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Artificial Intelligence, not Artificial Insight

Is there anything more dynamic than the tech industry? It’s revolutionising life and business in ways we couldn’t have imagined 25 years ago when Vanson Bourne began. For B2B tech marketers, this means exciting opportunities to stay ahead, anticipate and embrace changes, and position their organisations as industry leaders. But it also means navigating the ever-shifting landscape, especially with the game-changing advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As a market research business, we’ve witnessed many trends rise and fall, but none as transformative and powerful as AI. In our research conducted on behalf of Dell Technologies, 81% of IT and business decision makers believe AI/Gen AI will significantly transform industries. Similarly, our research for Exasol found that 72% of senior executives, data scientists and analysts think that neglecting AI investment will jeopardise future business sustainability.


At Vanson Bourne, we don’t just acknowledge AI’s potential; we harness it for the benefit of our employees, panelists, and clients. Market research has long been the backbone of effective marketing strategies, relying on “unartificial intelligence”: real people, real experiences, real insights. That remains, but advances in artificial intelligence promise to help build on our use and understanding of human and organisational behaviour and sentiment.

We are embracing AI to enhance human insights, ensure quality, and foster cross-team collaboration for better outcomes.

Our AI philosophy is simple: we are AI-Positive, but we are Human-First.

What does this mean?

  • AI is an advisor, but our experienced team makes the decisions
  • We always consider AI if it can help, but where AI offers speed, it must also offer quality
  • We always review any AI content for accuracy and suitability
  • We uncover our insight using humans, both in data collection and analysis

Human insights, client centricity and expertise are our core. We use AI to enhance these, but never to replace the creativity and intelligence of our trusted team.

What we use AI for

  • Total quality management – AI cleans vast quantities of data efficiently and detects fraudulent respondents, ensuring respondent validity
  • Speed of analysis – AI can handle translations, transcriptions and verbatim response analysis, getting us to the gems of insight faster
  • Desk research and real-world context – AI scrapes data from thousands of sources, so we can provide a comprehensive ‘why’ to our client’s research insights
  • Automating the mundane – AI handles the necessary but dull tasks, freeing us up to solve clients’ research problems

What we never use AI for

  • Questionnaire creation – we use AI to help with answer lists, spot biases or suggest topics, but never to write entire questionnaires. Our researchers understand respondent psychology; AI doesn’t
  • Replacing real people – we value our curated community of IT leaders and their expertise, as do our clients. We would never replace their unique input with synthetic data or AI-generated sentiments
  • Writing content – we use AI to check clarity or conciseness but never send AI-generated content to clients without an expert review for accuracy and suitability
  • Using private client IP to teach publicly available AI – our clients’ IP is their own until they choose to share it with the world. We never feed unpublished datasets into public AI platforms

Our Head of Innovation Chloe Byrne on how we're implementing the benefits of AI technology into the research we do

Now of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to artificial intelligence – it’s a disrupter and we must adapt to its changes. But right now, as it has been for the last year, our plan is to keep testing and implementing AI tools where they benefit our business and our clients.

To learn more about how we use AI in our research, or to discuss how our approach can benefit you, please get in touch. We’re excited to chat – no chatbots, we promise!