. Telling stories that matter 

Getting the message right has become even more important. Ensuring that insight lands, lives, and effects change within organisations is a top priority for insight teams. We had some interesting conversations about the role of AI and other efficiencies in the process so teams can dedicate more time to getting the story right. It was also clear that with the advance of AI tools, landing the key message with stakeholders is something that sets good insight teams apart! We saw some great examples of AI and automated solutions helping to organise and chart data, all the while underscoring the importance of a human perspective to understand the story, and tell it in a way that resonates with the audience.  

Finally, given that AI opens up so many more opportunities for iterative research, online communities are a great use-case. Having the ability to triangulate learnings across a volume of inputs from community members, re-researching previous work, and understanding how perspectives change over time, a research community suddenly becomes much more valuable!  

These three pivotal topics have stood out for us and have been shaping conversations across both events. From the hot topic of AI to clients looking for ways to do more with less, it’s evident that embracing innovation is crucial for sustainable progress in the industry. Collaboration, adaptability, and embracing change are key as we move forwards. 



Claire Reid

Client Director

LinkedIn | Email

Steve Becker

Insight Director

LinkedIn | Email

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