Running an insight-driven organisation means entrenching data, insight and reasoning into the decision-making processes of the organisation.
This is according to Deloitte, which is all well and good on a strategic level, but on a practical level what does this really mean?
Just so we are clear; data is raw and unprocessed information that you see in the form of numbers and text. Information is data that has been processed and organised into a user-friendly format such as reports, dashboards or visualizations.
Insights, on the other hand, are created when the information is analysed and conclusions are drawn
Digital technology, big data, social media metrics, IOT all produce huge amounts of data that businesses and organisations can tap into. And there is a vast array of data analytics software available on the market to process this data into information.
But although businesses say that they do the analytics, they are often unable to define exactly what value they are getting from it and struggle to use their data to answer the ‘what next’ questions.It takes more than just a combination of software and data to generate the market and consumer insights that will drive business strategy and innovation #consumerinsights #kbb Click To Tweet
In reality it takes more than just a combination of software and data to generate the market and consumer insights that will drive business strategy and innovation, and to run a truly insight-driven organisation, you should be able to put a tick in these six boxes
You can ask the ‘crunchy’ questions
Instead of asking about current market demographics and sales results over the past six months, a crunchy question will ask who your next 500 customers are going to be, where they are going to come from and why they will chose your company.
To answer a question like this, you must be able to ‘crunch’ the data across different strands and insight resources, and the ‘crunchy’ format of the question forces the answer to be proactive and forward-facing.
Your insights are actionable
A Forrester report into progressive companies found that 74% say they want to be data-driven, whilst only 29% are actually successful in actioning their analytics.
Not all insights are actionable.
Actionable insights are not more information, or more data. Generic insights that don’t focus on your target market, your business or your industry are not actionable. Out of date insights are not actionable.
And they are decided by real people. No matter how good an AI technique or analytics programme may be, only a real person can apply the right context and historical knowledge to effectively decide what is actionable within an organisation
You utilise both internal and external data
Many businesses rely exclusively on data they have collected themselves, such as sales data, customer journey metrics, reviews and feedback.
The problem with only using internal data is that it doesn’t give the full picture.
An insight driven organisation will collect external data and incorporate this into their analysis to give a wider perspective on the industry they operate in and their target market.
This external data can be in the form of purchased multi-client reports or commissioned bespoke consumer studies. Alternatively, it can be downloaded for free from a variety of different sources, for example government departments, trade associations, universities and charities regularly publish research findings, white papers and open source data-sets.
Tesco, for example, famously use weather forecasting data to ensure their stores are stocked with the right produce when heatwaves hit or another ‘Beast from the East’ strikes.
This pdf explains nine different data resources for businesses in the home improvement sector.
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You understand the macro as well as the micro
Both macro and micro trends have a strong influence on your organisation and your analysis should take these two environments into consideration.
Macro (or mega) trends are often global phenomena such as urbanisation or the aging population, and will influence social, demographic, environmental, economic, consumer and retail behaviours.
These slow-moving, but constantly evolving trends all have the power to affect your target market in the long term, and impact on their future purchasing decisions.
Micro trends, on the other hand, are the smaller, faster moving trends. They usually happen as a direct result of a macro trend, for example our smaller housing stock is a direct result of the global urbanisation megatrend.
Micro trends act as influences within your specific industry by having a direct impact on your supply chain, your location, your team, individual customers etc.
You operate a continuous programme of insight generation.
Instead of thinking of insight generation as a set of separate projects, successful organisations have demonstrated that an insight ecosystem of continuous ‘defining, determining and delivering’ has acted as a platform for organic growth, with each new insight contributing to an evolving body of knowledge about their market and customers.
You have an insights-driven culture within your organisation
P&G is an example of a major company that has widened the responsibility for strategic insights from a few professionals to a company-wide resource, generating a culture of innovation which permeates throughout the organisation.
This mass responsibility prevents important market and consumer insights remaining hidden in departmental silos or treated as afterthoughts and gives everyone access to the insights they need to inform their decision-making.