Research Leadership Network - what does it mean for the research business?

Posted 4/5/2020 by Simon Burton

CB Resourcing held our most recent Research Leadership Network meeting virtually last Thursday. Attendees are in leadership positions from across the consulting, banking, legal and professional services world.

Our meeting focused on supplier side research processes in the current covid19 crisis. Thanks very much to Ben Longman from Trendtype for giving us an insightful overview of how research providers think about the world and how to get the best out of suppliers.

Also with special thanks to Ben LongmanRob Stubbs and Stephen Phillips for helping write up some reflections following our group discussion:

Premium on data, challenges with forecasts

  • COVID-19 is fast moving, with major impacts. This is putting a real premium on near time data sources that can reflect realities
  • Some of the most important data sources are held by third parties (such as Google) rather than research businesses
  • It is also challenging forecasters with a moving landscape and a requirement to show assumptions and outline scenarios


  • Most research businesses are analysing “what does it mean” and have yet to move onto “here’s how to deal with it”
  • Intense focus on COVID-19 research programmes means will be affected, and new ways of operating forged
  • We can already see more resource centres, quicker and punchier analysis, more emphasis on communicating findings
  • This crisis also offers research businesses a vital opportunity to innovate, pivot, and drop stale research programmes

Financial squeeze

  • The coming downturn will squeeze budgets and lead to lower spend with research providers
  • It’s a useful time to give more support to valued businesses and drop also-rans
  • Subscription based businesses with lower renewal rates (i.e. dependent on new business) will feel pain later this year
  • Should lead to industry changes, with more focus on efficiency in data gathering and analysis, and less on the “Mechanical Turk”

For details of our services in this area please visit our Research & Analysis recruitment page

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