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ChatGPT gets us 80% of the way there, faster

As researchers, we constantly seek ways to push the boundaries and deliver exceptional results. ChatGPT is one such tool that has caught our attention.

Louisa Livingston and Richard Bowman pondered the boldest claim they could make about ChatGPT—how it's changing our world, lives, and how we work. They concluded thatChatGPT can help us get 80% of the way there, faster.

So what exactly does that mean?

With ChatGPT, we have access to the vast knowledge and resources of the internet at our fingertips. It's like having the power to analyze this vast body of information at your fingertips - querying news sites, blogs, books, and many other data sources with just a few clicks. 

And the most remarkable part? It's capable of propelling us 80% towards our research goals. It’s a tool that's not just altering our work dynamics, but completely redefining them.

Richard Bowman and Louisa Livingston hosted a discussion at AudienceCON exploring the capabilities of ChatGPT for insights work and its role in segmentations. Here's an overview of the key points covered in their presentation (enjoy the full session below).

How ChatGPT outperforms traditional methods

We always strive to maximize the potential of our tools, and ChatGPT is no exception. It's not just us advocating this approach; it is backed by empirical research. An illuminating study conducted by MIT (US) illustrates this point convincingly. Harnessing ChatGPT allowed the participants to accelerate their workflow, producing quicker and better results. ChatGPT banished the 'heavy lifting', turbocharging the process. 

The ChatGPT group reported higher levels of satisfaction. Lightening the load appears to lighten the mood, a sentiment we can all attest to. Using ChatGPT for desk research has condensed days of grinding into swift, effective information gathering.

AI isn't just for experiments - it's making its way into real work environments. Workers exposed to ChatGPT were twice as likely to use it in their jobs two weeks post-experiment, and this likelihood persisted 1.6 times two months later. The future of work is here, and it's AI-empowered.

Let’s shed some light on the transformative potential of ChatGPT, and how it can get us 80% of the way to the answer within moments. How does it function, you ask? The key lies in providing context. ChatGPT doesn't know whether you're a rocket scientist or a curious teenager, or if you possess deep expertise in a certain field. Richard informs the AI that he’s an “experienced strategic marketer.”

Next, he outlines the challenge at hand and defines his objectives. In his recent work with a language learning app, he used ChatGPT to explore the features needed for premium positioning, compared it against existing recommendations, and then brainstormed marketing strategies. What happened next was nothing short of magic.

The output provided by ChatGPT, exactly as it came out, was remarkable. It touched on an array of nuanced topics, summarizing complex and diverse information with remarkable clarity. Yes, the language could be a tad dry and perhaps seemingly arrogant at times, but those are easily humanized.

ChatGPT encapsulated insights from extensive research spanning six markets and over 10,000 interviews worldwide. It covered them all in one fell swoop, from curriculum design and learning methods to personalization strategies. 

Now, it's important to note that while ChatGPT's output was insightful, it did lack some of the cultural nuances and overarching insights that human analysis provides. But even these initial functional summaries, achieved within the first few minutes of a project, drastically cut down the time it would typically take to reach this stage.

ChatGPT takes on segmentation projects with remarkable results 

Let's delve into leveraging ChatGPT for segmentation projects. Louisa and her team tested it to see how far they could push its capabilities in this arena.

The experiment began with Dataset 1 - a thorough, full-service client project. They conducted meticulous interviews, carried out exhaustive consumer investigations, and used statistical clustering to segment the data. This process yielded 10 distinct segments, and the project was successfully completed. But then came ChatGPT, presenting an intriguing opportunity for comparison and further exploration.

Armed with a series of carefully crafted prompts, they set ChatGPT to work on the same data. The objective was to see how the AI's output compared to their human-led project and test its scalability across multiple countries.

They found some interesting results after analyzing Dataset 2, which was the product of ChatGPT's efforts. ChatGPT hit the mark with 6 out of the 10 segments every time. These segments were strategically rooted in substantial needs or jobs and remained consistent across multiple iterations. 

The remaining four, however, were more fluid and tactical, changing based on minute alterations to the prompt or the country in focus. So, while they initially aimed for 80%, our experiment demonstrated that ChatGPT can reliably deliver 60% of a robust segmentation project. But, this isn't where the real magic lies.

