Insight Driven Approach
Gopi Kandukuri
Gopi Kandukuri

Become Insight-Driven or Irrelevant!

Last Update January 27, 2021

The last decade has witnessed enterprises’ becoming overly obsessive about capturing ‘Data’ and creating a tsunami of data to the extent of intimidating its users and owners. This decade, businesses will focus on the insights and intelligence that drive actions.

What are insights?

The term insights is an empty word misused by technology marketers and often interchangeably used to represent data or information. But, insights are distinct from them in that they can influence decisions and drive change. They represent the apex of the data pyramid. 

Why do you need to shift from data-driven to Insights-driven Strategy?

This shift does not happen overnight but in stages. If we were to use the analogy of a Data pipeline to the water pipeline, similar to the water accumulated from various sources and then passes through stages before it becomes consumable, so does data. DataOps is the emerging discipline that describes the four stages of Identify Data, Gather Data, Transform Data and Analyze Data. Insights are the outcome of the analysis that we perform. This shift may require new systems, processes, and organizational structures. 

Principles of a Winning Insight-Driven Strategy? 

Every organization’s data insights journey will be unique, and every data insights strategy may look very different, but the governing principles are the same. Here are the governing principles that we recommend: 

  1. Align your Insights to business strategy, vision and goals.
  2. Establish an ethical, transparent, and trustworthy process to access and use the data.
  3. Enable a joint governance policy among all insights users
  4. Embed data protection controls throughout the organization
  5. Foster and build enterprise-wide commitment to insights-driven outcomes
  6. Develop an agile framework to adopt new technologies/tools to build an organization for the future. 
  7. Establish an AI operating model. 

According to IDC, organizations that are leaders in Insights-driven strategy have reported better business outcomes due to:

  • Their ability to flip the typical 80/20 ratio of hours spent on data preparation versus data analysis, with significantly more time spent on analysis
  • Their ability to evaluate the quality and relevance of data in the problem definition phase
  • Their ability to eliminate human biases by practicing insight-driven decision making
  • The ability to base actions on factual data rather than defaulting to experience or gut feelings.

A classic example of Walmart using insights is when they identified that sales of PopTarts increased in an area that had been issued with a hurricane warning. Now, who would have hypothesized that relationship? This insight was clearly “actionable,” so they monitored the weather, moved the product to more prominent positions, and increased sales further.

Umm, what’s the insight again in all this rambling? 

Data is a raw product which when processed and organized better, translates into information. This information is useful, but when we can create a competitive advantage from this information that helps us win in the business, we gain insight. And, this is what you should be preparing your enterprise for in 2021 and the new decade. 

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