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At this year’s Research Society’s virtual conference, “Facing 2030,” I was pleased to take part in the Telstra success story with Dr. Violet Lazarevic, GM Customer Insights Group Research and Customer Insights (GRSI) and Alex Mihalovich, Manager CX Research, Analysis & Design, GRSI. In the session, we discussed Telstra’s market insights platform, the Insight Hut, and the way the GRSI team leverages new technology to promote insights from multiple sources.

Delivering insights at top speed

Violet described the transformation Telstra has been undergoing to achieve their ultimate goal: a connected future, where everyone can thrive. When the whole organization went agile at the beginning of 2019 (with vast cross-functional teams working in sprint timeframes), Violet’s team was under pressure to provide research and insights at top speed. Accessing that information proved challenging, however, since a period of staff turnover and ineffective, siloed platforms meant many insights were lost, forgotten or impossible to find. There was a clear need to organize past research for easy access and to synthesize past projects to create new insights and maximize the benefits of each piece of research. Previously, Violet would spend several hours per week pinging the team to find the research they already had. That meant they were not only wasting time, but it also meant that they couldn’t meet stakeholder expectations in a timely manner. That lead them to an extensive search and the eventual decision to build a Market Logic market insights platform: the Insights Hut.

The Insights Hut

The Hut puts Telstra’s $40 million knowledge asset at the fingertips of thousands of marketers, service designers and customer service and strategy professionals so they can find and use insights faster and make winning decisions. The platform offers every user a personalized experience, with AI-recommended content alongside expert-curated advice. AI-powered search allows users to self-service answers to their questions, like “what do we know about COVID-19?”, and they’re then shown an auto-summary of the most relevant results. Uploading past research is a breeze – content is auto-tagged and summarized for easy cross-referencing. “We want strategic research to live on… and an intelligent platform lets us leverage research beyond a single point in time. We can create new insights and maximize the utility of every piece.” – Dr. Violet Lazarevic Alex Mihalovich shared his experiences rolling out the Insights Hut to transform ways of working. Before the Insights Hut, he said Telstra had multiple stakeholder groups who had been acting independently with very little cross-pollination of their siloed insights. When it came time to deploy the Hut, the team went back five years to catalogue and itemize 1,000 reports, then upload them onto the platform. Now, all reports are available in one central location that can easily be accessed by every business unit. Favourite features include combined research reports/newsfeeds, which use AI to find related news content from across the web. In addition, expert-curated home channels help users understand key topics, like COVID. These home channels contain the most important reports in one central location, enabling stakeholders to digest large amounts of information in a short period of time. “We’ve found that users have become much more self-reliant – they can find everything they’re looking for, which has been a huge advantage for the Telstra business, and maximizes the value of our complex, strategic research.” – Alex Mihalovich Throughout the whole onboarding process, Telstra has partnered with existing research agencies to maintain their strong relationships. I was pleased to see that they’ve leveraged Market Logic’s strong client base to tip the scales towards success. For example, at a (pre-COVID!) launch breakfast, representatives from their New Zealand neighbour Fonterra were at hand to share best practices, which was so heartening to see. I’d like to echo Violet’s sentiments thanking the Research Society for hosting such an engaging virtual event and share in her excitement as we continue this journey with Insights Hut.