NEW YORK—Hill+Knowlton Strategies has formed a new unit, Research+Data Insights, designed to provide the firm’s clients with data analytics and primary research to establish strategic and effective communications.

In addition to offering H+K Strategies’ messaging, communications and reputation research, R+D Insights provides a new emphasis on data analytics that stems from the growth of social media and the need for analysis and insights into this growing communications platform, says global vice chairman Peter Zandan, who will chair the new group.

R+D Insights will be based in H+K’s New York office and will consist of 12 research centers around the world. David Iannelli will oversee global research and Michael Lustina will oversee US research as well as the group’s global operations.

Zandan earlier led research and insights function at Public Strategies, which merger with Hill+Knowlton last year, and before that founded IntelliQuest and served as its chairman and CEO for 15 years. Iannelli was also a member Public Strategies’ research practice, and before that spent seven years as a colleague of pollster and strategist Robert Teeter. Lustina was a managing director at PSI and also worked at Symmetrics and Millward Brown.