FEATURE12 January 2023

Bringing people together: How research can build human-centric businesses

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Insight is being used to bring the whole picture of humanity – with all its multifaceted, real, messy perspectives – to organisations. Rob Gray reports.

an image of a woman with the top of her head fragmenting into small hexagons

Data capture, data science, datapoints, data crunching, analytics. Data is at the heart of corporate life, of what we do at work. Often a sea of data. But what about, to use Professor Brené Brown’s famous phrase, ‘data with a soul’? What about the human dimension? Shouldn’t people and their stories be at the heart of the matter?

The lines are blurring in life – there is less of a distinction between our roles as employees, friends, partners or parents. On top of that, individuals are not only consumers of brands and products, but also of culture, media, trends and natural resources. Meanwhile, business leaders cannot afford to operate in silos, or take a blinkered approach, given the many challenges they face, from market-disrupting competitors to shifting customer demands and wider geopolitical pressures.

Many organisations recognise the need to be consumer-centric, but it is another leap to actually become human-centred in their approach. It’s hard to ...