James Tattersfield - Polar Insight


Hi I'm James and I run Polar Insight. We help companies understand the complex needs of citizens and communities so they can design, bid for, and deliver better services.‚Äč

Our services can broadly be split into three categories:

1. Designing Solutions

Service Design and Bidding

We help our clients negotiate and win better contracts through uncovering understanding, insights and evidence that:

  • Supports their solution design by evidencing what service users want and what works for them.

  • Evidences co-production

  • Provides headline or detailed quotes and representative data for bid submissions.

2. Delivering Value

Operations and Continuous Improvement

We help our clients collect evidence about their existing services by:

  • Establishing robust and innovative feedback mechanisms that encourage ongoing innovation.

  • Accessing and evidencing additional key statistics to support your existing Management Information.

  • Building research capacity within operational teams.

3. Measuring Progress

Evaluation and Social Value

We evaluate live services before the end of their contract terms to gather lessons learned as well as measure social value in line with the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. This could include:

  • Understanding what users would like to see next.

  • Measuring distance travelled - you said, we did.

  • Assessing wider economic, environmental and social benefits to uncover new opportunities.


We can help with:


We use non-traditional techniques to identify and connect with the people and communities your organisation cares about.


Building a representative panel of users or customers and surveying them is a perfect way to gauge service appeal, price sensitivity and customer experience.


Mapping how and why people interact with your service, in what order and alongside which other services enables you to design solutions that solve problems simply and efficiently.


We bring together small groups of relevant, fully screened users or customers to explore and test new or existing ideas and services.


We conduct intimate, one to one interviews with customers or users to form a deep understanding of their context.


We use up to date open source intelligence techniques help you understand what the individuals and communities you are interested in are speaking about online.


Different users require different solutions. We’ll help you segment them into practical groups and identify differences so you can design and deliver your service with them in mind.


Capturing communities on film, often in their homes, gives you an immersive understanding of the context within which they are interacting with a service.


Understanding how people interact with your service or similar services is critical for good design and continuous improvement. We’ll observe, surface insights and provide recommendations.


Polar specialises in rapid turnaround projects that require quick results.

If we're unable to deliver a project on our own, we'll engage and manage freelance talent through our international support network, ResearchOS.

This enables us to keep our business lean and agile, saving you money.

We're passionate about purposeful projects with brands, government and the third sector and have experience delivering projects across all three.




Polar Insight is owned and operated by James Tattersfield and supported by a world class group of client-side and agency-side advisors.

James has a background in international research and strategic communication.

Before setting up Polar, he was Managing Partner of Miroma Venture's creative agency, TwelveA.M. and Head of Strategy at Latimer Group where he ran international research projects for brands, broadcasters and governments.

What sectors do you most often work in?

  • Business to business
  • Advertising & Media
  • Government, social research, education
  • Charities & Not-for-profit
  • Children & Youth

What are the main types of research/research specialisms you conduct most often?

  • Qualitative
  • International
  • Recruitment and Fieldwork
  • Online/Mobile

What regions within the UK do you cover?

  • London/South East England
  • English Midlands
  • Northern England
  • South West England
  • N. Ireland
  • Wales
  • Scotland

Which international regions do you cover?

  • Western Europe
  • India
  • Scandinavia
  • Australasia
  • SE Asia
  • Japan
  • China
  • Central/South America
  • North America
  • Middle East
  • Eastern Europe
  • India/Pakistan/Bangladesh/Sri Lanka
  • Africa
  • Finland

Where are your offices in the UK?

  • London/South East England