Capital One, the financial-services and banking firm, has embarked on a radical experiment in democratizing research, opening up its insights-gathering process to almost everyone in the company.

“When we talk about ‘empowering’ or ‘democratizing’ research, we’ve really gone into this full bore,” according to Philip Rhodes, Capital One’s director/design insight. The simple translation: Anybody in the enterprise has an open door not to commission research “but to do research themselves.”

124781f01

Philip Rhodes, director/design insight, Capital One

Not surprisingly, Capital One’s decision to allow personnel not trained in the field to conduct their own research – and place it a centralized online company information platform – was greeted skeptically by delegates at The Market Research Event (TMRE) 2018, an audience that consisted largely of professional researchers.