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2 Top Challenges for Insights Teams

Brandon Beeken September 22, 2021


Ever since I joined the Stravito team, I’ve been on a quest to really get to know insights leaders. In particular, I wanted to develop a deep understanding of the problems facing insights and market research leaders in their daily work. 

After speaking to a variety of insights experts, I found some common themes that continued to emerge. These were:

  • Difficulty finding research/insights that already existed 
  • Being outmatched by the volume of requests coming in from many stakeholders
  • No easy way to efficiently onboard new team members with relevant insights 
  • Frustration with manual uploading/tagging of content 

Last week, I hosted a session with Quirk’s to discuss these challenges and how insights teams can go about solving them. 

As part of this session, I ran a poll to get more insight on the most pressing challenge for insights teams. There were two that won a combined 81% of votes, which caught my attention. So in this article, I thought I would explore these two challenges a bit further and briefly illustrate strategies to solve them.  


Common challenge #1: Outnumbered by stakeholder requests 

45% of session attendees said that being outnumbered by stakeholder requests was their most pressing insights challenge. 

While it’s great to know that stakeholders are engaged and excited to work with insights, endless requests can create distractions and bottlenecks. This not only increases the time between a stakeholder asking a question and receiving an answer, but it also drastically reduces the amount of time that insights teams are able to put into deeper insights work like forecasting, trendspotting, and analysis.


Solution: Empower with self-service access

Empowering stakeholders with self-service access to vetted insights has two primary benefits: 1) reducing the quantity of requests and thus 2) increasing their quality. 

For example, when a stakeholder comes up with a question or their curiosity is piqued, they can start by searching themselves. If they find the answer they need, then that’s one less request to the insights team. 

Increased quality of requests comes from asking better questions. If they start with their own search and can’t find any relevant research on the topic or want to better understand a finding. Instead of “Do we have anything on this?”,  the question becomes “I couldn’t find anything on this–could we talk about exploring this topic?” or “Can we discuss these findings a bit further?”. 

But of course, this all depends on stakeholders and insights teams alike being able to find the insights they’re looking for, which happens to be the next challenge we’ll explore.


Common challenge #2: Finding research/insights that you know exist 

Another 36% of session attendees said that finding research or insights they already know exist is their main challenge. 

This is something that two of Stravito’s founders witnessed often when running their global shopper research agency for several years. Time and time again they’d get calls from clients that had purchased research from them but couldn't find it internally.  The more they saw this, the more they realized how pervasive this challenge was. 


Solution: A user-friendly insights platform with smart search

Having a centralized location to store all of your research and insights is a great starting point. But by choosing one that offers a user-friendly experience and powerful search, you increase the chances that insights teams and stakeholders alike will be able to quickly find what they’re looking for. 

If search is limited to exact keywords or document titles, you’ll likely have to make multiple attempts before you get to what you need. And if the platform isn’t user-friendly, it’s very possible you’ll have to find the manual before you can even start the search.

Selecting a powerful and user-friendly platform also helps to ensure that your solution is a sustainable one, not just a one-off organization project that gets forgotten about after a couple months. If a platform is difficult to navigate or painful to maintain, it’s common that people will just stop using it.  


My quest has only just begun

While I’ve learned a lot these past few months about the challenges facing insights leaders and their teams, I know that there is still a lot more to explore. My list above is far from exhaustive, and my team members and I are dedicated to continuously deepening our understanding. 

If you’re curious about how Stravito helps to solve these challenges, you can access the recording of my session here. Or if you’d prefer to focus on how Stravito can help solve your organization’s unique challenges, we’d be happy to give you a tailored demo

What’s your top insights challenge? Let me know at brandon@stravito.com