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The ‘insights hub’ - where all insights lead?
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The ‘insights hub’ - where all insights lead?

When building an ‘insights hub’, we’ve found that success often comes through getting the right people to add the right content at the right time. We thought it might be helpful to share the considerations and criteria we work through with teams that are building insights hubs using Dualo.

Dan Robins
April 27, 2022
Building an ‘insights hub’ is no mean feat. 

What appears on the surface to be a relatively straightforward exercise of consolidating insights from across your team and/or organisation, can quickly lead to staring at a blank canvas. 

“What are we actually defining as an insight?” 

“Should we be adding both our strategic, and more tactical insights?”

“Do we add all of our existing insights?”

“We’ve got 100s (if not 1000s) of insights, how far do we go back?!”

If you’re feeling lost, you are not alone. These are common questions we hear from teams looking to build insight hubs at every point on the research maturity scale. In our experience, success often comes through getting the right people to add the right content at the right time - a job far easier said than done.

Whether you’re setting out to build and scale an insights hub for the first time, or need guidance on one that’s already in full flight, hopefully this article provides some food for thought.

Before we get too far into the details, let’s start at the beginning…

What is an insights hub?

Last month, Team ReOps published the first article in a community program of work detailing their exploration of the hot topic of research repositories

They found that ‘there are four different types of things that people mean when they say they have a research repository or library’. In this article, we are specifically talking about the ‘insights hub’, which we think the folks at ReOps have a nicely articulated definition:

An ‘insights ‘hub’ — generally prepared for a wider audience, including only de-identified data. These are used as a way of organising and prioritising user needs, pain points, insights, opportunities and other forms of synthesis from the research. They are often combined with links to the raw data, or links to research outputs. In some platforms these combine with user stories, videos, and other forms of media to create a research output that is dynamic and shareable. Somewhere the research can be connected to a repository/hub of insights, facts, and/or findings that can be surfaced as a part of a system for connecting the research to ‘tickets’ for developers and designers. A notable public example of an insights hub is Uber’s ‘Kaleidoscope’.

What do we define as an insight?

At Dualo, when we talk about ‘insights’ in the context of an insights hub, we’re referring to synthesised research findings

Unsurprisingly, we’ve found that whilst there are indeed universally accepted criteria, definitions for an ‘insight’ vary from organisation to organisation.

Here’s ours: 

Insights are the key findings from user research, articulated in a way which is accessible and digestible for wider teams and stakeholders. They help to explain our observations of user behaviour and interactions, and what to consider next for our products and services.

This article does not go into any detail about the inner content and structure of an insight. You can view our take on this (along with how to maximise the value and impact of insights), in this previous blog post

Unofficially, we’ve found there are two types of insight: ‘Strategic’ and ‘Tactical’ (although the names and definitions for these vary considerably industry-wide).

And whilst this has been the topic of many interesting discussions (both within our team and with the teams we work with), this is certainly an area in which we continue to learn and reshape our understanding.

Strategic insights

Strategic insights, also known as ‘timeless’ or ‘evergreen’ insights are the types of findings that relate to human behaviour and human nature. They’re strategic findings that can help drive decisions across product teams. These insights are often arrived at through exploratory studies, and are more likely to originate when working in the problem definition space. Articulated clearly and organised effectively, these insights can not only have significant repeatable value, but also continue drive impact for years - even after the initial study has concluded. Importantly, they have the ability to provide value outside of their immediate context.

Tactical insights

Tactical insights, also known as ‘disposable’ or ‘contextual’ insights, as the name suggests, provide tactical guidance. They’re often arrived at through indirect quantitative analysis or unmoderated UX studies. Tactical insights don’t always address the larger or broader issues, and are often confined to a specific context. This makes them less useful outside of their original report or project.

Whilst it’s often true that strategic insights hold more weight as standalone entities in an insights hub, (and should most likely be prioritised when building out your initial body of knowledge), we believe there is good reason to consider including both strategic and tactical insights in your repository.


Tactical insights are often the first casualties when building a shared insights hub. The temptation is to say “the project has passed and the recommendations have been implemented - why waste time centralising these insights after the fact?”

