The recent BCG-GRBN research indicates that there are a number of barriers to be overcome if an Insights team is going to succeed with the measurement of their ROI and the impact they are having on the business.
It’s Difficult to Do
All of the Insights leaders we talked to as part of the research understand that the measurement of Insights ROI is difficult to do, and for many reasons: Indirect impact, time lag, difficulty in isolating from other impacts. The difference comes when one looks at how Insights leaders react to the challenge. Put simply, those who measure their business impact have found ways to overcome these challenges. And there is not just one solution, rather each leader has developed their own set of solution based on their resources, their organizational structure, and culture.
Distance from Decision-Makers
Those Insights functions measuring their impact seem to be closer to the decision-makers in their organizations. In bigger organizations, they tend to have people embedded within business units and established procedures in place to help them measure their ROI. Two key things, which are needed for successful impact measurement are 1) a good briefing document, which has a section on the business objectives and expected ROI outcomes from the research, and 2) a good feedback system, which enables decision-makers to evaluate the impact of the research.
No Framework in Place
Very few of the Insights leaders we talked to currently have any kind of framework in place for measuring the ROI and business impact of their work in a consistent manner. Despite not having a framework, those Insights functions measuring their impact have realized that measuring the ROI of Insights is a “messy business”, requiring a mix of art and science. Where it is possible to measure a direct profit metric they are doing so, but where they cannot, they are using a wide range of other surrogate measures to estimate the return on investment through business impact.
Read more about the barriers to measuring Insights ROI and other key findings from the research in the recently launched BCG-GRBN ROI of Insights Report. Access the report