With the Arizona primary elections just around the corner on Aug. 2, chances are if you’ve tuned into your local television news, you’ve heard what Arizona voters are currently thinking from Mike Noble, dubbed “a Phoenix public opinion expert” by The New York Times.
Noble, a 2007 graduate of Arizona State University's Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, is chief of research and managing partner at Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights (OHPI), a non-partisan public opinion polling, market research and data analytics firm.
Noble found his passion for politics while working for an Arizona congressman before starting OHPI. Since then, he has become one of the top pollsters in the West, working with clients throughout Arizona, Nevada, Utah and beyond.
When asked about how his communication degree has helped him in his career, Noble said the “art and science of human communication” is truly at the heart of how he operates his business.
Noble said his goal is to do more than just hand out data or read off results. Instead, he wants to share the story that the numbers tell and explain what the data means for all those involved.
“My favorite part of what I do is seeing the light bulb go off for folks when delivering data, because I know that they found value and use for our research," he said. "For me, tapping into the human elements of what we do has been the cornerstone of building and fostering lasting relationships rooted in unbiased research, trusted data and actionable insights.”
Sarah J. Tracy, professor and director of the Hugh Downs School says a degree in communication is ideal for students who are interested in market research and data analytics.
“In addition to learning communication skills and strategies, communication majors also learn research methods such as interviewing, focus groups and survey design, all of which are highly valued in the workplace," she said. "They also learn how to interpret and present data, two skills which have served Mike well in his career.”
Noble said that he didn’t want to “be boring, difficult to understand, or simply do what everyone else was doing” when breaking into the research and data industry. He wanted to be innovative in presenting the data in ways that clearly showed their impact.
Noble, who is regularly mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Economist, Reuters and many other news outlets, is grateful for his education in human communication.
“It’s given me a unique ability to present data and insights in a digestible manner so that the value of the data is clearly understood and can be utilized to inform strategies and take the guesswork out of gauging public sentiment,” he said.
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