In our continued “Meet the Team” series, we introduce Richard Hutchings, Research Director and valued member of the HRW Quant Task Force, which is responsible for cultivating innovative quantitative methodologies, building internal quant expertise, and showcasing our quant excellence to the world.

Give us a little introduction and tell us where you were before HRW (if you can remember a life before HRW).

I’m Rich – a research director at HRW with a focus on all things quant (although we all do a bit of everything at HRW).

Before HRW I was learning my trade at another healthcare agency – I was running huge patient chart studies and advanced quantitative research.

Those experiences exposed me to the power of patient datasets, including the opportunity to write and present abstracts at major scientific conferences – although the highlight was relaxing post-conference on a sunny evening in Rome or Madrid.

However, joining HRW has broadened my market-research horizons, for sure!


What makes you tick when it comes to market research?

For me it’s about finding the most elegant solution to answer our clients’ objectives. This can mean adapting our quantitative tools to fit each unique scenario and combining different techniques or datasets to reach more interesting insights. Healthcare is such a complex area that it always keeps us on our toes.

I’ve done it all at HRW, from interviewing groups of top KOLs to moderating online communities and chatting to patients, which has all been fantastic… but at heart I love getting some robust numbers!


What do you enjoy most about your role in developing and enhancing HRW’s quantitative offerings?

Keeping on top of the latest innovations and methodologies is fun – there are a few interesting things in the AI space we’ve found that we’re looking for opportunities to test – but the thing I enjoy the most is getting things moving, getting my hands dirty with the latest methodologies or platforms, and seeing them work in the real world!

At HRW it doesn’t take long to turn ideas into reality – we run self-funded studies to get new methodologies off the ground so we can start using them to deliver better research for our clients.


What should we keep our eye on in terms of developments over the next few months?

We’ve got a lot of developments in the pipeline. One of the most exciting areas we’re working on is how to enhance our quantitative research with behavioural science principles. We’re collaborating with our HRW Shift team to create validated quantitative metrics that, when combined together, can reveal the underlying beliefs of our respondents. This is something we’ve not seen anyone do before – so watch this space!


What do you get up to when you’re not doing all things MR?

I’m a big American football fan, as well as proper football… A few years ago I flexed my quant muscles and created a data model to predict how players would perform at fantasy football each week! However, I’m falling behind in the HRW fantasy league so it clearly hasn’t helped much.

I used lockdown to learn a new skill – I sewed myself a shirt this year – and have a 4 month old kitten which has already disrupted a lot of Teams/Zoom calls.


By Richard Hutchings

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