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Choosing the right teammates to help build your insights hub
Maximising existing research

Choosing the right teammates to help build your insights hub

In this post we look at how choosing the right starting team to build an insights hub for your existing research is critical to success. We’ll cover the importance of thinking big but starting small, the different types of users for an insights hub, and the roles you’ll want to bear in mind when assembling your starting team.

Dan Robins
August 10, 2022

Welcome to the third post in the 'Maximising existing research: 0-1' blog series. So far we’ve looked at some of the key benefits to building an insights hub, and provided a guide to the upfront discovery you’ll want to do ahead of jumping in and building one out. 

In this post, we look at one of the most crucial factors to success: it’s time to assemble your team.

Image source: Giphy

You’re about to set off on a journey which will turn you into research rockstars within your organisation. You’ll upskill in knowledge management and build one of the most powerful assets an insight-driven organisation can hold: a secure and central hub for everyone's research findings.  

Now, as we’ve touched upon in previous posts, building such an asset can be a challenging objective, and so you’ll need the support of a good team around you. 

In this post we’ll guide you through identifying who’s going to actively help you get started on your mission to build a new insights hub.

As they say… teamwork makes the dream work!

Think big, start small

As with most collaborative software, an insight hub’s value increases as more users engage with it. But that’s not to say that you should go away and assemble the biggest possible team at your disposal - in fact, quite the opposite.

Andrew Chen describes in his wildly popular book The Cold Start Problem, that the “atomic network” is the smallest network needed to build a collaborative platform before it can begin to grow on its own. He argues that if you can create a small, stable and engaged ‘network’ that can self-sustain, then likely you can build a second network adjacent to the first one.

“I liken it to an atom because it is the unit upon which larger networks are ultimately built. Once a single atomic network can be built, it becomes straightforward to build many others by repeating the same playbook.”

So in other words, in order to build a complex, interconnected network, it is best to start small. This aligns to our own research and experience in building insight hubs with our customers at Dualo. The most successful roll out of insight hubs that we’ve witnessed have all started off with a small team and a focused goal before scaling company wide.

We’ve found it’s more impactful and sustainable to build a high quality success story, and watch it organically grow, than to shoot for the whole prize to begin with. And it’s for this reason that we encourage all teams we work with to think big, but start small.

This same logic applies to your initial team size. You want to keep this lean and focused. We recommend a maximum starting team size of 6 (although we’ve seen many successful roll-outs with less). Let’s break down their roles.

Contributors and Consumers

There are two types of users for an insights hub: contributors and consumers


In the context of a digital product team, this will most likely be the people who conduct research in some capacity (be that full time User Researchers, or people who conduct research as part of their role e.g. Product Designers), who will contribute knowledge and insights to your insights hub.


Consumers account for just about everyone else in your organisation that would benefit from having access to the insights the contributors will be consolidating. They will use this knowledge to better understand users and inform their decision making process. This might include Product Managers, Stakeholders, Execs, and a whole host of other roles across the organisation. 

In the long run, you’ll likely have far more consumers than contributors. Think of knowledge sharing platforms like Wikipedia or Medium - whilst contributors make up a tiny proportion of their users, they are integral to creating value and driving sustained success.

Picking your starting team

There should be three core roles in your starting team when looking to achieve this at scale, let’s break these down:

Point person (contributor) - 1 person

The point person is a contributor, and also the leader and orchestrator of the project. That might be you, or someone else might put themselves forward for this - if you’re lucky enough to have a Research Operations Specialist or Manager, this might well be them. This role will have additional responsibilities including arranging upcoming workshops, engaging with executive sponsors, and engaging with wider champions.

Champions (contributor) - 0 to 4 people

If you have multiple potential contributors in your organisation, you might also want to consider bringing onboard some Champions, aka the initial group of contributors to your hub. If you’re a research team of one, this isn’t a problem - we’ll talk about this shortly!

Executive sponsor (consumer) - 1 person

Finally, you’re going to need an Executive sponsor - this is not only someone who’s going to be able to ensure you have senior buy-in, budget, and capacity cover, but also someone representative of a consumer of your new insights hub. It is possible to have multiple executive sponsors, but don’t leave this person out - they play a key role in the sustained success of an insights hub.


It’s important to note that your team will likely flex as time goes on. People may move on to pastures new, or be pulled onto projects which means they’re no longer able to support this one. This is completely normal - and nothing that can’t be overcome - and is why it’s helpful to involve multiple champions from the start, if possible. Just make sure to stay on top of the team’s capacity to support this, and encourage open communication throughout the process. Capacity issues can be a huge momentum killer - it’s one of the areas in which your executive sponsor should be able to provide support.

Research team of one? No problem!

If you’re a research team of one, fear not, you can still build a killer insights hub! Even without having ‘champions’ immediately available to support you, you’d be surprised how much you can achieve. We’ve seen some truly awesome insight hubs built by solo researchers that have had a profound impact on their organisation.

If this is the case you might want to consider spending less time archiving existing research to start with, and focus more on building an insights hub 'as you go', directing stakeholders to this as a place they can come back to in order to revisit previous research at a later date.


Hopefully it’s clear that choosing the right teammates to help build your insights hub is a critical part of the process and journey, particularly for teams of multiple researchers.

Understanding the different types of users (contributors and consumers) and the different roles they will take on (point person, champions or executive sponsors), will go a long way to helping you to identify and recruit the right people. It’s important to remember to think big but start small - and challenge yourself as a team to encourage open communication around capacity and goals throughout the process. 

That’s it for another post in the ‘Maximising existing research: 0 to 1’ series, we hope it’s given you some further clarity around your starting team.

Assembled your team? What's next?

In a future post we’ll guide you through taking your newly formed team and agreeing on the biggest challenges and goals to go after, how to measure success, and how to translate all of this into an actionable success plan.

Until then folks, happy researching!

Further reading 

The benefits of building a dedicated insights hub

How to approach upfront discovery for your insights hub

Atomic Design

Foundations of atomic research

The Atomic Network

Can’t wait for the next post in this series to get started? We guide teams through our 5 step process in Dualo Academy. If you’re keen to skip the trial and error with the help of our experts, apply now.

Dan Robins

I’m a design, UX & strategy lead with a passion for storytelling. Proud member of Dualo’s founding product trio. Always seeking new inspiration.

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