While 44% of insight functions are building credibility as a valued voice within the wider business, more needs to be done to break free of silos and proactively champion the customer voice.

The MRS Delphi Group – an MRS think tank led by a collection of the most respected thinkers in the marketing and research sectors – today launches a new report examining how research is used within organisations. 


The report is available here: www.mrs.org.uk/insightdriven

The report is based on the findings of a self-assessment questionnaire, which asked participants from both public and privatesectors to consider how effective their organisation is at using insight, and client-side where their insight team sat in relation to twelve key attributes of an insight-driven organisation.

It found that 60 per cent of participants are running structured programmes of research, with 44 per cent building credibility as a valued voice within the wider business. However, much research remains ad-hoc, with data sitting in silos and findings often having a limited impact on decision making. Less than one in four of the participants felt they were developing insight which is directive and helps prioritise action.

Alongside the findings, the report also builds on the MRS/PWC Business of Evidence 2016 report to include a list of the attributes researchers of the future will need, developed by Jake Steadman, Research Director at Twitter and Dr Nick Baker, Chair of the MRS Delphi Group.

The report also includes a foreword from Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at the London Business School and Patron of MRS, with expert views on the key issues from Nick Bonney, Head of Insight at Camelot; Jessica Salmon, Head of Research at O2 (Telefonica UK); Lisa Hazelden, Assistant Director Retail Experience at NS&I; Vijay Raj, Vice President, Consumer and Market Insights at Unilever and Cat Wiles, Head of Planning at VCCP.

Jane Frost CBE, CEO of MRS and founder of the Delphi Group, said: “It’s great news that some organisations are using insight to drive decision-making at all levels within their organisations. But there are lessons to learn here too: these findings provide further evidence that the insight function must prove its value by creating a unified vision of qualitative and quantitative research alongside big analytics – a proactive narrative for the board and other stakeholders.”

Jane Frost continues: “Kantar Vermeer’s ‘Insights 20:20’ found an unambiguous connection between commercial success and customer-centric approaches, and you can find examples of those businesses doing well because of a well-developed insight function throughout this report too. Their success should be a call to action for those organisations which are not currently insight-led, allowing insight functions to finally and fundamentally move away from a support and service role to take the lead in informing strategy. In this data-driven era businesses are in desperate need of the expertise I know exists within the research sector.”

Download the report

The report is available here: www.mrs.org.uk/insightdriven

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