Transforming the Insight Function

The first paper in our “Future of Insights” series, presenting new thinking about how the insight function is changing and how to elevate its impact.

Transforming the Insight Function | IpsosIs your insight function a real source of competitive advantage? This is a challenge that has been posed to insight leaders for at least a decade now but the gap between delivery and expectations has only grown in recent years.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic and the enhanced need to understand people’s fast-evolving requirements, emotions and aspirations, we are seeing some insight leaders taking a strong and strategic lead within their organisation, addressing challenges and giving clear guidance to their business in this new context. We believe this moment represents a formidable opportunity for the insight function to transform and elevate.

Advanced insight teams can establish a culture of agility, encouraging “sprint” approaches, insights on demand and experimenting with real-time data. They are also uniquely placed to democratise knowledge and recommendations through collaborative platforms.

Shaped by Ipsos’ Global Client Organisation, this paper presents an overview of what we have learned from talking and working with hundreds of clients across many industries and sets out what we believe are actions that can be most instrumental in supporting the transformation of the insight function.

So, what needs to be in place in order to successfully inspire and implement tangible action? Here is a summary of the four key steps we have identified in the transformation process:

  1. Define vision and impact: Some of the insight teams we have seen being most successful are those which have real clarity in their mission. Reaching this level of clarity can involve redefining the vision of what they need to do.
  2. Evaluate gaps and build a plan: Once aspirations are set, the next step is about being open about where the skills or capability gaps are. What might get in the way of moving from where the insight function is today to where it needs to be in the future?
  3. Learning journey and training: Both formal and informal learning programmes may be required here, for the insights function and potentially for other teams as well.
  4. Maintain momentum: Finally, it is important to recognise this is part of an ongoing mission, so that this good practice becomes an accepted part of the organisation.

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