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Accessing Existing Research and Data a Must for Teams


Invaluable is a leader's guidance in helping their team gain access to existing research and data to understand the current state in the context of their work. The initial information and data sets the discovery stage to help the team understand what they currently know and don't know about the customer problem and how to solve it. 

Without that guidance from the leader, we continually observe teams starting their discovery work from scratch. They are not leveraging what already exists, wasting time relearning when there is evidence for it. You want to instill in the team to seek evidence to guide decision-making. It includes existing research and data that can get them further down a path than if they started at ground zero.

Here are a few reasons teams do not leverage existing research and data:

  • The team hits the ground running and isn't thinking about what is already known or unknown.
  • The team is determined to produce their data and research and (in)validate what exists.
  • The team believes by the time they request and receive the research and data, it will be weeks and will slow them down from making progress.
  • The team doesn't know what resources to tap into within the organization. 

Here are a few organizational reasons:

  • The organization culture is one of business units/departments/teams hoarding research and data (sometimes knowingly and other times not) versus sharing where all teams can benefit.
  • The organization has no mechanism that allows for existing research and data to be leveraged across the organization.
  • The organization's data resides in different internal systems making it difficult to access and pull the data needed.

Here are a few action steps a Leader can take to help:

  • Balance the issues across your organization and provide guidance and resolve what is in your control.
  • Be a strong advocate for sharing research and data across the organization so everyone can leverage it.
  • If data isn't accessible, work with other leaders across the organization to find ways to rectify it. 

As leaders at the forefront of transformation, having access to research and data is critical. The goal is to optimize resources and reduce the waste of discovery work when research, data, and evidence exists. It enables a team's time to be focused on the customer problem, identifying, exposing, and reducing risks, and gathering new evidence to find the fastest path to the customer and business value. 

The amount of data and research an organization collects is priceless. Teams accessing and leveraging the wealth of research and data inside the organization will be a small but valuable step toward transformation.