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Tips & Tricks

Six Ways Insights Teams Lose Valuable Knowledge

By August 11, 2021October 22nd, 2021No Comments



In the typical Fortune 500 company, research and insights teams have “access” to millions of pages of structured and unstructured data. Think about the years and years of research that has been accumulated – from volumes of content to survey data and thousands of charts, videos and documents that have been created over time.

Yet, how accessible is all of that valuable knowledge? Typically, 95% of accumulated data goes unused, and even though companies spend millions of dollars on this data a year, it’s often forgotten on the proverbial shelf, and those millions of dollars spent were wasted.

Why does this happen? Answers range from “I don’t spend any time hunting through old data because it’s not worth it,” or  “It’s a waste of my time – either I won’t find anything or it’s going to take me forever to find the data I need.” There are some that actually spend the time searching for the data, but it takes them days or even weeks – more time wasted.

In working with brands across the globe, we hear six common issues costing businesses productivity and money due to the difficulty of managing enterprise structured and unstructured data:



People come and go. They get promoted, move from one brand to another, change geographies and companies. The thing is, in any of those scenarios when they move, the data that stays behind becomes an artifact. Everything they worked on, every project, every report that they know about, is effectively unavailable to the organization. It’s there, somewhere, in a file. Yet, if nobody knows about it.They’re not going to find it or use it, It’s effectively dark or organizationally lost.

On the flip side, if you are starting a new job or are the one that got promoted, you know there was a predecessor before you. But, how do you know what they worked on?

Hence, the movement of people, which is really great for individual careers–as well as  organizations, is terrible for the reuse of data because tribal knowledge is constantly lost.

Redundant Research

The next challenge is around redundant research. No one consciously thinks, “I can’t wait to redo this study again” or, “I know this assignment I am on for the next month is one that we must have done in the past,” Yet, it happens every day at large brands.

Leaders assign work without knowing that other people in the company may have done similar work. Individuals receive assignments not knowing that the work was done by a peer or predecessor. There is no simple way of knowing otherwise.

And it’s not just what internal teams have worked on. It’s all of the research commissioned. The strategy received from agency partners. The syndicated data that is being licensed from great

research entities.There’s just no way to get your arms around it. The redundancy it creates has all kinds of inefficiencies and results in millions of wasted dollars.


Organizational Disruption

Another common scenario is organizational disruption. Mergers, acquisitions and internal corporate restructuring are all common. With people and data moving around, knowledge is being shed. This equates to volumes of really valuable data permanently lost.


Survey Data

Another challenging component is survey data. The market research industry spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on survey research. Yet, most organizations do not have a way to search through those valuable data files. For example, if you’re getting back a banner book from the supplier that is not searchable, plus it’s aggregated data, you are handcuffed to the data cuts that were created in the banner book.

In addition, many brands aren’t collecting the original data files from the supplier even though they contractually own the data. So, the end result is a lot of costly survey data being thrown out or unutilised.


DIY Tools

Another reason for this proliferation of data being wasted is that so many DIY tools exist.

The tools in themselves are fantastic; however, when you have five, or even ten, that are being used across the company, they create bigger silos.

DIY tools also require people to know the login for each one of those platforms which become a huge barrier for simply accessing information. Plus, most of these DIY platforms also do not have a search capability making it even more difficult to find information.


Personal Hard Drives

Finally, there’s individual hard drives. People today still use their individual hard drives as the source of truth. Yes, it’s a convenient place to house things, but they become a black hole that data goes into, and never comes out.

It’s no wonder the average research and insight professional has over 20 tabs open every day and spends anywhere from four to 10 hours per week searching for knowledge.

There are just too many files, drives, different interfaces, subscriptions too many logins. Simply too many repositories.

These common challenges can be solved with emerging technology. Platforms for knowledge management, such as Lucy, and  KnowledgeHound’s solution for survey data are partnering to provide organizations with a one-stop shop to fully leverage and retain all of your knowledge. Through our partnership, organizations can search through and find answers from all of their structured and unstructured data in one place.

This means – one source, one login that key stakeholders can access, a place that stores and maintains all institutional knowledge and data. Which turns hours of painstaking search into mere minutes, dramatically increasing ROI and productivity across the board.

Where to start? We suggest starting with understanding your specific use case and calculating the ROI to be gained with platforms such as Lucy with KnowledgeHound’s integration. Watch our rexent Esomar webinar: Strategies to Reveal the ROI Behind Hidden Data to learn more.