Ricardo Maldonado

Insights Genius

New York, NY

Ricardo has spent more than 25 years as a quantitative research pro. He has spearheaded every phase of quant research and engaged respondents online, in-person, by phone, and even by mail.​ Data is his second language.

Ricardo has been with Smarty Pants since 2005, supporting hundreds of projects for clients ranging from Google to Girl Scouts of the USA to WWE.

As one of the earliest members of the Smarty Pants team, Ricardo was tasked with establishing the quant division. He began by creating, growing and managing Smarty Pants’ first proprietary online panel, the Know-It-Alls. He also designed, executed and managed all of the company’s quantitative research.

As the quant team grew, Ricardo shifted gears to bring Smarty Pants’ survey programming, data processing and cross-tabulations needs in-house. Overseeing a team of programmers, he managed the in-field execution of projects as well as vetted and managed a wide range of vendor partners. ​

Ricardo then became the director of Smarty Pants’ syndicated department. He co-created and led the company’s flagship syndicated youth and family brand equity study (Brand Love). In addition to understanding family brand engagement, the study allowed him to explore and share with clients the annual shifts in youth device usage and digital habits. He also oversaw the execution of Smarty Pants’ second syndicated study, Project 24 – a look at 24 hours in the lives of Americans ages 2 to 92.

Ricardo now leads custom quantitative research initiatives across categories and lifestages. He has deep experience in entertainment, artificial intelligence, toys and games, education, and more. He excels at navigating through a sea of data to find and present clients with engaging stories and actionable insights.​

His love of data and generational insights has led to Ricardo authoring several Kidscreen articles and tomes on kids’ digital behaviors.


Ricardo began his research career while in college. He cut his teeth gathering data: first by working part-time at a CATI facility where he conducted interviews with constituents of state and local organizations, then he moved into a full-time role where he did everything from designing old-school mail surveys to conducting CLT intercepts to running TURF analyses. ​​

For two years, Ricardo served as a project director at Market Facts (later acquired by Aegis Group). He moved to a project director position at TNS NFO, which is now part of Kantar. For the three years prior to Smarty Pants, he served as a senior project director at APMG.


Always fascinated with human insights, Ricardo has both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at Syracuse University, where he was a founding member of the university’s diversity and inclusion student group. He went on to earn his M.A. at Temple University.


Born and raised in the Bronx, Ricardo, his wife and two young daughters now call Long Island home. One of his favorite activities is singing in the car with his daughters.

He has spent years performing as an actor on stage and on film. Yes, you can check his S.A.G. card or YouTube clips from “Law & Order” or “Flight of the Conchords,” to name a few.  After co-owning a title company for a few years, Ricardo has also kept one foot in the real estate industry.

Fun Facts

  • Is a proud nerd who attends New York Comic Con every year​
  • Listens to stand-up comedy often​
  • His favorite artist is Gustav Klimt
  • Loves spending his early mornings in the gym
  • His ‘last meal’ request would be bacon… just bacon