Measuring a Sea of Change

by Jeff Wack

I make my bed now.  Every day.  Before, it seemed like a waste of time – a few minutes better spent ensuring the kids had adequate nourishment in the morning, or to not miss the 15-minute window to drop off both kids at school and still make it to work by 9:00.  The kids make their beds now, too.  It is almost to the point where I don’t even have to ask.  A few months into “social distancing,” and I am witnessing this organic change in my family’s behavior.

I have started buying my groceries with the intent to last 10 days.  Buying so much at one time, I have adopted new strategies to utilize my freezer rather than making everything “fresh” (and sometimes letting food go bad).  I am making almost 21 meals a week for the entire household but am learning how to do so on about the same budget, when I only made dinners and half breakfasts before.  Taking away the option go to movie theaters, restaurants, the mall, and twice-daily Starbucks also makes it possible to save money!

In the absence of daily after-school activities, I have spent more time bonding with the kids and converting the house into both a successful home and office.  Every room is clean, and almost all previously-ignored clutter has found a home or the trash.  The yard is suddenly in its best shape in years.  All of these changes in just a few weeks.  Who knew so many bad habits accumulated over the years could be rapidly altered?  I’ve started asking myself: Will these behaviors actually stick long term?

Current strife leads to future innovation.  This is the dawn of a sea change, and we have the technology, techniques, and mechanisms to analyze it like never before.

The researcher in me is going wild!  How many other people are experiencing this exact transformation?  How many others are out there, finding new ways to live and preferring these new habits to old routines?  I don’t see our family eating out at the same pace as before, even though restaurants are opening back up.  Now I know how much money can be saved by cooking our own meals, as well as how much I enjoy it.  Will I ever go back to buying the brands I’ve determined truly aren’t essential?  What brands and goods will emerge ahead of the curve post-pandemic?

I can also foresee changes six months from now if things don’t significantly improve.  My primary credit card earns travel rewards, and if travel becomes less of a priority, I’ll need to transition to a cashback rewards card.  Even if only 10% of the population is changing like I am changing, that amount of people can still significantly change the game for many brands and industries.

From a researcher’s perspective, this excites me greatly.  Clients across every industry have been asking interesting questions, and exciting answers are looming.  Lots of opportunities to explore.  Lots of threats and barriers to overcome.  Lots of new data that doesn’t look the same as data collected just two months ago.  Lots of decisions to be made and new ideas to be vetted.  Current strife leads to future innovation.  This is the dawn of a sea change, and we have the technology, techniques, and mechanisms to analyze it like never before.  While the circumstances of this sea change scare me profoundly on a personal level, the analyst in me can’t help but anticipate the insights just around the corner.

How this sea change should be analyzed varies greatly across different industries and data sources.  If you are interested in reading more on this topic, I suggest you read another Beyond Measure article: “Fight Uncertainty with Insight: Why Research Remains a Viable – and Vital – Resource in a COVID-19 World” by Jamie Baker-Prewitt.  Beyond the personal changes I reflect on here, Jamie and her team are thinking about how to react to the impact of COVID-19 across entire industries.

Jeff is never satisfied with the status quo and is always looking to advance a project, process, or analysis to the next level.  He has a particular passion towards CX trackers where the goal is to endlessly find new ways to improve the customer experience.

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Sources: Feature Image – ©makistock –


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