Ground Truth

In the military, “ground truth” is intelligence gathered by firsthand observation on the ground. It confirms hypotheses created from other sources and adds situational context crucial for creating tactical advantages in the field. This same method is highly effective in business.

Department26 applies a proprietary GroundTruth process for every client engagement. This includes a combination of direct observation, depth interviews and behavioral science analysis to provide an accurate view of the current situational realities.

GroundTruth goes beyond surveys, aggregated data or social media mining. Rich in context, these deep insights inform strategy as it is developed, help deliver advantages in execution and uncover opportunities not seen by competitors.

The less stable and more dynamic the business environment, the more critical circumstantial knowledge becomes. Starting with the GroundTruth reduces uncertainty and complexity, allowing our clients to make better decisions and use resources more effectively. For our clients, the GroundTruth is often the most valuable part of the engagement.


Our Methods

Depth Interviews

These are intense, individual discussions led by skilled and experienced interviewers. Conversations are structured loosely, allowing us to cover topics more broadly. Depth interviews can vary in length and are particularly valuable in understanding how people are experiencing a situation, what assumptions or biases may be present, and how the situation is perceived in the context of deeply held beliefs. 



Ethnography is observational, interactive research that occurs in everyday situations. The research environment is a key factor, since insights rely heavily on how context directs behavior.



Using the study of signs and symbols, we uncover meaning in relevant surroundings. This research may include interviews with metaphor analysis to draw out insights that are hard for people to articulate.


Sub|Verbal: An Implicit Technology

Neuroscience confirms that most decisions we make are driven by emotion, then explained with logic after the fact. The trick to understanding these decisions is to reveal the emotions behind them. Sub|Verbal is a revolutionary technology that lets you “see” these emotions as they happen, providing breakthrough insight into what drives our everyday choices.