Students at the University of Indianapolis Have Harnessed the Power of MarketSight®

Background

The University of Indianapolis is ranked among the top of all Midwest universities by U.S News & World Report. It offers its 5,400 students over 80 undergraduate majors and various graduate programs in areas such as Education, Nursing, Engineering, and Business, among others.

The Marketing program at the University of Indianapolis emphasizes practical, experiential learning.  As measurement and accountability continue to be big challenges for marketing executives, the UIndy program strives to equip students with analytical skills that will prepare them to make more informed decisions about how to optimize marketing campaigns or new product development in their professional lives after graduation.   

Dr. Larry DeGaris, President of Sponsorship Research & Strategy, is also a Professor of Marketing at the University of Indianapolis. He has held senior level positions at the Interpublic Group, the Bonham Group, and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. His expertise in sports marketing has granted him appearances on Good Morning America, CNN, and Bloomberg News.

As an industry consultant, Dr. DeGaris provides corporate clients with research and analysis that helps them make decisions about their sponsorship and sports marketing programs.

Challenge

In the classroom, it has been important for Dr. DeGaris to swiftly analyze a dataset as part of a lecture to demonstrate how marketing executives use data to generate questions and make better decisions. Dr. DeGaris knew that most of his students would likely go into marketing and sales careers where they wouldn’t be analyzing research data every day, and it wouldn’t be their primary job function. As such, he needed a solution to analyze and view data that didn’t require advanced statistics skills to produce, understand, and communicate insights.

Before discovering MarketSight, the tools Dr. DeGaris was using to analyze data had several drawbacks. Most notably, these solutions were:

  • Difficult to learn
  • Slow to analyze data
  • Expensive
  • Lacking adequate customer support

Initially, Dr. DeGaris started displaying data in crosstabs using Wincross to try to help students follow the class discussion, hoping to quickly and automatically produce informative charts. He quickly found that he was spending too much time making the crosstabs, and it was difficult to make charts of the data. He was also unable to easily export these charts to PowerPoint to show students how insights from data analysis would positively influence their approach to marketing and business challenges.

While SPSS is a capable solution, it was too complicated for Dr. DeGaris’ needs, and required a great deal of work to reformat tables into a form that was readable for students. Like SPSS, which is not completely web-based, the other software tools Dr. DeGaris was using made it difficult to have quick and easy access to his data both on and off campus and across his devices.

The combination of SPSS’s complexity and Wincross’s limited charting capabilities led Dr. DeGaris toward a solution that would enable him to analyze and visualize data in real-time in the classroom and improve the learning experience for students in all his marketing classes.

Solution

For a web-based solution with powerful crosstabbing capabilities and effortless integration with PowerPoint, Dr. DeGaris selected MarketSight. Immediately, he found the platform much easier to use in the classroom compared with other solutions.

“MarketSight was so easy to learn”, says Dr. DeGaris. “For marketing majors, there’s limited use for SPSS, and the survey functionality is far from ideal.”

MarketSight automatically selects the right statistical measures to run and highlights statistically significant findings in crosstabs. It’s a visual tool that students responded to very favorably, especially those intimidated by statistics. They were able to identify relationships and generate insights even without a statistics background.

For Dr. DeGaris, MarketSight’s crosstabbing capabilities and ease of working with PowerPoint provided the most benefit to his work.

“The way MarketSight automatically presents information with shading for statistical significance is very easy to see and understand. Previously, I was using Wincross for crosstabbing but found it difficult to use. I was looking for a replacement crosstab software and discovered MarketSight. I found the interface easier to use, and the product was available at a lower cost.”

The goal across the marketing curriculum at the undergraduate level is to leverage research results into actionable insights. As MarketSight works with many common data formats such as SPSS, SAS, Excel and several others, uploading a dataset and displaying the findings takes minimal time and work. Dr. DeGaris is now able to focus his and his students’ time on analyzing the research findings instead of waiting for a dataset to process, as transforming raw data to insights quickly is one of the solution’s greatest strengths.

“If I were to try to do the same things in Wincross as I do in MarketSight, I’d be here all week. Marketing faculty and students across the country would benefit from using MarketSight. I’d love to see it integrated across the curriculum, not just in Market Research classes,” Dr. DeGaris adds.

Unlike manuals and tutorials from competitors, he found MarketSight’s online resources to be easy to navigate, and they answered almost all of his questions.

“MarketSight’s Customer Success is responsive if you need them, but you probably won’t. The platform is that easy to use”, he concluded.

“With MarketSight, I can do everything in class instantly. When a student brings up a question, I can run the data literally in seconds. I had students work with different topics from a large survey dataset. Functioning as their research analyst, I could field questions about their data from anywhere and get back to them in minutes. It ended up being the most successful class project I’ve ever done.”

Results

Using MarketSight in the classroom, Dr. DeGaris and his students can now see data analysis in action in an easily understood format. Producing rich crosstabs is done quickly, allowing the students to focus on the insights and story that MarketSight is telling them about the data.

“I’ve been looking for a way to show students how research analysts and marketing executives work together. With MarketSight, I can integrate actual research across the entire marketing curriculum. In today’s marketing environment, that’s a huge benefit to students.”