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Introducing Andrew Grenville – Questioning Everything

A 30-year research veteran, author, CRO for Maru/Matchbox in Canada and your go-to expert for ‘research on research’, we’re thrilled to announce Andrew Grenville as a 2020 Conference Keynote Speaker.

Andrew has a wealth of knowledge to share with us gained from his extensive experience in the insights industry. For his book ‘The Insights Revolution: Questioning Everything’ he interviewed professionals, marketers and strategists of high-profile organisations from around the world to identify solutions to the industry’s problems. He’s currently researching his follow-up book and will share thoughts with us on what we can learn from spies, doctors, psychologists and other sense-makers.

We thought we’d give Andrew a few questions of our own before we meet him at the EphMRA Conference, 23-25 June 2020, Antwerp.


EphMRA: Can you tell us a little more about what you'll be covering in your presentation at the EphMRA Conference?

Andrew: Yes, of course. Arriving at a clear and powerful insight is harder than it appears. Our pattern-making brains are subject to many biases and we can’t see our own blind spots and are often led down the wrong path by tunnel vision. As an industry we don’t think much about how we arrive at an insight, we just do it and assume it’s the best it can be. But is it?

There are intelligence analysts, doctors, detectives, lawyers, psychologists and other sense-makers who have tackled questions of cognitive bias and misperception and how it affects their insights. And there is much we can learn from them.

My talk provides lessons learned from how other sense-makers combat their biases and blind spots and offers clear direction on how teamwork, constructive doubt and structured analytic techniques can elevate the quality and consistency of our insights.

EphMRA: Congratulations on publishing your book, The Insights Revolution: Questioning Everything, what made you decide to write it?

Andrew: I am concerned about the insight industry. There are lots of things we do because we’ve always done them that way. But it doesn’t mean they are optimal or even right. Unless we change, we risk becoming irrelevant, if not extinct. So I wanted the book to be a call to action and a guide to change. Each chapter shines a light on a problematic practice in our industry and then suggests a better way forward. So while the book is a challenge, it also points to ways we cannot just survive, but thrive.

EphMRA: Your career spans 30 years in market research, can you share some highlights with us?

Andrew: I started out, by chance, interviewing doctors. That led to a fascinating 20+ years focused almost solely on pharmaceutical market research, in which I was able to do everything from help launch breakthrough medications to collaborate with physicians to write medical journal articles on things like disease prevalence, the patient experience, and how physician practice patterns fall short of clinical guidelines.
Physicians and patients are endlessly interesting, but so too is research methodology and the development of solutions—where I have been focused the past 10 years or so.

EphMRA: In your book, you say that the insights industry is in trouble. If there was one key thing that research professionals could/should do differently, what would it be?

Andrew: We need to think beyond the survey, stop asking questions like “why?”, start being proactive and be obsessed with insights, not research results. In a world where information is everywhere, we must be the alchemists who efficiently convert the dross of data into the gold of insights.
Now I’m thinking about thinking and looking at what we can learn from the intelligence community. Our focus should be on one unchanging thing: excellence in analysis.

EphMRA: Finally, we're really pleased that you're going to be speaking at the EphMRA Conference in Antwerp this summer. Have you been to Antwerp before? And what are you looking forward to?

Andrew: I have never visited Antwerp before and I am looking forward to exploring Groenplaats, Meier Street and Rubenshuis, just for starters. And my wife will be joining me in Antwerp for the sight-seeing, so we’ll be able to explore together!

Thanks Andrew, sounds like you’ve done your research on Antwerp too, see you in June!


Would You Like to Attend Andrew’s Keynote Session?

Andrew will be presenting on 23 June in the afternoon, in a plenary session called - Eureka! Learning about insights from spies, doctors, psychologists and other sense-makers. View our interactive Conference Programme for our full line-up of speakers.

Join us on 23-25 June 2020 in Antwerp for the EphMRA Conference. Register Now.

About the author



Creating excellence in professional standards and practices to enable healthcare market researchers to become highly valued business partners.

Supporting our members and guiding them across the ethics landscape

Preparing the ATC Guidelines and managing new entries, changes and improvements in consultation with pharmaceutical companies

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EphMRA 2021 - Antwerp - June 15 -17

Our 2021 conference will be an exciting, inspiring and engaging online event and will take place the week of 14th June, with the key dates being 15-17 June.

The latest submissions are in the final stages of evaluation and the programme will soon be ready to publish. We have some outstanding speakers this year for our online event.