We're a pretty big deal

Since 1971, Sparks Research continues to translate marketing research findings into marketplace solutions for its clients, which include Fortune 100 global companies and leading national and regional companies in such industries as financial services, retail, automotive, professional services, utilities, higher education, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing and general services industries. We think and operate like we are extensions of your staff.  We are fast but never at the expense of accuracy or faulty methodology.  As time is everyone’s irreplaceable resource, our processes are designed to save you time and time is money.  

We collect data with the best of them, but it's what we do with it that sets us apart.

The Sparks Insight Generation Model

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Uncertainty Reduction

The goal of reducing uncertainty in an effort to drive rational and optimal strategic decisions.

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Stochastic Optimization

In order to achieve desirable outcomes, it’s imperative to reduce uncertainty.

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Critical
Thinking

We base our decisions on strict criteria, rational options and conscious decisions.

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Clarity &
Precision

We anchor our processes on the critical principles of Clarity, Relevance, Accuracy and Precision.

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Congruence

Our decisions are made to be in harmony with overall business objectives and desired outcomes.

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Relativity

We ensure proper comparison between multiple concepts, ideas or outcomes.

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Non-Linear Thinking

We use non-linear thinking to find unique solutions to the presented problems.

The Eighth One

Just kidding, there is no eighth one. But it makes the layout nice and neat. 


 

Our secret sauce:
The Bayesian Feedback Loop

 

Discovery

The key objective here is to work to achieve clarity about our purpose and objectives.

Design

Our Design phase hinges on the idea of a complex adaptive approach utilizing Bayesian principles.

Execution

We enter this phase with a hypothesis or theory, if not multiple of either, usually supported by prior data or experiential observation.

Delivery

In our Delivery of learning outcomes, we adhere to our principles of business intelligence discussed prior, in that of descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive.

Meet the smart folks

With two locations and more than 60 team members, our approach to project management is to have our senior principals manage and direct all aspects of each project.   Our team stays fully involved throughout each stage of the project to ensure the highest quality for our clients.  Together, our senior leadership brings over 50 years of marketing research experience to the table.  This is one of our core strengths. 

 
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Rich Groom

Chief Executive Officer & Principal

As the CEO of Sparks Research, Rich is best known for curating business and client relationships, many that Sparks Research has served for a decade or more.  Rich is primarily responsible for driving business development through regional and national strategic partnerships while providing oversight to the strategic vision of the company.  Additionally, over his 18 years of service, Rich has conducted research for over 50 companies in more than 15 business verticals, notably natural gas, retail banking, telecommunications and health insurance.

 
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Leanna Garrison

Chief Operating Officer & Principal

Leanna oversees the operations of the company at the project and account level as well as the organizational level and recently celebrated her 20th year with the company. Throughout her tenure, Leanna has “worn many hats,” beginning her career in data collection operations, transitioning to project management and client experience, and recently assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer and Principal.  Leanna knows that execution is paramount to a great idea, as evident by her efforts over her career at Sparks Research.

 
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Jon Christiansen, PhD

Chief Intelligence Officer & Principal

With more than a decade of experience in applied research and consulting, Jon leads our efforts in insight generation, analytics and business intelligence. As a decision driven social and organizational researcher and consultant, Jon brings extensive proficiency in theory driven core competencies and evidence driven analytical practices to Sparks Research. Like his colleagues, Jon is active in the academic community, teaching graduate courses at his alma mater, Clemson University, in research methods as well as knowledge management.

 
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John-David McKee

Chief Strategy Officer

John-David spearheads our company strategy and plays a key role in analytics, business intelligence (BI) and marketing.  Before joining Sparks, JD was a software entrepreneur, marketing research professor, and strategy consultant specializing in digital marketing, BI and market research.  He is always looking for ways to grow and improve our offerings, and develop innovative ways to reach and engage with today’s ever-increasing digital consumer.

 
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David Williams

Vice President of Customer Relations

With 13 years on the Sparks team, David utilizes his years of research experience to provide clients a successful strategy to cover their needs as well as overseeing the development and accuracy of the client’s deliverables.  As Vice President of Client Relations David focuses on the entire client experience from discovery to delivery.  David’s background includes retail management and sales. He also serves the academic community, teaching regular courses in marketing research, policy and strategy, and business communications.

 
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LaTasha Woods

Vice President of Data and Managed Services

LaTasha is the Vice President of Data & Managed Services and is known for her ability to give data a voice. With over 15 years of experience in marketing research, LaTasha has managed, handled and overseen over 2.5MM records – and that number is growing. Additionally, she oversees all IT and network security divisions.