December 1, 2015

Can we please just build insight this way?

By Paul Laughlin

iStock imageDo we have to build that here? Can’t we just buy that in?

One of the often quoted challenges, faced by Customer Insight leaders, is deciding on the right mix of in-house or outsourced capability.

Examples exist of businesses, across multiple sectors, with different successful resourcing models for their insight teams.

Some banks have taken advantage of significant investment in-house. Teams of hundreds of analysts across data, database marketing, analytics, modelling & research, have added significant profit to their bottom lines. Meanwhile, there are retailers with success stories built on fully outsourced insight teams.

Some companies, even with a mix of in-house and outsourced analytics service, ensure they co-locate as many people as possible. Reducing sites, to save costs and reduce silos. Whilst other global insurers have made a success of analytical insight teams spread across different continents, but still ‘in house’ within that multinational.

Which operating model is best? In classic ‘consulting speak‘, it depends. Different sectors, locations, business maturity, culture and budgets will prompt different answers. But these things also tend, unfortunately, to be victims of fashion. Like the cycle, centralise verses decentralise, that happens in most large corporates – different operating models come in & out of favour.

So, rather than being prescriptive, I think it’s time for another quick survey. What do you think? Which is working for you?

Why not benchmark your answers against other insight leaders? In line with our model for Holistic Customer Insight, we will capture your current resourcing models for all four quadrants of customer insight (data, analytics, research & database marketing). Enjoy!


Thanks for participating in our survey. I will share results & analysis once mature. It will be interesting to compare the results of these questions with the organisational design variant answers captured in a survey last year.

So, let us know what you think. Which resourcing model is working for you?