Democratizing access to insights helps organizations maximize efficiency and market responsiveness  

Editor’s note: Thor Olof Philogène is the CEO and co-founder of Stravito, an AI-powered platform for market research, Sweden. 

The information age has reached the point where the collection and access of digital data and insights now plays a critical role for organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to multinational corporations and sprawling government agencies. 

Research data has become a core aspect of the decision-making process for organizations of all kinds, with modern marketing, sales, design and other departments all relying on coordinated information to provide real-world insights on trends and needs. In fact, research has shown that organizations that leverage customer insights outperform their peers by more than 85% in growth margins and 25% in gross margin. 

While traditionally the purview of insights teams, data and research access is becoming increasingly important for the daily tasks of a broader range of workers. The full power of modern insights is unleashed when all stakeholders can efficiently access, process and apply insights accurately to create new opportunities and answer important questions.

As captured insights accumulate over time, workers tasked with leveraging data and research contained in various digital files must be supplied with tools to efficiently and accurately locate the precise information desired amid increasing volumes of both private and public research and documents. 

Making data and insights easily available to all employees 

To combat departmental or geographical information silos that can introduce complications such as disparate workers duplicating entries or using different standards for document labels and searchable tags, organizations that make insights easily and readily available to all employees within an organization help foster innovation and maximize enterprise-wide efficiency. 

In today’s digital environment, democratizing insights efficiently and immediately is the key to overcoming time constraints and using data to a company’s advantage. By streamlining the insights discovery process, enterprise organizations can automatically parse all manner of documents, video files, audio files and websites to create searchable summaries and transcripts with little to no input from workers. The innovations available today improve the user experience and deliver significant time savings in both the cataloging and search processes – leaving employees time to innovate, opposed to search.

It’s also vital to ensure that the tools and information that are deployed can be relied on for continued use for data to build over time and reveal longer-term insights. Organizations that can easily review and locate insights from years of internal reports, projects and research may discover trends that would be impossible for a worker to recognize among many disparate documents. 

Democratizing insights means to make insights accessible to stakeholders across the organization. However, making insights accessible isn’t as straightforward as it might sound. That’s because democratizing insights isn’t just a matter of distributing insights. Rather, it’s a matter of empowering stakeholders to access, process and apply insights in a way that can be sustained over the long term.

Organizational learning – an ongoing flow of information 

So how can organizations effectively democratize insights, and how can leaders minimize barriers to long-term success? Access is just one part of the equation. Research reports need to be packaged and delivered in a way that makes them easy to digest. Otherwise, insights might be accessed but still go unused. In short, having access to information doesn’t mean that we will retain it. 

When it comes to packaging insights, it’s particularly important that key details, like conclusions and sample demographics, can be understood with ease. Otherwise, insights could be misinterpreted or misapplied. It’s also essential to be thoughtful about how insights are shared. Democratizing insights is, at its core, a form of organizational learning. This means that there needs to be an ongoing flow of information, instead of just relying on one-off questions from stakeholders. 

Another major point for enterprises to be aware of is minimizing adoption obstacles. As with any organizational initiative, there will always be numerous obstacles that can hinder long-term success. Getting the necessary buy-in, securing budget and navigating shifting business priorities can prove challenging even under near-perfect conditions. 

Many enterprises can benefit from democratizing insights, but the right tools must be applied to achieve the desired benefits. Statistics show that vast troves of data are widely available and recognized, but can be a burden to utilize because of insufficient organization and ability to connect dots across various departments or concepts. By making insights accessible to all, companies set themselves up for success by streamlining information flow and creating more time for the workforce to innovate.