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Is your company data-driven or insight-driven?

To many, these concepts might feel one in the same. After all, both describe organizations that want to use their available data to uncover patterns, overcome uncertainty, and drive better decision-making across the board.

But in traditional data-driven organizations, data tends to be stored in separate silos. Insights may be generated, but the extent of their utility lives and dies within the department in which they were generated.

In addition, in data-driven environments, insights are rarely shared across the organization. In fact, marketing, CX, and product teams at these organizations regularly report feeling that they are drowning in data, and yet starved for insights.

Insight-driven organizations (IDOs) break free from this siloed approach to unlock an insight-driven advantage. Through cultivating insight ecosystems across the organization, they are more effectively able to transform volumes of data into measurable value. This positions IDOs to be fundamentally more customer-centric, agile, and efficient.

So, how do you go from being data-driven to insight-driven? Achieving this multidimensional transformation can be grueling work – particularly in complex enterprises, but often we find the best first step is to align around some basic definitions.

What is an insight?

At Brooks Bell, we define an insight as a learning from data that is either new, non-intuitive, and/or transferrable to other products, services, and departments. An insight should explain how or why something is, is measurable, and enable an action of positive value for the business.

Insights are critical to powering true customer-centricity. They are a shared language and rigor around how your company maintains and understands customer behavior. They offer a unifying force for alignment—from marketing to finance to customer service. They eliminate competing priorities and redundancies, and improve the speed and quality of decisions while ensuring every action is focused on what truly matters: the customer and their experience with your brand.

Finding your insight generators

To cultivate an insight ecosystem, you need to first identify where insights come from and how they should be validated. Insights can be generated from both qualitative and quantitative sources across your organization.

Recommended Read: Creating a Culture of Experimentation

This means CX, Product, Marketing, Analytics, Tech, Customer Service, Retail – all these departments have valuable insights to offer. By consolidating these, looking for patterns, trends, anomalies, and correlations that go beyond simply summarizing the data, and asking why and how questions, you can begin to uncover deeper insights.

Establishing insight confidence through validation

Validation is an important step. In many organizations, this is often done through a combination of user research, experimentation and/or analytics work but we recommend that organizations establish a dedicated center of excellence to serve this purpose. Finally, to ensure insights are actually put to work, these insights should be shared in a centralized repository that allows all teams to readily access and leverage. Insight confidence is established and built after teams test applying insights to their own initiatives, and contribute their findings back to the repository.

This additional validation across departments enhances the accuracy of your insights, and can be a telling indicator when insights are no longer relevant or true. The insights repository should be managed singularly but owned cross-functionally, with stakeholders representing all departments from which the original data was sourced. 

Want to learn more?

Download our latest report, From Fortune 500 to Obsolete: How Insight-Driven Organizations Avoid Failure to explore the 6 pillars of an insight-driven organization, learn how to articulate the ROI of being insight-driven, and benchmark your organization’s insight-driven journey.