The most exciting part of this experiment was the newfound clarity it offered. They could identify the areas where ChatGPT performed confidently and pinpoint the areas where it fell short. Armed with this knowledge, they could replicate the same segmentation in several other countries. ChatGPT proved to be a powerful tool for initial segmentation and a strategic ally in enhancing the scalability and efficiency of their projects.

Audiense blog - Richard Bowman and Louisa Livingston hosted a discussion at AudienceCON

Getting 80% from ChatGPT requires ‘4Ps’

Louisa identified four critical elements for leveraging ChatGPT effectively: the “4 Ps.” 

  • Preparation: Clearly define your goal, understand your limitations, and envision what success looks like in your specific industry.
  • Prompt: How you articulate your prompt can significantly influence the results you get from ChatGPT. As ChatGPT evolves, staying up-to-date with the best prompting techniques is essential.
  • Process: This includes explaining who you are and what you want to get from the AI. For example, you must specify the consumer type if you want ChatGPT to represent a consumer.
  • Proficiency: You must understand the limitations of AI and acknowledge your responsibility in using it. Use your real-world experience to validate the AI's output, and take ownership of the results. While AI can provide insights from an expansive knowledge base beyond our immediate grasp, it should supplement and not replace our expertise.

Using ChatGPT as an input into our thinking

The power of ChatGPT lies in its iterative capabilities. Don't limit yourself to a single prompt – explore, experiment, and continuously push the boundaries of its potential. Use it to mine those elusive insights from the depths of data. While 80% might seem impressive, you should strive for the full 100% in your pursuit of perfection. Remember, the research stage is essential.

ChatGPT can indeed prove to be a valuable ally throughout your research process. It can assist in drafting questionnaires, analyzing qualitative transcripts, and more. However, keeping abreast of the rapidly evolving world of generative AI is important. We are currently riding the innovation wave rather than settling on a plateau, so staying up-to-date is crucial.

Transparency is another key value they advocate strongly. It's essential to be clear with your clients and stakeholders about when and how AI is being used, its limitations, and its potential advantages.

Exploring the power of ChatGPT in accelerating insight discovery

In the realm of insights work, ChatGPT is emerging as an intriguing tool with immense potential. With its capacity to swiftly synthesize summaries, list features, and present recommendations, it leverages a vast array of internet data to accelerate and enhance the process of insight generation.

ChatGPT's key strength lies in its ability to mine insights from the most obscure sources, casting a wide net to gather information that could easily slip through the cracks of traditional research methods. It can bring to the fore niche insights, stimulating unconventional thought processes and challenging established assumptions.

Using ChatGPT for insights involves six key steps:

  • Identify your goals: Clearly define what insights you're seeking. This could be information about a particular market, understanding a specific customer demographic, trends in a specific industry, competitor analysis, or various other topics.
  • Craft your questions: Once you've determined your goal, you need to formulate the questions that will lead you to your desired insights. The more specific and clear your questions, the better results you will get. Be aware that while ChatGPT understands natural language, it is a machine, so clarity and precision in your questions can lead to more useful responses.
  • Interact with ChatGPT: Input your questions into the ChatGPT interface and review the responses. Remember, you can converse with the AI - it doesn't have to be a single question-answer interaction. You can ask follow-up questions or ask the AI to expand on specific points for more detailed insights.
  • Analyze the responses: Once you receive responses from ChatGPT, analyze the information provided. This might involve cross-referencing the information with your existing knowledge, fact-checking against other sources, or integrating the data with other research methods.
  • Refine your approach: Based on the insights you receive, you might find you need to refine your questions or approach. Don't be afraid to iterate in this process. Each interaction can help you refine your questions and dig deeper.
  • Utilize the insights: The final step is to utilize the insights in your decision-making process. This could be for marketing strategies, product development, business expansion, or any other strategic decision-making process.

6 uses of ChatGPT in market insights

So, let's channel this ethos into how we leverage ChatGPT. We must strive to push its boundaries beyond producing merely average outputs. The goal? To coax from it truly outstanding insights and responses.