But as Andy Budd puts it, ‘decisions often happen behind ‘closed doors’ and then somebody comes in later and asks people to justify why a decision was made. Often the decision made was a really smart one at the time, but months later there are no receipts for why that decision happened and you end up having arguments around people’s opinions.’

After all, an often overlooked advantage to building an insights hub is providing the ability to look back. Understanding why certain decisions were made are powerful tools in a product team’s arsenal.

So how can you determine what insights go into your insights hub?

According to the above - every insight right? Well, it depends.

There are many different platforms that teams are using to build insight hubs. Whether you’re building yours in Airtable, Notion, a spreadsheet, or a dedicated tool like Dualo, the important (and often most difficult) thing to decide is the criteria for the insights that go into it. 

It seems there is little guidance, and few globally accepted answers. After all, every organisation is different, and given that the reason for building an insights hub is not universal, we try to encourage the teams we work with to define a unique criteria for themselves.

We find the following considerations helpful, but it’s worth noting that this list is not exhaustive, and not every criteria will be relevant to each repository or organisation.


- How much of an opportunity stems from this single piece of insight?

- Did (or could) the insight lead to a larger (or wider) strategic decision?

- Does it allow you to draw a clear delineation between different segments or behavioural groups in your audience?


- Is this a synthesised insight? Or could it more accurately be described as a finding, fact, or observation that requires further exploration and evidence? 


- Does the insight make sense outside of its immediate context?

- Can the insight be understood as a stand-alone entity, or does it only make sense alongside the raw data, or as part of a full report?


- How much of your user base does this insight represent?

- How useful might this insight be outside of your immediate team, project, or department?


- Is the insight likely to expire quickly? e.g. will the product move on and the insight become redundant in the near future, or does it have the potential to remain true and relevant for a longer period of time? Remember, there may still be value in including the former.


- Does the insight present an opportunity or need for further analysis?

- Could the insight be used to inform or explore another area where there is lacking data?


- How confident are you that the insight is, and remains true?

- Do you have sufficient evidence to support it?

Recently we've seen some teams who are using Dualo in private beta experimenting with point systems - using predefined criteria (similar to the above), as a means to classify an insight’s ‘strength’. More on this in another post ;)

Historical data  

A question we’re often asked is:

“How far should we go back when consolidating previous insights? Would it be better to start from scratch? Go back 1 year? 5 years?”

The simple answer is, it depends. We’ve seen teams index 8+ years of historical data because they see real value in being able to quickly search and filter through previous decisions and knowledge. We’ve also seen teams wiping the slate clean. 

Rather than becoming too fixated on timescales, we often encourage teams to challenge themselves to think about what will provide the most impact and value. 

One way of doing this is to begin by prioritising ‘the most important insights’. The insights that everyone in your organisation should know. If you were speaking to a new starter, or onboarding a new team member onto a project - what do they need to know? What insights can you share that would provide a deeper understanding of the world they now live in? 

By doing this exercise, more often than not it starts to become clear just how much historical data is relevant, and how far it might be helpful to go back.


Often the most difficult thing when building an insights hub is getting started. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to have everything perfectly planned before ever starting. 

But it’s important to remember that even the most well planned repositories will (and should) evolve over time. It’s why it’s important to build your insights hub with a tool that is flexible and scalable. 

Hopefully this article has provided some food for thought as to the types of insights that you might want to include in your repository, some potential criteria, and how far back might provide value. As with all things research, what may sound like a good idea in theory may not be suitable for every use case. It's all about context. Only by starting to populate your insights hub can you truly begin to see and understand what’s going to work in practice for your team and organisation.

References and further reading 

How to structure product insights to maximise value and impact

Research Repositories: A ResearchOps Community Program of Work

Andy Budd on what it takes to do great research in 2022

The Atomic Network

Andy Budd on what it takes to do great research in 2022

The Power of Insights: A behind-the-scenes look at the new insights platform at Uber

The tools being used today to build cross-team insight repositories

You can learn more about the process today’s best product organisations are following to level up their research operations by downloading a free copy of our playbook, User research is broken: A guide on how to level up your research operations playbook, available here.

About Dualo

Dualo is an insights hub used by digital product teams to get more repeatable value from their user research and insights, so that stakeholders can make informed and timely decisions across the organisation. If you're interested in learning more, please request a demo and a member of our team will be in touch.

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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