Communicating Research for Impact

Simple strategies for researchers in tech to drive change

Clear, crisp, and actionable communication is key for researchers in tech to influence product and business decision making at scale.

  1. Curate instead of saturate
  2. Have a point-of-view
  • Track what’s surprising: Record potential insights as data come in. It’s easier to identify something you’re actively looking for, instead of waiting until the end of a project. Documenting learnings also helps you remember what was initially compelling even after spending a lot of time with the same data. Be careful of bias due to ordering effects. Is this the most significant insight or just the first/last thing you learned?
  • Make it personal: Connect the dots between this research and what stakeholders care about and need to deliver. Make sense of the material for them so they don’t have to.
  • Keep it short: Your most important insight should be 1–2 sentences. It can help to separate the insight from supporting evidence to highlight later.
  • Find the right level of specificity: Avoid being vague or too detailed. It’s useful to have a specific leader in mind when determining the right altitude for insights. If your CEO will find it compelling, you’re probably on the right track.

Director of Research at Airbnb