A research repository is a database that helps organizations to manage, share, and gain access to research data to make product and brand decisions. It is a central database where your organization’s research team uploads all research data and insights for others in the organization to access.

Research repositories typically contain insights, raw research data, observations, and suggested information. In the research repository, these contents are classified as either inputs or outputs.

Inputs are typically data testing videos, interview transcriptions, or other customer data, while outputs are findings like showreels, clips, insights, or reports.

The Business Need For An Insights & Research Repository

  • Optimized Collaboration and Productivity.

This ensures that an organization’s collaboration and productivity are seamless. The research team will most likely be able to extract insights from the research and send them to the product development team to make changes that will make the product more appealing to the target audience.

  • Seamless Information Distribution

Using a repository reduces the likelihood of repeating the same research. Without repositories, new team members may conduct duplicate research, wasting the organization’s time and resources.

  • Disorganized Storage

The majority of studies are likely to go unnoticed when research is not compiled in a repository. It may also lead to data misinterpretation as there’s a high tendency they will be used outside of the context of the research objectives.

  • Comprehensive Research Data

When research data is compiled into a repository, it becomes easier to understand. For example, grouping different research on a single product by demographics, or use cases, makes it easier to effectively pull relevant data from the system.

However, without repositories, team members are forced to grasp seemingly incoherent data. It is extremely difficult for researchers to draw valid conclusions from data that is dispersed across multiple storage locations.

  • Makes It Easier to Get Insights From Research

Researchers and stakeholders can effectively extract actionable insights from research findings by using research repositories.  It is easier and faster to gain insights from studies when they are organized and allow you to consult multiple sources on the same research in one place.

  • Organized Workflows

Without a standardized requisitioning process or a repository, different employees will use different research methods and project intake forms. This makes workflows and onboarding for new hires more complex and difficult to understand.

Types Of Insights And Research Repositories With Examples

  • Custom-Built Insights and Research Repositories

Large organizations that are dissatisfied with the commonly available repository types use this method. For example, the Microsoft Human Insights System is a custom repository that Microsoft uses to organize its research data.

  • Specialized Insights and Research

This type of repository democratizes access to insights and combats siloing of insights. It allows you to link specialized but related research within the repository.

  • Internal Insights and Research Repositories

Most small to medium business use this type of repository. It’s easier to design, and use, and allows you to integrate it with third-party collaboration and productivity tools.

Examples include Google Business Suite, Airtable, and others.

Components of an Insights & Research Repository

  • Mission and Vision

This defines the organization’s goals and instructs all teams on how to achieve them. It also allows all members of the organization to track goals, be accountable, and be transparent.

  • Research Request Workflows

The repository should have samples of workflows and request documents. This provides everyone in the organization with a template for making requests.

There will be consistency in style and format throughout the organization when all employees follow the samples. Also, the reusable workflow instructs team members on how to make requests, sets expectations for timelines for the fulfillment, and the procedures involved.

  • In-Depth Schedules

Detailed schedules encourage transparency and accountability. It helps team members know what to do and when they should do it.

In-depth schedules also inform stakeholders when intervention is required, particularly when expectations are not met.

  • Research Plans, Methods, and Tools

By publishing research plans, research methods, and tools, everyone in the organization will understand the research terms and understand how to conduct research.

When people know where to look for information and how to organize it, research becomes easier. This also ensures that the entire organization is on the same page and uses research insights in the same way.

  • Business Taxonomy and Meta-Tags

Your repository of research and insights should include a clear definition of business taxonomy and meta-tags. This standardizes the way everyone in the organization searches for information in the repository. 

It also tells them what to look for when they need information. This negates the impact of tribal knowledge and localized knowledge.

  • Research Reports

This is a crucial component of repositories; the repository must have clear documentation of the projects and studies.

For example, insights documentation should include cost metrics, use of the research study, application of the research, sources of information, etc.

  • Raw Data

Insights are derived from raw data such as interviews, survey statistics, notes, and recordings. Storing them comes in handy if you ever need to reevaluate the insights. 

You can also use the raw data can be used to gain additional insights in the future.

  • Snapshot View and Analytics

This allows the team to compare previous study results and determine the direction of future research. Also, snapshot views are easy to understand and can help showcase multiple cases at once.

Characteristics of an Insights & Research Repository

  • Retrievable

Employees should be able to easily access the repository’s research insights. They should also be able to use self-service.

Insights and other data should also be filtered by organizationally relevant attributes. For example, they could be filtered by date, country, demographics, or market. 

