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IMPACT: Building a Culture of Synthesis

An insight is not an insight unless it leads to action.


Most companies are awash in data that often sits in separate silos but, when synthesized and integrated, can lead to surprising and richer insight. To be able to do this, however, the researcher/analyst must do more than deploy algorithms or data integration software. They must understand what synthesis really means, how it differs from analysis and the environment in which it thrives.


Synthesis is different from analysis. Synthesis is the building of a story derived from connecting the dots from multiple data sets while analysis is (usually) the deconstruction of a singular data set. No-one can adequately synthesize data while isolated in their own office or cubicle. It takes diversity of thinking styles and different lenses that all depend on collaboration among a diverse set of people.


We start off by discussing the difference between synthesis and analysis and then move on to talking about environments that enable synthesis. The key element of this module is our proprietary case study, KiasungTM, that leads groups through a process in which analysis gives way to synthesis to reveal the real business issue confronting a hypothetical corporation. Participants are briefed on the issue as it appears to management and then are divided into groups. They are provided with one set of data and are tasked with analyzing it and returning to give a short presentation to ‘management’. They are then provided with a series of other data sets and asked to repeat the task. Invariably, their second presentations differ markedly from their first. Using the learnings from this set of tasks, we then discuss various approaches and environments that can enhance the synthesis process.

End Result

Participants are always amazed at how the results emanating from synthesis differ from those of analysis. They leave the module energized by the possibilities and with a set of tools and approaches that they can use in the real world.

“Thanks for arranging this. The training was GREAT!”

Sr. Consumer Insights Manager

Health & Nutrition

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