Today, we have the second part of the podcast series Data Gurus for IEX. We have been focusing on the concept of the last mile. In our industry, the last mile relates to empowering and getting the insights and value that clients want to get from research.
Today, we invited Paul Gaudette, the co-founder of Dig Insights, to give us his perspective on how he looks at his clients from that perspective, to be able to empower and enable his client base to garner the value they need.
Paul Gaudette is co-founder of Dig Insights, Toronto-based consumer insights, and technology company. Started 10 years ago, Dig continues to be one of the fastest-growing insights companies and has been rated as one of the most innovative research companies globally for the past four years. Paul has worked in the industry for over 15 years and has led/executed projects for clients across a range of industries (including CPG, QSR, Technology, Financial, Retail, Alcohol, and Cannabis). He is a strategic thinker with an analytical background; a combination that allows him to understand complex business issues and address them creatively. A passion for strategy and innovation lead Paul into consumer insights after finishing his degree in Strategic Management at EDHEC Business School in France. Paul currently spends most of his time focused on strategic growth opportunities, which includes private equity investment opportunities, acquisition opportunities for geographic and portfolio expansion, and additional revenue-generating opportunities within Dig’s current operations.
Paul’s background was mostly educational before he got into market research. He did a business degree, followed by a master’s degree in strategic management. He then joined a company focused more on the innovation side of consumer insights. It was from there that he started Dig Insights, ten years ago.
Starting Dig Insights
He started Dig Insights because he saw a need in the market to focus more on consumer behaviors rather than attitude. It was almost a game-changer at the time.
Their expertise since their inception was around their sophisticated knowledge of data and their analytics capabilities.
Dig Insights is based in Toronto, and they have offices in Chicago, on the west coast of Canada, and in London. They are slowly migrating to the rest of the world.
Dig Insights typically serve Fortune 500-type clients. That is evolving, as there are currently two aspects to the business. One is the consulting side, where the majority of their work happens, and the other is more of a tech side.
Dig Insights has developed a tech platform that is much more focused on early-stage innovation testing. Their clients range from McDonald’s, Pepsi, and global retail to small and medium enterprises that are looking to gain access to more cost-effective and faster insights through their tech platform.
The consumer side
On the consumer side, they are speaking to consumers and leveraging the technology that they use on a day-to-day basis to get that insight.
On the client-side, they are speaking to clients as if they are running a business.
A need in the marketplace
Paul saw a need in the marketplace to develop a tool that would allow them to get those insights quicker, using technology that consumers were already familiar with, and delivering those insights to the clients faster.
Playing in both places
They made a strategic choice to play in both places, and they made an active effort to focus on the higher end customer work that was competing more with the big firms and also Accenture and Deloitte that were living in that space. That is where they built up their client base.
Grow and scale
To grow and scale, they needed to invest in some technology.
Early-stage innovation testing
The technology that they are investing in, and developing, is in the early stage innovation testing area where they have a lack of cost-effective, quick methods to get the insights faster.
The majority of the work they do is custom and designed to address whatever complex business needs their clients may have.
An online dashboard
For large multi-country projects with vast amounts of data, they have always provided an option for an online dashboard to access the data. And they have always believed in empowering their clients to get access to the data in the most efficient way.
Evaluating different tools
For a long time, they were providing dashboards and allowing access to the information through several different methods, some of which they built themselves and others that they partnered with.
A complex blend of requirements
They looked for a blend of being able to manipulate the data to create the variables and increase the charting while having appealing visualization of the data at the same time.
Experts in data and data visualization
The people that they put onto their large project, especially when it came to building out the tool with Harmoni, were experts in data and data visualization. Together with the team at Harmoni, they created an easy step-by-step process for accessing, interpreting, and using the data.
“Fortune 500-type clients are who we typically serve.”
“There are two aspects to our business right now. One is the consulting side, and the other is more of a tech side.”
“We have a tech platform that we developed, called Upside, which is much more focused on early-stage innovation testing.”
“We are speaking to consumers and leveraging the technology that they use on a day-to-day basis to get that insight.”
“We saw a need in the marketplace to develop a tool that allowed us to get those insights quicker using technology that consumers were already familiar with, and delivering those insights to the clients faster.”
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Sima is passionate about data and loves to share, learn, and help others that share that passion. If you love data as much as she does, subscribe on iTunes, and don’t forget to leave a rating and review!