This week’s guest blog entry comes from Sherri Hartlen-Neely, Associate Director of Market Research at Computer Sciences Corporation.
I have a confession to make: I am not a market research analyst. I am an organizational communications professional working in a corporate market research and competitive intelligence team. I’ve always believed in the power of research and analysis but, before joining my current team, the entire research process was shrouded in mystery. I’d ask the research team a question and they would deliver an answer. There was no discussion back and forth; it was simply delivered to me and I moved on with my project du jour.
Then there’s CSC’s ResearchNetwork. This team lives, breathes and eats communication and collaboration. The belief is that research departments need collaboration in order to gather additional insights and perspectives and connect with the internal and external subject matter- experts who are going to bolster their research projects and help the organization exceed goals while providing a continuous stream of value to clients.
For years, CSC has had a variety of intranets, portals and wikis and the ResearchNetwork exploited these resources to “get the word out” about our services and the insight and value we add to internal and external projects and clients. Then comes enterprise social networking with the simple motto of “Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.” And here’s where the story really begins.
Consider the following…
- At the time of this writing, the ResearchNetwork has uploaded 1,022 research and analysis documents to C3 (the company’s internal social collaboration tool). On average, each document in our C3 library gets 32 views/downloads. That doesn’t sound particularly exciting until you realize that that one document was completed for one person in a closed circle. Upon sharing it with the rest of the company, 32 other people or projects have benefitted from the information.
- In that same time period, there were 88 discussion threads in our group in C3. Of those 88, 64 have active discussions/responses going on from CSC’ers around the world. People are getting the answers they need – when they need them – from the ResearchNetwork and the people who use the ResearchNetwork’s services. They are making connections and doing real work simply by starting a discussion in this one group in C3.
How Do We Do It?
Encourage Employees to Share What They Know
- Blog about your knowledge
- Discuss ideas and provide feedback
- Provide competitor-specific knowledge in competitor groups
Share What We Have Learned
- Upload Key Intelligence Topics, Key Intelligence Questions and other deliverables to C3
- Blog and discuss news, information and research relevant to the company’s industry and clients
- Distribute newsletters and other ad-hoc alerts and messaging.
The point of a research and analysis function is to provide the knowledge people need when they need it.. The ResearchNetwork does this by connecting, communicating and collaborating.