EP#49: The Future of Data – with James Wunsch

James joined Faster Horses Consulting in 2019 as head of its Social & Government Division after previous social & government research roles with Colmar Brunton, Ipsos & Eureka Strategic Research. He has over 20 years’ experience in the Australian Federal Government sector as both a buyer and a supplier to Government across nearly every portfolio at the Federal level. He is MBA qualified and has been granted Qualified Practicing Researcher (QPR) status.

James has been at the forefront of the evolution of market & social research over his 21-year research career, including pioneering the use of online research communities in government with the Australian Taxation Office, the Murray Darling Basin Authority and the Royal Australian Mint. Just as we’ve moved from paper to phone to online data collection, he sees advancements in artificial intelligence and the effective leveraging of ‘big data’ as rapidly reshaping the industry – not sometime into the future, but right now. He believes the key challenge for researchers lies in retaining their ability to connect with people in order to tell clients the true, evidence-based human story.

Discussed in this episode:

  • The skills required to be a great researcher
  • A new model for data acquisition – UBDI
  • How technology has effected research, and where it’s going next
  • The disruption of artificial intelligence
  • Why the future of data will always require a human touch
  • The importance of linking research to objectives
  • James’s advice for government communicators working with researchers
  • Developing a ‘no surprises’ mantra