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Taking insights beyond the report: the workshop

Nikki Lavoie EVP, Innovation & Strategy 31/01/2023

Most insight professionals, product owners, and stakeholders would certainly agree that it would be best if research insights came in a delicious, bite-sized morsel that is easy to digest so everyone can walk away enlightened. After all, workshops take up a lot of time, and everyone is busy.

Unfortunately, true insights don’t work that way. The “insights recipe” would probably look something like this:

  • 2 parts research
  • 3 parts understanding of objectives
  • 1 part understanding internal stakeholder motivations
  • 2 parts understanding what’s possible to act on
  • 2 parts team/company buy-in
  • season with data visualization or qualitative videos/verbatims for flavour

Knowing that all of these elements need to come together for true insights to be born, how could a standalone report—which gets presented during a one-hour time slot in the middle of everyone’s day at best, and goes unread at worst— be impactful?

It can, but it’s an uphill battle.

Fortunately, there’s a considerably more practical option that combines all of the above ingredients, mixes them “just right”, bakes, and serves them up to anyone who’s insight-hungry. 

It’s called: The Workshop.

Workshops are effective because they do a few key things, and they do them very well:

1. They encourage people to be present.

They give the issue and the research the time and thoughtfulness they deserve. By requesting more time from someone, they need to clear their calendars and commit, which is your chance to get their full attention.

2. They demonstrate the value of research.

People are demonstrating every day how vital paying attention to your users/consumers must be if you want to succeed. Showcasing research results via activities that bring findings to light helps your stakeholders not only see that for themselves but also make more use of the work that has been done.

3. They take research further.

Research projects are impactful when they are discussed, brainstormed, and co-created after the findings come in. So much can be done with the data that has been collected: persona development, further journey mapping, marketing and comms strategy, or other ideas that can be sparked by having several teams together in one room.

4. They invite more voices to the table.

In a time when teams are constantly being asked to do more with less, we must find ways to work smarter. Inviting team members from different departments can open the door to seeing findings through different lenses and making sure that reports are as useful and effective as they can be.

Workshops are also a great way for team members to interact with the research results and learn from one another, paving the way for new ideas and innovation. It is an opportunity for people who have been working on the project to meet face-to-face, collaborate and discuss their findings with each other to come up with solutions, instead of just reading reports.

5. They democratize findings.

Involving others and adding a bit of good, old-fashioned fun to the process allows people across verticals and workstreams to benefit from the research they might not otherwise get to participate in. Workshops can underscore the value of research in both the short and long-term, by encouraging more people to get a piece of the pie. 


Workshops can inspire and motivate in ways that we already acknowledge in a world of co-creation and collaboration. Even though they take more time, they demonstrate the true value of research by diving deeper into your findings as opposed to opening a report in a rush.

If you’re looking for more new ways to innovate and be agile, download our 12 Principles of Agile Research and kickstart your agile thinking.

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