Why actionable insight is the key to agility

8 June 2020
Author: Gordon Neil

If businesses are going to make agile their future, insight needs to sit at the heart of how they point themselves in the right direction, both reactively and proactively. 

In a world that’s changing rapidly, agility is the future of business success. How businesses use data will be key, but to extract real value from their data they need to be able to turn it into actionable insight. Only by doing this will businesses be able to react to new trends, or even spot them before they happen, enabling them to point their efforts in the right direction to succeed.  

We asked our Strategy and Marketing Director, Gordon Neil, for his views on how businesses can gear themselves for success 

Actionable insight is the key to agility, it will help businesses plan everything, including products, production, marketing, sales and resourcingData is worth more than gold, it enables everything, but the real value is in the insight and actions it can generate. Without the insight, the data is useless. Businesses need to focus on 5 areas to be generate success in the field of actionable insight. 

1. Clarity of purpose 

If you can define the purpose that actionable insight can deliver, then you have the basis to build from. Without a clear purpose, businesses often fire off in different directions, buying and analysing data with no clear end point or direction. When a business launches a new brand or product it’s all done with a clear purpose. The same rule has to be applied to data and insight; too often that’s not the case. 

2. Clarity on the data you have at your fingertips 

Data is often disparate in businesses and is held across several functions. Often, businesses don’t know what they have available to them, meaning data either goes unused or worse, is purchased multiple times by different functions. A data audit is a key starting point. Knowledge is power and that starts by being clear about what you have at your disposal, enabling you to work out how best to use it and if you have any gaps to close. 

3. The ability to bring all your data into one place 

Data warehousing is critical, if you can’t bring all of your data into one place, you can’t extract the maximum value from it. Why analyse different sources of data in verticals when you could bring it together and create a 1+1=3 equation? Investment in great data warehousing will save lots of challenges and is the foundation to optimising the value in your data. 

4. The systems that can point you in the right direction 

Once you know what your purpose is and you’ve got the data required in one placeanalytics systems are then key. Manual handling of big data is not an efficient or effective solution, BI systems that present the data to enable direction and storytelling are. Systems can release the hidden value that lies in data much more effectively and efficiently than a person can, particularly in areas like EPOS data, where algorithms can identify where the opportunities lie with pace. This has the capability to point the business in the right direction in an agile way i.e. agility for the organisation starts with actionable insight.  

5. The people who can story tell, directing insight into action 

Data and systems can’t do everything, people are still key. Presented in the right way, anyone in the business should be able to understand the insight to turn it into action; the skill is in the storytelling that turns it into a directive sales tool. Businesses can’t expect everyone to be an analyst and they shouldn’t want them to be, but they can expect everyone to be able to take the insight, apply it to their role and use it to make them better in role, whether that’s being more efficient, or enabling them to unlock more value. 

Join us over the rest of this week where we’ll take a closer look at the topic of actionable insight through the lenses of the Grocery, Convenience and Technology sectors. Follow our LinkedIn page to keep up to date and get in touch if you want to find out more about how we can help you turn your data into actionable insight, enabling your business to be more agile. 




For more information on Gordon Neil, Strategy & Marketing Director, visit his LinkedIn page


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