GlobalData provide unique data and expert analysis to thousands of organisations located all over the world and from a variety of industries. This information plays a key role for these customers. It’s used to inform strategic decision-making that drives organisations towards success.
Over the last years, GlobalData grew quickly acquiring several well-established data and analytics providers. These companies brought different identities, working cultures and offerings into the organisation. In this context, the main focus of GlobalData was to successfully centralise their operation model and to develop a single platform to provide their services.
Now GlobalData are ready to move to their next phase of growth. They decided that embracing a customer-centric approach will be critical to their success and their positioning on the competitive landscape. Hence the need for a deeper and shared understanding of their audiences across the organisation. Their first step in that direction was conducting qualitative research to create personas and analyse their tasks using the Jobs To Be Done framework as a result of this project.
Shifting to a customer-first mindset
GlobalData’s teams are now armed with research-backed insights that can help them frame discussions and put their customers at the centre of decisions.
The findings of this research will be directly used by around 500 people. This includes commercial, research and analysis teams.
Flexible documentation of insights
We delivered two types of documents per persona, a set of workflows based on the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) framework and a set of templates that can be tailored depending on the needs of the teams and their contexts of use.
The Full Story
How do you prioritise who to engage with when your audience is so broad?
We started the project by immersing ourselves in the organisation. We engaged with relevant stakeholders to understand their context, their vision, and the role that personas and a customer-centric approach will play in their future.
GlobalData have a variety of customers and target audience groups. They provide intelligence for 16 of the world’s largest industries. Within each of these verticals, they serve at least five groups of corporate functions. Things can easily become overwhelming when you want to understand such a broad audience.
During our early conversations, we agreed that we would cover some of their groups of interest. Personas informed by robust insights require a number of representative people per group. Therefore, we worked collaboratively to prioritise audience groups based on GlobalData’s business goals and strategy. Then we defined sampling quotas for each profile that guided the research recruitment efforts.
How do you internally recruit for research?
Recruiting internally for research is always tricky, let alone in a pandemic. GlobalData’s team decided to recruit the participants for this project themselves. The clearest advantage was that the organisation already had strong relationships with their customers. However we were aware that the process would likely be more time-consuming than the team had expected. Recruitment requires lots of planning and coordinating.
We chose to extend the recruitment and data-gathering period to make sure we involved the right people. Our priority was getting high-quality candidates rather than rushing to fill in the slots. This required a lot of support and interaction between the team and relevant stakeholders within the organisation.
The team’s recruitment efforts paid off. We were able to engage with 40 people from six different industries that shared insightful experiences and points of view. This had a direct impact on the quality of the findings.
How do you collaborate and communicate progress in a suddenly remote context?
We work in a highly collaborative manner and we’re used to collaborating remotely with our clients. But we obviously hadn’t planned for a worldwide pandemic to start just before this project!
One of our key goals was to keep the team involved in the process and share our journey. We created a Miro board to document progress and provide as much visibility of the process as possible. We documented collaboration and attached all relevant documents so it worked as a central repository and timeline for the project.
We used the board to collaborate at least three times a week, which helped the team have a sense of ownership of the project. The board was also used to share progress with their stakeholders across the organisation.
How do you create common understanding across an organisation?
We wanted to craft our deliverables in a way that made sense within GlobalData. Embracing a customer-centric approach isn’t just learning about your customers. It’s also sharing that knowledge and creating common ground across an organisation. The ways in which information is documented and communicated play a key role in supporting that shared understanding.
There were a few audiences for the deliverables. The organisation had envisioned at least two main use cases for their personas: product development and sales enablement. Having different use cases posed some challenges in defining the boundaries of the documents, the most relevant information to include and its hierarchy.
We engaged in an iterative process to scope and refine the deliverables so they could better support the use cases. We created a detailed report for each persona and their JTBD workflows as a master document and a short version that could support easy reading during a sales call, for example. Also, we designed a set of templates that will allow teams to tailor the information to their own contexts and needs. They will be able to easily edit and pick the most appropriate information from their centralised source. Its editability will allow them to include insights from future research as well, as this is just the start of their customer-centric journey.
Collaborating closely with the team was fundamental to creating personas that were easy to read, flexible across use cases, aligned with their brand, and informed by rigorous research.
We wrapped up the process presenting the project to over 120 stakeholders. It was a chance for the team to explain the impact of this project, a first for the company. We shared insights, the structure of their brand new personas and how their use will benefit the company.