Keynote speakers

Ray Poynter

After more than forty years in market research, Ray now focuses on training, consulting, writing and contributing to the creation of new approaches in market research. Ray is in frequent demand as a keynote speaker, facilitator, contributor and advisor.

Ray is the founder of, a long-standing member of MRS and ESOMAR, and a member of the ESOMAR Council. Ray is the author of The Handbook of Mobile Market Research, The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research and the #IPASOCIALWORKS Guide to Measuring Not Counting, editor of the ESOMAR book 'Answers to Contemporary Market Research Questions'.

Ray has spent the last 40+ years at the intersection of innovation, technology, and market research. During those years Ray has held director level positions with Vision Critical, Join the Dots, The Research Business, Millward Brown, Sandpiper and IntelliQuest. Ray is Managing Director of The Future Place, a UK-based consultancy that operates

Ray sees his mission as “Have fun, help people, pursue knowledge, and try to make some money along the way.”

Ray will give a keynote speech on the following:

The State of the MR Nation in 2019

We are experiencing Research in the time of VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous). In this state of the nation presentation, Ray Draws on multiple sources to paint a picture of the main trends and forces shaping market research. The presentation will cover the growth of automation, artificial intelligence, the shift from traditional market research analytics, the rise of DIY and the changing roles of client insight roles. Ray will also visit the tricky and changing boundary between innovative new solutions and snake oil.

He will then also be part of a panel discussion.

Ray will be running two workshops. One will be a one day one focussed on finding and communicating the story in the data.  This has been a consistently sold out workshop in the UK.

Finding and Communicating The Story In the Data - full day workshop

Storytelling is one of the hottest topics in market research. However, this popularity highlights a major need, namely, how to find the story. Great graphics and wonderful communication are only useful if the underlying story is the right story. This course focuses on what comes before the storytelling, i.e. how to take information (for example market research data) and reliably find the key messages. The course is delivered via a mix of taught material (e.g. what the approaches are and case studies) and practical ‘hands on’ learning through doing.

Who will benefit from this course?

Those who need to work with information (quantitative and/or qualitative) to find answers, solutions, and insight. This is likely to include market researchers and insight managers, but would also include brand managers and senior executives. Whilst the focus of the material used will be drawn from market research, the techniques are equally applicable to anybody using evidence-based decision-making, for example people involved in R&D, HR, and even finance.

Aims and objectives

The key objective of the course is to share techniques for systematically and reliably finding the message buried in data and information. Some people are blessed with the ability to intuitively find the story, but they tend to struggle to teach others to be intuitive. The approach covered in the course is designed to be taught; it does not rely on creative or intuitive jumps, and can be used in team situations.

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding the role of frameworks in finding the message in information
  • Identifying the sort of problem that is being addressed
  • Identifying the sort of answer that is needed
  • Techniques for manipulating data sets to reveal the story
  • Crafting the story from the information

Testimonials from the MRS Website

  • “How to transition effectively from the detail to the right bigger picture to influence and shape business decision-making.” - Marisa O'Connor, Barclay's
  • “Loved it! Very interesting - day flew by.” - Steven Chamberlain, Sky
  • “A toolkit for communicating research.” - Xanthe Couture, Citizen Advice
  • “Educational! I learnt a lot of useful things that I can take back to my job.” - Abisla Qui, Rightmove
  • “Very interesting, useful, providing actionable advice & analysis methods.” - Sonia Maqsood, Barclay's Insight Team
  • “Interesting, entertaining and worthwhile.” - Katie Jackson, AECOM limited

The second workshop would be a half day workshop on an introduction to advanced statistical techniques.

Introduction to Advanced Statistical Techniques

The growth in integrated solutions and DIY platforms means that advanced statistical techniques (such as cluster analysis and conjoint analysis) are available to an ever-increasing number of market researchers and insight professionals. However, access to the tools does not automatically convey the knowledge about how to choose and deploy an appropriate technique. This course provides an overview of the tools and techniques and a non-technical introduction to many of them.

Who will find it useful

The course is designed for people looking for an overview of advanced statistical techniques, such as Factor Analysis, Cluster Analysis, Correspondence Analysis, Regression Analysis, and Conjoint Analysis. Typical participants include those commissioning research, researchers wishing to broaden their role, and those considering specialising in advanced quantitative techniques.


The course aims to fulfil the same role that a map performs for an explorer – it describes the terrain, highlights hazards and gives guidance on the best routes. The course outlines a range of advanced techniques, discusses which business questions they address, shows what sorts of data are required, and highlights their strengths and weaknesses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the difference between dependence techniques (e.g. regression) and interdependence techniques (e.g. factor analysis).
  • Learn how to map techniques to specific business/research needs/questions.
  • Appreciate the strengths, weaknesses, and requirements of the key advanced statistical techniques.


Participants will receive a copy of “Analytics For Customer Insights: A Non-Technical Introduction”, author Chuck Chakrapani, published 2018.

We are also discussing the possibility of running a ½ day summit on the future of insights as per the below:

The Future of Insights Summit

(3-hour workshop/summit)

This facilitated discussion looks at key questions facing the providers and users of insights. The session will bring together senior players from both clients and providers to explore the key topics and strategies. Topics will include:

  • The changing role of insight teams
  • Automation and AI
  • Finding, retaining and nurturing talent
  • Evaluating the cutting edge
  • Prioritising changes

 Who should attend?

People with a strategic role in their organisation, including clients, market research providers, and suppliers of services to the research industry. Be prepared to hear challenging ideas but also be prepared to share your own questions, worries and suggestions.


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