  • Data analysis: ChatGPT's vast knowledge base can assist in quickly interpreting and understanding large data sets. It can process and analyze various data types, including customer feedback, social media commentary, news articles, etc. This can help in identifying trends, patterns, and key insights.
  • Hypothesis generation: Based on the information it has, ChatGPT can generate hypotheses and possible scenarios for a given situation. This can be used as a starting point for further exploration and analysis.
  • Survey design and analysis: ChatGPT can aid in designing surveys and questionnaires and analyzing survey responses, comprehensively summarizing the results.
  • Competitor research: By crawling through numerous online resources, ChatGPT can help identify key competitor strategies, offerings, and other pertinent information.
  • Market segmentation: Given its understanding of different sectors, regions, demographics, and other factors, ChatGPT can aid in market segmentation, identifying potential target markets.
  • Content generation: It can generate drafts for marketing content, such as blog posts, social media posts, product descriptions, and more, based on the insights gathered.

The intersection of ChatGPT and qualitative research

ChatGPT can be a valuable tool in various aspects of qualitative research. While it's important to understand that it's not a substitute for human analysis and interpretation, here are some ways it can be utilized:

  • Generating interview or focus group questions: Given a specific research goal or topic, ChatGPT can help generate a list of potential interview questions or topics for discussion.
  • Assisting with thematic analysis: While ChatGPT doesn't perform thematic analysis independently, it can help identify potential patterns or themes within qualitative data based on the guidance provided.
  • Transcription assistance: You can use ChatGPT to draft transcriptions of audio-recorded interviews or focus group discussions. It can help save time, but you'll need to review and correct the transcription for accuracy thoroughly.
  • Drafting summary reports: Based on your identified themes and findings, you can use ChatGPT to help draft reports or presentations that summarize your research findings.
  • Idea generation: ChatGPT can help generate ideas or insights based on the themes or findings you provide. This can be especially useful in the early stages of analysis, where you're trying to make sense of a large amount of data.
  • Literature review assistance: ChatGPT can help summarize articles, suggest potential connections between different research topics, and generate a list of potential sources to check for relevancy.

In all of these tasks, the role of the human researcher remains critical, as they need to provide direction, make final decisions, and validate the AI's output against the original data and their own understanding of the research context.

ChatGPT can assist in processing survey data, but it's important to understand its limitations and strengths. The AI model doesn't analyze data in the traditional statistical sense as it lacks the ability to perform complex statistical operations, regression analyses, or direct quantitative analysis.

Key takeaways

Louisa and Richard have used ChatGPT to challenge conventional thinking and unearth niche insights from obscure sources while staying mindful of the AI's limitations. Here are five key takeaways.

  • ChatGPT's potential: ChatGPT is a powerful tool that provides access to vast knowledge and resources on the internet. It can propel researchers about 80% of the way towards their research goals, significantly accelerating the workflow and generating better results.
  • Outperforming traditional methods: Empirical research, including a study conducted by MIT, validates ChatGPT's effectiveness in accelerating research and enhancing satisfaction levels among users. It significantly reduces the time and effort required for desk research and other tasks.
  • Unleashing the potential of segmentation projects: ChatGPT can reliably deliver 60% of a robust segmentation project. Although not reaching 80%, it offers newfound clarity, enabling researchers to identify areas where it performs well and where it falls short, ultimately enhancing scalability and efficiency.
  • Four critical elements for success: To leverage ChatGPT effectively, researchers should focus on the "4 Ps": Preparation, Prompting, Process, and Proficiency. Clear goal-setting, precise questioning, and understanding the AI's limitations are essential for successful outcomes.
  • Supercharging your research: ChatGPT is a valuable tool for accelerating insight discovery. By following a six-step process, researchers can identify goals, craft specific questions, interact with ChatGPT, analyze responses, refine the approach, and utilize the insights in decision-making processes.

While ChatGPT's capabilities are impressive, it is vital to recognize its limitations and approach its usage responsibly. It is a valuable ally in research, providing initial drafts to spark ideas and refine our approach. The key lies in utilizing ChatGPT as a partner, not a replacement, and combining it with traditional methods to achieve the most impactful results.

Louisa and Richard gave a must-see presentation at AudienceCON exploring the capabilities of ChatGPT for insights work and its role in segmentations, and we encourage you to watch it.