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Morpace Creates A Vision For A Suite Of Data-Driven Solutions They Call DataDialogue

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* – This article has been archived and is no longer updated by our editorial team –  

* – This article has been archived and is no longer updated by our editorial team –

Morpace has been in the B2C and B2B marketing research (MR) business for more than 50 years, with strong roots in all things automotive. Below is our recent interview with with Jason Mantel, Senior Vice President of Automotive at Morpace:

Q: Jason, could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Morpace?

A: We boast a high-growth healthcare practice, as well as clients in the financial services and retail & consumer goods industries. Given today’s rapid proliferation of big data and the coming IoT wave, there is potential for dramatic disruption in the MR industry – change that we’re uniquely positioned to embrace and create a new vision for success around in the coming years.

Our robust experience in data management and analytics, as well as deep vertical knowledge in these data-heavy fields, will allow us to pivot quickly in this new age. We are enabled to develop derivative techniques to solve problems we’ve heard about from our clients for decades – things like “Who is my customer?” and “How do I reach my customer?” and “What are their behaviors?”

While this sea of change may be revolutionary for many, we view it as an evolution of the business we’ve been conducting for more than half a century.

All of this has led us to create a vision for a suite of data-driven solutions we call DataDialogue™.

Q: What is DataDialogue™?

A: There’s actually an interesting story behind the name. Like some companies getting into big data management and analytics, initially, we wanted to “do cool stuff” with data. We quickly realized the err in our thinking, so again, we pivoted. We came to terms that cool things don’t just happen – it takes a vision and a strategy, which we had; though, in addition, we needed a narrow focus on solving a business problem.

This is when we recognized an opportunity to align the history of our firm with our desired, future direction. By leveraging marketing research-grounded techniques overlaid onto big data, we can enable businesses to have conversations, or dialogue, with their data to provide a better contextual understanding for the business.

DataDialogue™ is a proprietary suite of solutions that does exactly that – provide context and insights to the “Why’s” often left behind by data alone, no matter how “big” it may be. The suite is comprised of four solutions:
• DataDialogue|Pulse – keep the “pulse” of your business with actionable recommendations and key performance indicators (KPIs) that impact profitability
• DataDialogue|Community – know your “community” of customers with passive data integrated into an Insight Community
• DataDialogue|Trigger – add valuable insights with a “trigger” survey based on real-time events in your data
• DataDialogue|Meter – an analytical technique to “meter,” or score, behavior or performance

Q: You’ve recently unveiled the new easy-to-use mobile solution, DataDialogue|Pulse; could you tell us something more?

A: I would love to. As with all our DataDialogue solutions, Pulse is a way to think about utilizing data, more so than the type of data we have or the type of business or industry we’re serving. It’s about creating business-specific actionable insights and KPIs from the data that is accessible today.

We have applied an adaptive software development mindset with these solutions. This release of the mobile app is our true minimum viable product (MVP) – a concept informed by years of experience researching the commercial vehicle and fleet fields, a close partnership with a Data Scientist Consultant which specializes in transportation and logistics, conversations with great people at one of our partner’s, Geotab, and a strong relationship with a Geotab reseller and one of their end fleet customers. It is intended to get the solution into the hands of our customers and engage in iterative development cycles. Our MVP customers are Fleet Professionals in transportation and logistics companies who have Geotab telematics units installed in their Class 8, long-haul, over-the-road tractors. As you can imagine, this is a very narrow market when compared to the broader industry, though one that also has an immense amount of potential for growth and expansion.

DataDialogue|Pulse will be released soon as our first commercially-available mobile app, so look for more news about it as the product evolves through our development road map.

Q: How did you win the Geotab Data Challenge? How much does it mean for you?

A: That’s an interesting question. Our success in the Geotab Data Challenge can be attributed to the collaborative nature of our organization, and is actually the same reason we’ve been able to push forward the concept of the Pulse mobile app.

The data world has been buzzing about Data Scientists, and a distinct shortage of these talents. Rather than wring our hands over this, we looked around and realized that certain skills of a Data Scientist exist in individuals throughout our organization and, collectively, we form an outstanding cross-functional team – a Citizen Data Scientist, of sorts.

Specifically in the Geotab Data Challenge, that team developed a concept to attack one of the most critical issues in trucking today – safe and convenient parking for drivers. The concept leverages the publicly available data from Geotab with the vehicle telematics data (integrated at various levels), to create a parking recommendation engine for the driver. It was a really neat concept, and amazing to see the team work to connect previously disconnected data sets into a useful and valuable concept for transportation and logistics companies.

This is a win we are quite proud of. We believe in the process and solutions we’re developing, and recognition like this does a lot to reinforce that thinking.

Q: What can we expect from Morpace in the future?

A: Well… How long do we have here today? I’m kidding, but only slightly.

The utilization of DataDialogue|Community and DataDialogue|Pulse in the automotive sector have been keeping our team incredibly busy over the last year or so. In our “spare time,” we’re continuing to come up with more ideas and make more connections as we attend various industry conferences and trade shows. We like to kid with each other all the time about “getting one minute smarter” each day but it’s truly a concept we have embraced.

For the current DataDialogue|Pulse solution, we have a development road map that we review regularly to plan strategically around. Included in those plans are expanding app functionality, adding KPIs for different classes of commercial vehicles and fleet use cases, integration of data from new telematics service providers, as well as integration of deeper business data like vehicle maintenance or business financials. The vision is to deliver ever-increasing business value throughout our partner organizations with the Pulse solution.

While Pulse and Community have absorbed most of our attention, we have conducted an internal pilot test for the DataDialogue|Trigger survey deployment mechanism. We expect to get this off the ground in an external pilot soon. DataDialogue|Meter, with its deeply complex algorithms and analytics, has become lower priority due to the demand of other solutions. Even so, we still believe there to be significant potential in developing this solution as well.

Much of our efforts to date have been automotive-centric, though we continue to look for IoT use cases and application of the thought process and approach in other industries. There are truly massive opportunities in today’s technology-enabled, data-driven business environment and the entire DataDialogue methodology is fundamentally industry-agnostic.

Additionally, Morpace recently merged with Market Strategies International, as part of an acquisition of both firms by STG. The transaction will inject new investment into our combined firm, which will rebrand under a new name to be announced later in 2018, accelerating growth to better serve our clients through stronger data solutions, operational excellence, and client centricity. Our firms are very complementary in nature and, together, we will provide stronger products and solutions that support critical business decisions to clients across the automotive, consumer/retail, energy, financial services, health, technology, and telecommunications industries.

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Q: What makes Market Strategies International-Morpace the best choice for providing data analytics?

A: There are a lot of reasons – many we’ve already touched on. Morpace has a historical position as a mid-sized, customer service-oriented organization focused on data management and analytics, which makes today’s environment a natural evolution of our business. We also have decades of experience and knowledge in two key, data-heavy sectors – automotive and healthcare.

Together with Market Strategies International, we now have over 450 professionals who are passionate about helping clients get closer to their customers and are constantly looking for new ways to apply insight in meaningful ways. We are researchers who genuinely want to understand a client’s business – what makes it tick, what is important in the industry, and how to deliver value to end-customers. These are only a few of the topics we consider daily in our pursuits, and ones we look forward to helping answer with more businesses in the future.

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