Thought Leadership

When You Need a More Agile Research Solution

July 29, 2019
When You Need a More Agile Research Solution

In the fast-changing environment that we live in, everyone is looking for ways to keep up and, where possible, outpace competition. Stakeholders, partners, and internal teams need better, faster, cheaper research results. And the need for innovation and continual improvement increases daily.

If you are in need of a research solution that is fast and easy to change directions, you may need to look beyond the traditional research approach to find a more agile solution.

Insight Communities: An Agile Research Solution that Produces Results

One of the most successful ways to conduct agile research is through an Insight Community—a private, online platform that engages customers in a two-way dialogue about your brand.

Insight Communities allow you to run numerous, smaller research activities—both qualitative and quantitative—that meet your larger objective while simultaneously giving you the possibility to make changes through each iteration. This allows you to be more nimble in obtaining actionable customer insight. If you receive a response or finding that you were not expecting, you have the ability with an Insight Community to re-focus, adjust your research activity, and dig deeper to obtain greater insight—all within a matter of hours or days. The ability to shift like this and have sample readily available allows you to continually learn from your customers and engage with them on a timely basis.


Let’s say you work for a company that is developing an updated mobile app for your customers. With an Insight Community, you can make changes to your research activities on the fly and adjust to varying needs based on the feedback you receive from your customers. For example, if you receive customer feedback that they have issues logging into the original mobile app, you can ask questions to your community to dig deeper on this point, understand more about the issues they are facing, and make updates to the login feature of the app while still staying on course with your overall objective. Additionally, you can reach back out to the customers you spoke with to share the changes you made and work with them on an end-product with which everyone will be satisfied. Through this approach, you will be more intimately including your customers in the development of the updated mobile app that will best serve their needs—thereby increasing their investment and loyalty in your brand.

Why do Insight Communities Work?

We find that the primary reason people join a community is to provide their input and be a part of a team where their feedback is appreciated and put to good use. By creating a community of a set of customers, you have members who want to provide feedback and value being part of the process. As a result, you’ll receive more thoughtful responses and more open dialogue. This translates into superior response rates and deeper insights that you can receive in weeks instead of months.

Here at Escalent, we have partnered with numerous clients across the automotive and mobility, consumer goods and retail, financial, and health industries to create communities that provide an agile solution to insight needs. If you want to learn more about how to leverage this solution and partner with your customers, we’re ready to work with you so send us a note.

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Steve Welling
Steve Welling
Senior Project Director

Steve Welling is a former senior project director in the Financial Services division of Escalent.

Christopher Barnes
Christopher Barnes

Chris Barnes is president of Escalent. He has a deep background in market and public opinion research, including co-founding the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut where he led ongoing studies on the business climate presented to regional economists quarterly. He has led studies for many of the nation’s top companies in insurance, banking, wealth and health insurance sectors. His studies have appeared frequently in the national media, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and Time cover stories. Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College and a master's degree in political science with a concentration in survey research at the University of Connecticut.