With the evergrowing innovations in information technology, we’re constantly met with jargon that sometimes leaves us confused. Understanding the way things work is not always as important as knowing how to use something, but it sure does help.
Recognising the difference between data, information and insights could help business owners, managers and digital marketing experts perform their job with more accuracy and expertise. Here’s a quick breakdown of the 3, before we dive into the ins and outs of moving data to business insights.
Question 1: What is Data?
Data can be considered the raw and completely unprocessed facts set as the standard and norm in society. Using COVID-19 as an example, data could relate to the number of cases documented in a country on a specific date, the image of a hospital where vaccines are being administered, an audio clip from a health official suggesting safety measures and other ‘untouched’ and ‘unedited’ forms of facts.
Question 2: What is Information?
Unlike data, information is processed. This processing ensures that information shared is translatable with its human-friendly format – this includes the organization of information also. Keeping on the same example with the global pandemic constantly on our minds, the information here can relate to reports detailing symptoms and medical practices, data visualization such as iconography and stats on a daily news broadcast as well as other means of communication that help translate a message with ease and simplicity.
Question 3: What is Insight?
Insight is a combination of analysed data and information used to understand the context of a situation with the hope of drawing up a reason or solution for an event. Insight refers to the reasoning that takes place before action is taken. To elaborate, the reason for social distancing and the use of clinical masks was done as an action point to flatten the Coronavirus curve.
If you’re a medical researcher, this is basically what your daily work routine has played out for the past year, but what about those researchers who aren’t in the medical industry? How do insight and data translate to the rest of us? And more importantly, why are data and insights so important?
How to make use of data for business insight?
Data is an extremely valuable aspect of information, it involves the processing of commonly known facts (sometimes fake) and processes the messaging for all to understand. In our fast-paced, info-based world, we are made to keep at our witts and process highly-intelligent information, but that would require some sort of analysis in order to become beneficial for any change or action.
Many companies, from small to large are sitting on a gold mine of unanalysed information or even unprocessed data that could be their golden ticket towards company success, innovation and customer satisfaction. When ignored, data is useless, but when analysed and developed, could open up a researcher and strategists’ eyes to a solution worth its weight in gold.
So what makes insight a golden tool for?
Well, the first step that researchers need to take is highlighting the end results of any data analysis task, noting the type of information that is needed for collection. These are primarily focused on:
Context. Context. Context. Nothing quite works when the context is hidden, unknown or ignored. Understanding the larger picture when sourcing and working on data will help to develop insights that could prove to be beneficial to your company’s scope – one that should be translated and communicated as effectively as possible by management. Managers should also lay out any milestones or deadlines in order for research to be carried out in a targeted manner.
Making the most out of the resources available entails quite a bit of organisation, management and clear judgement. With the swarm of fake news in the media, finding legitimate sources can prove to be a challenge. But defining the scope, or need is what will direct researches along the right path. Knowing the purpose of your task, be it increasing revenue, cutting expenses or even optimising data, will help any researcher move data to business insight.
Another aspect that is undeniable beneficial to the positive outcome of a research project is vision. Without a clear, structured and maintained vision, there’s absolutely no chance of a research project going well. It’s quite hard to source data and translate it into insights with a plan in mind, let alone without even knowing the whys and the hows. This is an exercise in problem-solving that could help iron out any flaws in a business model.
This is where all the pieces of the puzzle come together – the analysis stage. What is your outcome? What data did you collect and process into insight? And working in hindsight, you should always keep your desired outcome in mind. The questions you should be asking to complete this phase include:
- How will these insights benefit the business?
- How will these insights be used?
- How can I measure these insights and translate them into tangible changes?
The ultimate goal for any researcher should be growth. Growth is the only way to attain your goals and sustain them for the benefit of all parties involved in the task, 3 simple steps to this methodology are:
- To collect high quality, accurate and proven data that can be translated into business insight. This can be gathered from forums, polls, blogs, reviews, clicks and engagement. This is your measurable data, easily transformed into insight.
- To connect all the widely source information gathered and examining its content and sourcing in order to display structured data that translates to company benefit, aka insight.
- To discover and analyse by a myriad of experts, from marketing, content, SEO and analytic backgrounds to ensure that all facets of data are able to be transformed into actionable insight. This is where teamwork, expertise and structure are unavoidable.
Learning how to move data to business insight is the golden rule to achieving the seemingly impossible in any business plan. Get in touch with 4Sight, our developers, data specialists and strategists analyse your information in detail, to come up with solutions that can possibly take your business to the next level.
Our team is geared to establish and build triggers, dashboards and detailed reports based on correlated data, to make the best use of the information you have available.