March 6, 2019

How to Become an Insights-Driven Organization – with Tyler McDaniel of Forrester

On this episode of The Innovation Engine, we discuss how to become an insights-driven business and how what we at 3Pillar call the Product Mindset can set you on the path to becoming one. Among the topics we discuss are what it means to be insights-driven, the advantages that are inherent in focusing your efforts on driving business outcomes, and the (possibly surprisingly) role that is becoming the driving force behind this shift within many organizations.

Joining us to talk about those topics and more is Tyler McDaniel, Vice President of Buyer Experience Analytics at Forrester. Tyler manages a team of product managers and analytics insights professionals who help Forrester clients understand technology adoption trends, buyer behavior, and customer journey information for purchases of products and services.


You can tune in to the full episode below.


Tyler outlines the five competencies that Forrester’s research has found insights-driven businesses excel at:

  • Strategy – It’s not enough to just collect data. That’s an important part of it, but you have to marry that with insights around the data. So, not just moving data into the right system and letting the system process it, but gathering insights from it – and most importantly, translating those insights into action.
  • People – People with insights skills and deep data knowledge skills are getting embedded into the business, facilitating that marriage between data and insight. When people with those skills are driving your business strategy, it is a competitive differentiator. Skilled talent can’t be operating in a silo.
  • Technology – We’ve moved from systems of record into systems of insight that (A) record what’s going on with the customer and (B), more importantly, help us understand how to take action with the customer.
  • Process – The biggest thing is being agile and willing to adjust to change. We have to recognize that customers are going to change. Their needs today are not going to be their needs in 6 months or 12 months. That’s a reality we need to get used to.
  • Data – There is no one single source of data that tells an organization everything they need to know to take action. It’s a combination and synthesis of many data points. “The exciting part about being in this data business and being an insights-driven business is you’re constantly bringing in new types of data and information to take that action,” Tyler says.

Another important aspect of insight-driven organizations is creating a closed-loop system built on top of these core competencies:

“It’s making sure you have a feedback loop that goes all the way back to the beginning; a closed loop cycle. It’s not enough to just collect insights,” Tyler says. “We have to learn, we have to digest, and then we have to act – then we have to go back to the beginning and start over. As your team gets used to this, insights will start actually fueling your iteration and allowing your organization to go faster, and faster, and faster.”


Learn more about Forrester Research:
Connect with Tyler on LinkedIn:


About The Innovation Engine

Since 2014, 3Pillar has published The Innovation Engine, a podcast that sees a wide range of innovation experts come on to discuss topics that include technology, leadership, and company culture. You can download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on Apple Podcasts. You can also tune in via the podcast’s home on Spotify to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.