The insight world is undergoing a profound transformation, which sees most of our clients having to revisit their research efforts, implement new team structures, and establish new priorities and ways of working.
But budgets are not endlessly expandable, and insight teams face increased demand from users to deliver on value. For example, we see competition between data acquisition and management budgets, and those attached to surveys and research insights.
The truth is that we are at a fantastic turning point for the insights community. On one hand, this presents a risk of being subservient to technology and becoming a commodity, while, on the other, it offers an opportunity to give a renewed enthusiasm for insights, wherever they come from – data or survey – and present them as an essential source for driving innovations and improving services.
Building on the first publication in the series, Transforming the Insight Function, the purpose of this new paper is to set out some ideas on how we can demonstrate the impact insights have on business and how we can improve the recognition of it by our business partners. The paper is organised into two parts:
- Part One: when and how can we quantify the impact insights have on the business?
The benefits of being able to quantify the value research or data-driven insights bring to an organisation go beyond just promoting our reason for existence – by ensuring investment goes to the right places and is driving the right business outcomes. To do so, we must recognise that research is just one input into the decision-making process. Many other variables will determine the final outcome for the business, including external factors that research cannot control.
- Part Two: driving value – what to do when it is difficult to quantify the Return on Research Investment (RORI).
We articulate some of the actions that insight teams can implement to increase their value within their organisation, even when absolute quantification may not be simple. The key point here is about changing the visibility and credibility of Consumer and Market Insights (CMI) through:
1. Linking everything we do to business impact
2. Augmenting the power of consumer understanding
3. Being the voice of the people and nurturing a consumer-centric culture
It is all in our hands; now is the moment to seize the opportunity. There has never been a more exciting time to be in market research and consumer insights.