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Technology and Research
Where are we and what's next?

Workshop overview

'Agility' is a buzz word, even in MR circles. We revisit its tech roots and tackle the implications it poses for our industry. Through a practical exercise, we bring its difficulties to life and deal with the complexities an agile mindset presents - as well as its many advantages. We'll ask: how best can we pre-empt the potential hurdles and conflicts agility introduces to clients and researchers?

Deriving meaning from big sets of data - or 'big data' - is another hot topic. Near-limitless accumulations of data could present new opportunities for mining insights, but a gatekeeper stands in our way: data merging. Despite sounding straightforward, it is one of the biggest hurdles data science has faced. Merging data meaningfully requires extreme diligence, hygiene, consistency, and precision. Herein lies a major challenge for our industry; different vendors, different data streams, and different formats.

Having approached two foundation stones, we also want to shine some light on the glass ceiling: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The automation of manual processes seems only to have been a first step - how far can we truly take the automation of research? What will remain expert-led and what is the role of the researcher in this future scenario?

Who should attend

Technology is becoming an inherent part of our professional and daily life. This session is aimed at MR professionals passionate about new ways of thinking and acting in a professional environment.

A perfect fit for people looking for an immersive and deeper understanding of the technological fundamentals and thought paths that are influencing our industry.


  1. Defining agile: what does it mean? Where does it come from? How does it apply to MR?
  2. The big front door of big data: how can we merge data meaningfully?
  3. AI and machine learning: can automation and expert-led research go hand in hand?

Workshop leaders

Christophe Ovaere


With a background in law and marketing, Christophe has adopted the world of market research and ever since cannot shake his fascination with how brands impact on consumer interaction. Passionately excited about driving organisational and behavioural change through technical innovation and the power of automation to unlocking value for clients. Graduated from KU Leuven, ESCP Europe and Babson College, he has studied and worked across the world, enjoying the richness of experiences in multicultural societies such as Hong Kong, Boston, Paris and London. Finally, Christophe is Highly effective networker with successful track record in establishing and developing strategic client & agency partnerships.

Dave Birch


Dave is a free thinking technologist and serial entrepreneur who regularly has ideas that are generally thought impossible to do, and then gets his hands dirty doing them. With a consistent background including 6 years' experience in managing mission critical financial platforms, market research is a new field with fresh new challenges to tackle. Dave shows particular interest in the open source movement and how open source technologies will become more important to business.

He also gains development experience in a number of technologies including Ruby (and Rails), Java, PHP, SQL Server.

Simone Zecchi

Scrum Master

Simone is an Agile, Scrum and Lean principles evangelist. On a usual day you can see him walking around the office, providing expert advice on agile practices, facilitating product discovery sessions, building bridges between teams and helping them to self-manage their work, and also creating information radiators that surface habits that need change, coaching team members, product owners and junior scrum masters. Simone holds a MSc in Computer Engineering and in his career covered various roles, as CTO of a startup, Software Engineer, Professional Services Operator in the EMEA area and he is now a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach.

Working in a variety of business contexts, including e-commerce, learning, hospitality, embedded systems and market research, help Simone building a very diverse experience.

Sylvain Garabiol

Scrum Master

Agile coach in heart, Sylvain has been defending the agile good practice in the workplace years before he even eared the word "Agile". Strong believer that it all begin with caring for each other and setting up a good environment. Then it's a matter of finding the good balance that fit the business and the teams. Up until now he has been working in very different environments: from big companies, to startups, either looking to evolve or scale, always eager to aim for agile.

Transforming into Agile is not an easy task in any situation: it requires passionate people willing to trust each other, ready to fail together at small tasks, and sharing success on projects.