The podcast for corporate Insight leaders
Sept. 29, 2022

Episode 13: Developing Knowledge Systems

Episode 13: Developing Knowledge Systems

In this episode, James talks about the way that successful Insight teams approach knowledge systems.

Over the last 18 years the IMA has talked to hundreds of Insight leaders and discussed the knowledge systems they wish they had, would love to afford, were developing, embedding… or replacing.

And the aspect of these conversations that always stands out is that it’s not really about the systems themselves, brilliant though some of them now are. It’s about identifying what role you need systems to play if you are going to make Insight make a difference in your organisation.

The smartest systems are no replacement for developing an acute understanding of Insight’s purpose and role in your company; acting as consultants to nail and map key business issues; approaching Insight investigations like forensic detectives, and farming insight to cultivate knowledge.  

Systems are a means to an end, and in this episode, we consider some top tips for developing them.

Please listen to our podcast if you have the ambition to transform your Insight team!


Topics Discussed

  • Systems are a means to and end (1.42)
  • Systems do not have to be sophisticated (3.00)
  • Start with the Insight team’s own needs first (4.55)
  • Only 10% Insight teams have effective knowledge systems (9.33)
  • Roy Hammond’s top tips (10.52)


  • “Insight knowledge systems do not have to be very sophisticated. If you were tempted to skip this episode because your company isn’t going to give you several $100k to build or buy the system you saw demonstrated at a research conference last week, don’t worry.”
  • “I would always start with the Insight team’s own needs first;no matter how many brand managers and marketing executives sign up for email alerts or browse your latest reports looking for inspiration, it is nearly always the Insight team itself that will be the most frequent user of any knowledge system you develop.”
  • “Many knowledge management systems work at a project level; they are effectively systems for recording and retrieving lists of projects that have been carried out. That’s OK in itself, but if you want to provide opinions based on accumulated insight, you will need a system that allows the recording and retrieval of insight, not just insights.”
  • “If you’ve been to an Insight or research conference recently and come away wowed by an unbelievably impressive presentation about a system used for recording insights and developing a knowledge base, it’s worth bearing in mind that such examples are in a small minority.”

This is episode 13 of the Transforming Insight podcast. 

If you have the ambition to transform your Insight team and the role it plays in your organisation, please tune in to future episodes. Not only will we explore the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams as outlined in the Transforming Insight book, we will also talk to senior corporate Insight leaders, delve into books that have inspired us, and discuss new best practice research carried out with the IMA’s corporate members.

You won’t want to miss this! So please hit subscribe - and thank you for listening. 


About James Wycherley, the author of Transforming Insight

James Wycherley was Director of Customer Insight and Analytics at Barclays from 2005 to 2015 when he became Chief Executive of the Insight Management Academy (IMA). A popular keynote speaker and acknowledged expert on Insight leadership, strategy, and communication, he is the author of the book Transforming Insight: the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams, and over 35 IMA publications. He has provided thought leadership in the UK, Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, India, and the Middle East, and regularly hosts the IMA’s Insight forums - London, Manchester, UK Online and US Online.

The Insight Management Academy is the world’s leading authority on transforming Insight teams.


If you would like more information on any of the ideas discussed in this episode of the Transforming Insight podcast, please visit

Copies of James Wycherley’s book Transforming Insight: the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams can be purchased direct from


The Transforming Insight podcast is published by the Insight Management Academy and produced by Zorbiant.

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