It allows the repository users to easily retrieve previous research and incorporate it into current studies.

  • Approachability

The research repository must be accessible to both researchers and all other members of the organization, including executives. Insights should also be well-organized, simple to understand, and concise.

This enables stakeholders to easily absorb and interpret information, allowing them to make more informed product decisions and conduct future research.

  • Traceability

A good research repository does not contain disorganized or disconnected insights. Rather, the insights can be traced back to the raw research data that generated them.

All research findings should include references to their sources. This helps stakeholders in properly understanding research findings and insights in their original and relevant contexts. It’s also useful when you need more information about an insight.

When reviewing insights, the original evidence on which the insight was developed should be examined to determine whether it is still accurate and relevant. It could also help you figure out if you need to conduct a need study.

Also, Keeping a good reference of raw research materials on hand, helps in developing new insights from previously collected data.

  • Accessibility

Every member of the organization should be granted access to the repository via an official account or device. Accessing your research repository should not involve employees or executives sending requests back and forth.

All team members preparing reports that require a repository should be able to simply hyperlink the repository. This is way better than sending the repository information as static attachments because some people can’t access it.

  • Security

The research repository is the most comprehensive and trusted source of verifiable and accurate information for everyone, the repository will likely contain sensitive information and identifiable personal data. Your legal, security, and IT teams must all approve the repository.

You have to follow the best security practices for your industry. For example, you can choose to encrypt or anonymize data.

You should also adhere to data protection laws while developing your repository security policy. 

Benefits Of Modern Research Repositories

  • It Saves Time

Stakeholders and decision-makers no longer need to go out and gather data every time they need to access research. Researchers do not have to manually search for research or stumble through many files in disjointed locations offline or online once the research has been fed into the repository. 

  • Faster Decision Making

Decisions will not only be made faster but also more accurately because they will be based on reliable data. Also, the presence of a research repository eliminates the need to repeat the same research.

Repositories are also excellent places for an organization to begin automating record retrieval and even decision-making.

  • Transparency

A research repository serves as a centralized data bank for everyone in the organization. Everyone has access to the same information. 

This means that the information’s integrity is preserved because it isn’t subjected to multiple manipulations. As a result, conflict over manipulated research data will be minimal in the organization.

  • Democracy

Since all data flows into a centralized storage that is accessible to everyone in the organization, no one can withhold data from another person in the organization. Data is also better managed since it is to be secured in only one place- the central repository. 

  • Reusable Workflows

A research and insights repository, in addition to being a centralized storage location, standardized the process of accessing information within the information. It creates a reusable workflow within the organization, making it easier for team members to request access to research, and both requests and access can be easily audited.

How To Build A Robust Research Repository

  • Appoint a Team to Manage and Maintain the Research Repository

This team should primarily consist of researchers and the organization’s broad-based research team. There must be team leaders among them who will champion the organization of information in the repository and assign specialized tasks to the entire team. They will create and manage the taxonomies, workflows, and metatags.

  • Organize Your Current and Past Research Information and Projects

The repository team is now responsible for categorizing existing and previous research using the appropriate taxonomy, tags, and metatags. The research can be organized by location, company name, date, location, products, and projects.

One research can be classified under multiple headings as long as the metatags reflect each topic and the workflow created shows how the information will be retrieved from the repository.

  • Add Supporting Insights to Research Works in the Repository

By adding notes, relevant commentaries, feedback, observations, and data to the research works and insights you’ve organized into the repository, you’ll be maximizing its usefulness to those who consult it. Information will be easier to find, and user insights will be more accurate. Make these changes based on what works best for your brand.

  • Synthesize and Analyze Data

Use or integrate a tool that allows you to do both quality and quantitative analysis of your data. This makes your repository a research platform, product management platform, and communication platform. That way, all your relevant data will be in one centralized location and be better managed and secured. 

  • Create Critical Insights, Reports, and Findings

It is best to create summaries and reports of previously complex and lengthy research works for members of the organization to easily adopt insights. These summaries and reports will be simpler to understand.

The name of the research study, requestor, business unit, research methodology, cost, and timelines should all be included in these summaries and reports.

  • Tag and Share

Each study should be labeled with the appropriate taxonomy and metatags. This enables grouping and indexing research by providing relevant phrases that organization members can use in their searches.


Insights and research repositories enable an organization to save time, conduct relevant research, properly group research, understand research within appropriate contexts, and leverage that research to improve products and operations.

  • Moradeke Owa
  • on 9 min read


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