MarkData comes out on top in international awards for innovation, creativity, and future-thinking


Acquisition International was established in 2010 and is a monthly digital business-to-business magazine with a readership of 108,000 in more than 170 countries. Read more.

It came as no surprise that MarkData was this year’s Human Behaviour Science Research and Development Services winner when Acquisition International announced the Research and Development Awards 2022 in late September. Moreover, MarkData is the only winner from the African continent.

The multi award-winning research company was established in 1981 as the in-house research facility of the Human Sciences Research Council. These historic foundations set the tone, and for more than 40 years, MarkData has made significant contributions to the body of knowledge about a changing South African society. Their work has deepened understanding of nationhood, social economy business practices, entrepreneurial mindsets, political polling, and quality-of-life in South Africa and globally.

The last two years offered many significant challenges to industry and society. Social, economic, and political research solutions are growing in importance, enabling organisations to serve and meet the changing needs of society. Some of the obvious trends include technology, geo-political tensions, social dynamics, and a growing environmentally conscious world. However, no one can predict what the world might look like five or ten years from now.

To help businesses and organisations trade through constant change, the MarkData leadership team saw an opportunity to align their solutions to the needs of clients and position the organisation as a strong, yet cost-effective, research think-tank. Navigating uncertainty raised three fundamental questions for MarkData. First, what are they good at? Secondly, how can they improve what they do best? And thirdly, how do they ensure sustainability and maintain the highest levels of ethical conduct? The answer was a triangulated business model approach that defines the business models of the future.

MarkData’s Insights, Consulting and Development solutions are founded on strong theoretical principles, a modern lens for understanding people, and a heart to empower communities through sustainable development solutions. The MarkData approach ensures relevance, sustainability, and deep insights into human behaviour, whilst retaining the characteristic MarkData passion to serve clients and adhere to the highest ethical standards. Their innovative business solutions that operate in tandem with societal changes is the reason for MarkData winning this recent global award.

Sif Brookes, Acquisition International Senior Editor, introduced this year’s Research and Development Awards, emphasising the growth in importance of Research and Development (R&D) in the last two years. As the significance of R&D for positive change in global markets amplifies, need-driven R&D is turning human expectations into reality, and discovering remarkable things is increasingly possible. Market research has a significant contribution to make in a post-pandemic world, and developing solutions based on meaningful insights for social and economic recovery and policy-based improvements are critical. Jan Wegelin, MarkData Managing Director, is also of the view that the research industry is critically important in the post-COVID-19 reality.

“The world has and will continue to change as we navigate through 4IR, carbon footprint conscious practices, political accountability by an increasingly informed society, fractioning of social consciousness into different areas of concern, and other challenges,” says Wegelin.

This is why Experience, Expertise, and Ethics are the guiding principles at the heart of what MarkData does. The leadership team’s belief that anything is possible, and that there is a solution to every challenge, ensures that innovation, dynamism, and empathy are cultivated. Wegelin defines innovation not only as engaging with the latest technological solutions but also as remaining engaged with every aspect and segment of our diverse and dynamic societies. For example, South Africa and other parts of Africa are multi-stream technology societies – some people engage with the latest technological solutions while others live in the analogue era. The MarkData research techniques and solutions accommodate these differences.

The Research and Development Awards 2022 recognise organisations that demonstrate outstanding growth and provide tangible benefits to society. Under the leadership of Holly Blackwood, Awards Executive at AI Global Media, the aim of the Awards is to commend those most deserving for their originality and effort, and to acknowledge the work that goes into extraordinary advancements in R&D – an often-overlooked sector.

The Awards are given solely on merit. The rigorous process of selecting winners starts with nominations from Acquisition International’s magazine subscribers, online visitors, social media followers, and clients, as well as the wider magazine circulation and the publisher (AI Global Media). Organisations that accept their nomination are evaluated based on the original nomination, information available online, and supporting evidence supplied by the nominees. Jeremy Roe and his research team independently gather information from a number of publicly available sources, and all the information is then used to assess the nominations. Evaluation criteria include client dedication, innovation, business growth, longevity, online reputation, client feedback, and business performance.

Wegelin summarises the MarkData difference as follows:

“We love what we do. As unpredictable as life may be at the moment, we also realise that these are exciting times to be a part of. The rare opportunity to uncover the richness of a changing world is both an honour and a privilege. We do not aim to be the biggest. Instead, we focus on contributing in meaningful ways to develop new levels of understanding. Research is about learning, understanding, and developing solutions for the MarkData clients. We help them, and they help us, to grow stronger, and to become responsible and sustainable contributors to a new world order.”

Congratulations to the MarkData team!


  1. Wow!! This is absolutely Awesome!! Congratulations!!
    It takes a little time but the cream will float to the top😁

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