Using Data to Connect Global Teams
Helping a multinational company connect staff members across locations and identify new areas for growth
Design a system to help Procter & Gamble’s more than 20,000 subject matter experts connect with one another.
A set of digital tools to help managers pinpoint the right internal experts and identify new opportunities for collaboration across global teams.
In 2017, IDEO acquired longtime partner Datascope and integrated the company’s data scientists and engineers. Datascope team members aren’t just passionate data scientists; they’re human-centered designers who happen to work with data, as illustrated by successful collaborations like this one:
If Procter and Gamble (P&G) were a city, it would be the size of Boulder, Colorado. The company employs more than 100,000 people in 70 countries. Its research and development team is made up of more than 20,000 specialists working across locations, languages, and areas of expertise, from cleaning chemicals to paper products to over-the-counter medications.
P&G approached Datascope to help the company connect these researchers to one another and the rest of the organization. In working with P&G leaders, Datascope found that the company needed a better way to access and leverage employee expertise. Managers routinely got requests from researchers looking to work with others in their subject areas, but didn’t know how to identify the right partners or set them up for fruitful collaboration.
Datascope gathered internal data, including unstructured research data on the scientists’ interests and who they partner with most often. The team used that information to develop two new systems that bridge the gap for P&G researchers and managers. The first is an internal search engine that lets managers quickly find and connect the right experts across P&G offices worldwide. The second is a data visualization tool that highlights subject areas ripe for more collaboration among experts and research teams, who may already be asking similar questions. This intelligent tool can surface relevant, timely information managers need to connect their teams.
From the beginning, Datascope approached the problem creatively and involved me in the design process. They delivered tools that I use every day to increase collaboration and better understand our company.
Kathie Felber, Former Global Technical Community of Practice Leader, Procter & Gamble
P&G already had a practice of collecting information for product research, but it wasn’t until Datascope came on the scene that the company took advantage of large, multi-layered data sets and made them more intelligent, so leaders could expand P&G’s expertise through new global partnerships.