Featured Researchers: Q&A Session with SSI’s Nicole Mitchell

By the Editors

In honor of SSI’s 40th anniversary, we are sitting down with some of the organization’s employees to ask them a few questions about their years of experience in the MR industry.  

Nicole Mitchell has been with SSI for 16 years. She began as a Project Director delivering telephone research projects, then became a Senior Project Manager delivering sample and data collection solutions for online projects. In her current role as a Knowledge Specialist on the SSI Knowledge Team she uses her multi-mode expertise to advise clients on the best solutions for their research, and to conduct research on new data collection modes, especially mobile.

Q (the editors): What is the first thing you do when you look at a new data set?

A (Nicole Mitchell): I first look for things that catch my attention. It’s always exciting to see what points pop out or the patterns or trends that emerge. I tend to work with data that is either multi-country or generational data.  Finding cross-cultural or generational differences is always interesting. For example, research we conducted on etiquette in a mobile world showed that in Japan it is completely unacceptable to talk on a mobile phone while on public transportation.  While here in the US, we see people all the time talking on their mobile phones, hence the creation of the quiet car on trains.

Q: What mode of data collection do you feel is the most ideal in 2017?

A: Online data collection is ideal as internet penetration continues to increase around the globe.  But the device that makes it easier for us to connect and learn more about people is the mobile phone. Research participants no longer have to participate in research via static locations. We can connect to them wherever they are. Not only are we able to connect to them but we are able to gather additional insights about participants that we never had access to before.

Q: What do you think are your most significant research accomplishments?

A: The research I’ve done on understanding how technology is changing the landscape of online survey research. Technology affords us so much more insight especially into the consumer journey. We are able to collect information about past and present consumer behaviors without even asking a question. Furthermore, we can ask people’s opinions right at the moment that they are interacting with a product or during their path to purchase.

Q: Why would someone come to SSI over the competition?

A: In my opinion the best thing about SSI is the people. My colleagues are dedicated and hardworking individuals. They are always willing to roll up their sleeves and try to find solutions that fit the customer needs.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re off the clock?

A: As my twitter description says “market research by day, geek & pop culture nerd at night.”  I consume a lot of media ranging from podcast to reading graphic novels to audio books and television. I love the diversity in representation afforded to us because there are so many avenues to consume all this content. My weekend can consist of watching my all time favorite show, The Wire to watching great anime like Attack on Titans or a light-hearted comedy like Grace & Frankie.

Q: What role would you play in a group of 20 people in a post-apocalyptic scenario?

A: I’d like to think I would help with strategic planning. Figuring out ways to get supplies and keeping people safe. I guess everyone thinks they would be the Rick Grimes in a post-apocalyptic scenario, but I’d prefer to be Glenn although it didn’t end so well for him (spoiler alert).

Q: How do you think market research will evolve over the next 40 years?

A: I think there will be a lot of automation in market research over the next 40 years. I think we will have an insurmountable amount of data about people that we will have to figure out how to process fast and accurately in order to generate meaningful insights.

Fun facts about Nicole:

  • I attended six comic book conventions last year including New York Comic Con.
  • I visited the Bacon Triangle in NYC and had a bacon-infused drink at the speakeasy which you enter through a secret wall.
  • I marched in the 2013 NYC Gay Pride Parade.

Nicole has a BA in Psychology from University of Connecticut and a MA in Psychology from Fairfield University.