Investigative Reporting is Product Management

Ari Zelmanow is Head of UX Research for Twilio's Communications business. A retired police detective turned market detective, Ari now investigates human behavior as it relates to shopping, buying, and using products to deliver valuable outcomes for businesses.



In this episode, Ari and Roddy dive into how adopting a newsroom room approach enables research teams to build knowledge and drive impact throughout the entire organization. Ari shares his unique framework for growing researchers into trusted consultants for business leadership, and much more. Here, we outline three takeaways and encourage you to download the full transcript below for more.

  1. The role of researcher is evolving into that of a trusted business consultant.
    Ari argues that research is fundamentally about systematic inquiry and making sense of data within a framework, but it shouldn't stop at presenting insights. Instead, researchers should deliver valuable counsel based on those insights by collecting evidence, reporting insights, and brokering outcomes. Ari believes this shift in mindset from value-based arguments to decision-focused discussions can lead to greater impact within a business.
  2. Aligning research efforts with key business metrics delivers maximum value.
    Stakeholders and researchers share common business goals: growth, value, adaptability, risk mitigation, and speed. Ari believes that, in order to achieve these shared goals, it's crucial for researchers to speak the language of business and connect their work to these metrics. Simply put, their role is to understand what's happening, explain why it matters to the business, suggest its implications, and provide clear guidance on what to do next. 
  3. Research teams should operate as a newsroom.
    Ari believes there’s a strong need to communicate evolving insights even when certainty is not at its peak, similar to the news cycle. This agility enables quicker decision-making in areas like product development. In the same way that reporters speak to sources, researchers gather evidence via product managers, designers, and business leaders to find the gaps. They do primary research to fill in those gaps, and then report their point of view.

Access the full transcript for more from Ari on transforming research  

Download this episode’s transcript to learn more about how this approach can advance your career and your business.



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