ESOMAR Congress 2016 in New Orleans
by Jerry W. Thomas

  • Big Data Fusions
    ESOMAR, the European Society for Opinion and Market Research, continues its movement into the U.S. marketplace. Historically, ESOMAR has been a minor player in the U.S. because of the strength of U.S. associations, such as the Advertising Research Foundation, the Marketing Research Association, the American Marketing Association, and CASRO. However, ESOMAR members from the U.S. now outnumber its members from any other single country. The placement of ESOMAR’s annual Congress this year in New Orleans is further testament to the growing importance ESOMAR places on the U.S. as a source of future members and revenue.

    Part of ESOMAR’s strength is its openness to new methodologies and its inclusiveness. For example, ESOMAR has put great emphasis on including growing disciplines, such as behavioral economics, neuroscience, Big Data, advanced analytics, and new qualitative research techniques. The U.S. accounts for roughly 45% of the world market for marketing research, so it’s only natural that ESOMAR is increasingly setting its gun sights on the U.S.

The growing importance of world trade is also a major factor in the growth of ESOMAR; it’s the only research organization with true global reach and global emphasis, and that also helps explain ESOMAR’s rising importance in the research industry and its growth in the U.S.

This year’s Congress in New Orleans (September 18-21) was a splendid affair attended by close to 1,000 members. One of the highlights of the conference was a presentation by John Colias, Ph.D. (head of Advanced Analytics at Decision Analyst) on how to combine survey results with results from the government’s American Community Survey and model and map the results down to the Census Block Group level (a Census Block Group is about 1,000 to 1,200 households). He also demonstrated how to integrate the modeling outputs with Google Maps to show survey results down to very small geographic areas in real-time. The ability to model high-level survey results down to very small geographic areas means that survey results can be analyzed at a greater level of geographic detail than ever before.

About the Author

Jerry W. Thomas ( is President/CEO of Decision Analyst. He may be reached at 1-800-262-5974 or 1-817-640-6166.


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