“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”  – A.A. Milne  

There’s good food for thought in that statement.  “Organizing” is a topic that customer insights (CI) professionals and their marketing, digital, and other business partners are asking about. And one frequently asked question is “what’s the best way for us to organize?”

Why is that question so top of mind?  Consider this: Forrester research shows that despite continuing investments in people, big data, and technology, companies are not driving enough insights to actions. For example, 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” yet only 29% say they’re good at connecting insights to actions.  In addition, business satisfaction with analytics went down 21% between 2014 and 2015.  These numbers show that there’s an insights-to-action disconnect, and it’s an expensive problem.

In addition to organization, CI pros also frequently mention two day-to-day pressures they experience:

  1. They can’t keep up with the volume of stakeholder requests.
  2. There’s what one CI pro described as “the black hole” between insights and actions: CI pros may never know what action, if any, resulted from insights they provided. 

Sound familiar?  Many CI pros and their business stakeholders are aware, from their own perspectives, of the insights-to-action disconnect, and it's a likely source of the two pressures CI pros are reporting. 

To solve for the disconnect, firms must find new ways of connecting the right insights to the right actions — the ones that improve business outcomes.  And a reorg is not the best immediate next step.  Keep in mind that sometimes a reorg can actually slow down progress in fixing disconnects – and may just create new ones. You may not have long to wait until the next reorg anyway, if your company is like most, so work on these approaches to disconnect reduction in the meantime:

  • Tie insights you and your team provide to key metrics that stakeholders already use.  Make it easier for stakeholders to see how what you do aligns with what they do.  Work to make your partnership stronger and more collaborative.
  • Start doing – or do more – self-marketing.  Think you can’t afford the time?  That’s backwards thinking.  Actually, you can’t afford not to do this.  Well-told stories about even small wins are surprisingly effective in growing awareness of the value of insights-driven actions.

Use these approaches now to better align with stakeholders on choosing the right insights for the right actions.  You can find additional approaches in my recent brief report about organizing for customer insights.  Better alignment will help alleviate those two day-to-day pressures you feel:  too much request volume and the insights-to-action black hole. Better alignment will help make sure that when you do that next reorg, it won’t be, as A.A. Milne said, “all mixed up.”