Are Gartner, Nielsen and Market Research Firms on a Path to Extinction? A New Approach to Data Capture

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Keeping a finger on the pulse of innovation trends in relevant industries is one of the most crucial elements of attaining and maintaining strategic advantage. However, getting data on emerging trends is challenging; many companies turn to market research services like Gartner, only to find that the trends identified by Gartner are already too solidified to offer a competitive advantage. Not to mention, market research reports on innovation are equally available to the competition, which renders the advantage of acting based on that data somewhat null. Because of this, many companies are turning toward 360-degree innovation panels.

Innovation panels are a custom approach to gathering data and insights on market innovation trends. Rather than releasing a comprehensive report once or twice per year as Gartner does, panels are assembled on an ad-hoc basis depending on the industry and type of innovation that the client company needs. The data and insights are sourced directly from the people who have the most up-to-date, insider knowledge on innovation trends within a particular industry: the innovators themselves, suppliers, regulators, and clients.

Go Straight to the Source: How Custom Innovation Panels Get Actionable, 360-Degree Data

Innovation experts aren’t just thought leaders and gurus; they’re also the people innovating, the people buying innovative products, and the regulators overseeing the entry of innovations. It’s crucial to gather qualitative and quantitative data from each of these demographics in the target market.

For instance, say that your company needs innovation insights into customer service trends and new technologies. In order to get this information, you’d need a comprehensive sample size of people in the following categories:

  • Industry guru/futurist – a Forbes columnist on customer service trends (such as Shep Hyken), a TedX speaker on the future of customer service, a customer service journalist for a large national outlet, etc.
  • Innovators –  Startup executives and founders at smaller, VC-funded disruptive companies
  • Clients – Customer service managers who understand the pain points and trends in the industry
  • Suppliers – Executives at incumbent customer service software companies who can discuss where they want to take the market
  • Regulators – A data privacy lawyer, customer protection advocate, or data privacy lobbyist

An innovation panel consists of interviewing/surveying hundreds of these innovation experts, and then distilling their insights into a report with actionable takeaways about innovation trends, technologies, and players to watch.

The New Innovation Survey: 360-Degree Panel on the Future of X

The most important aspect of getting innovation insights is speaking to the right people. Precisely who these people are will change based on the client (supplier vs. buyer, for instance) and their industry.

What traditional approaches to innovation surveys miss is a nuance in intent and a comprehensive approach to gathering the data. There’s no single demographic that has all the answers: there are multiple angles from which to view market trends in innovation, and companies that get all of these perspectives will have a more accurate view of the direction of the industry.

NewtonX specializes in 360-degree innovation surveys and panels, and offers both quantitative data as well as the opportunity for clients to interview respondents and panel members for qualitative insights. Every survey and panel is designed to match the unique needs of the client and their industry/market. To learn more about how NewtonX can help you get innovation insights, reach out to


About Author

Germain Chastel is the CEO and Founder of NewtonX.

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