AI market research

How Davies Hickman uses AI to enhance market research

Davies Hickman Partners uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the quality of our work and lower costs for our clients. For each client project we put together a research plan that meets our client’s business problems. We are aware of concerns about the use of AI in research, particularly what data is uploaded into AI platforms, therefore we are flexible about how we use AI and agree with each client its appropriate use before a project commences. Here are the typical ways we use AI:

Project management and client liaison

We use Microsoft Office 365 suite of products including Outlook for e-mail, Word for documents, Excel for quantitative purposes, PowerPoint for presentations and reports, Teams for meetings and project management and BI for dashboards. Our data is stored securely in Microsoft OneDrive and the devices we use to access these services are Apple. Microsoft is integrating Copilot AI into its software which we have the option of using. Data is secured safely in the cloud servers of Microsoft.

Desk research and published sources

We use foundational tools such as Bard and ChatGPT to assist in completing secondary research. In addition to Google search, AI tools enable us to research topics and summarise the findings. Using our expertise we check and corroborate the outputs of AI, including sourcing. Davies Hickman also accesses databases of published sources for projects. We do not share client data in the desk research process unless agreed.

Questionnaire development

The questionnaires we develop are based on our experience over the last 16 years and our client’s project objectives. We have a database of questions which we have used previously and apply advanced market research theory and techniques to questionnaire development. In addition, we can use foundational tools such as Bard and ChatGPT to assist in question development, estimation of length of interview and wording efficiency. We check the outputs and address any incorrect and missing content. To guardrail data we do not share details of the client, including their intellectual property, with these AI tools unless agreed.

Data collection

We use AI tools within proprietary panels and questionnaire software to manage the quality of responses. This includes identifying respondents that are not genuine, or engaging with the questionnaire in an unreasonable way to elicit effective responses. This quality management is in addition to work that is completed by analysts, project managers and directors.

Synthetic data

We do not use synthetic data on client projects unless agreed.

Quantitative data analysis

We use proprietary software to complete analysis of quantitative data. The software uses AI for some analytical tasks such as cross-tabs, segmentation, driver analysis and other statistical operations. Data is secured safely in cloud servers of the proprietary software provider.

Qualitative data analysis

We use proprietary software to record and transcribe depth interviews, focus groups and other qualitative inputs. This includes coding, sentiment analysis, word counts and other analysis. With agreement of our client, we will remove personally identifiable information (PII) and use foundational models such as Bard and ChatGPT to analyse and summarise transcripts. This does not replace human effort, rather it augments the work of analysts, project managers and directors. All data is secured safely in the cloud servers of these providers.

Research outputs

We use Microsoft Office 365 suite of products to create outputs. In addition we use proprietary software to create charts and other statistical analysis, presentations and reports and dashboards. This uses some AI but all outputs are initiated and checked by analysts, project managers and directors. The outputs are secured safely in the cloud services of these providers.

Davies Hickman does not routinely use AI to:

  1. develop project recommendations
  2. generate images using AI such as DALL-E
  3. clone respondents or their responses
  4. create synthetic data
  5. misrepresent or clone our client’s brand nor their employees, suppliers, customers, products and services.

Davies Hickman monitors ESOMAR’s and the Market Research Society’s (MRS) advice about the use of AI.