“Insight” is a well-known industry term for a deep, intuitive understanding of people or a situation. At Department26, we refer to these revelatory insights as the GroundTruth.

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. The same method is highly effective in helping to craft adaptive strategies for business.

Department26 applies its proprietary GroundTruth process to each client engagement, whether the audience is external or internal to the organization.

If you want to change your world, you first need to know your world as it really, truly is. Direct observation, depth interviews, and emotional analytics provide an accurate view of the current situational realities. This GroundTruth delivers the type of insights unavailable from surveys, aggregated data, or social media mining. Rich in the context missing from other methods, GroundTruth informs strategy as it is developed, delivers disruptive advantages in execution, and uncovers opportunities invisible to 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 clients to make better decisions and use resources more effectively. It is often the most valuable part of any engagement.


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.


Sub|Verbal: Emotional Analytics

Neuroscience confirms that most decisions we make are driven by emotion, then, in hindsight, explained with logic. The key to understanding these decisions is to review the emotions driving them. Sub|Verbal is a revolutionary AI technology that lets you “see” emotions as they occur, providing breakthrough analysis into what really drives our everyday choices.



Ethnography is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes a situation from the point of view of the subject of the study. This observational, interactive research takes place in the subject’s everyday situation. The research environment is a key factor, since insights rely heavily on how context drives behavior.



Using the study of signs and symbols and their interpretation, Department26 uncovers meaning in relevant surroundings. This research can include interviews employing metaphor analysis to elicit insights that are impossible for people to articulate.