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Share by email How can organizations make decisions on the basis of rigorous, data-based insights rather than experience or intuition?
If companies are serious about becoming insight-driven organizations, they should focus on how insights are framed, created, marketed, consumed, and stored for reuse. I am not closely involved with that set of ideas, but I thought I would use it as a provocation to dwell on what it can mean to get serious about insights.
Having true insights on these entities means you are likely to predict their behavior—at least to some degree—and achieve a positive outcome. We usually think the tough part of insights is creating them. But there is plenty said and written about that topic.
But if companies are serious about becoming IDOs, they should focus on how insights are framed, created, marketed, consumed, and stored for reuse. But how is the insight framed in the first place? Good framing helps set up the entire process of generating and using insights.
What problem needs to be solved? Is the decision being addressed amenable to being answered by data and analytics? Are enough alternatives being examined? Are the decision-maker and the analyst aligned on how the problem is framed and pursued?
Consumers of insights are most commonly decision-makers within an organization, and they should be carefully engaged with the process from the beginning.
Because even in analytical decisions were considered socially desirable, many managers tried to appear to be analytical decision-makers when they were really using their gut.
This finding, which I feel is still relevant today, means that analysts should be sure of how the decision-maker plans to use the information before gathering and analyzing it. Appealing to the consumer of the insights means, in some cases, using analytical approaches that are less than fully rigorous.
I once interviewed a wise market researcher about the techniques he used with his clients.
He was well aware that focus groups, for example, are not typically known for generating high-quality insights about customers.
Focus groups are notorious for telling marketers what they want to hear, among other issues. But the market researcher sometimes employed them anyway, he said, if that was the only kind of insight that his client was prepared to act upon.
He believed that insights based on questionable data might be better than those based on no data at all. Many analysts feel that when the insights have been generated, their work is over.
But there is a critical marketing step in the insights process. I first became oriented to this topic when reading the book by Marco Vriens called The Insights Advantage: Knowing How to Win, which offers an interesting perspective on the need to market and sell your insights if they are to make an impact.
Good marketing of insights often goes back to the framing process. Vriens notes that getting insights understood and accepted is another critical aspect of the insights process—as it is with marketing any other product, service, or idea. The decision-maker should know and understand what the insights are, that they have to be credible, and that the actions to be taken have to be clear.
The insights should be contained in a well-told story if a human is going to internalize and adopt them. Finally, there is the issue of what happens to a particular insight once it has been created, digested, and applied in a decision.
Is that the end of its life? Can subsequent analyses and decisions benefit from an awareness of previous insights? An insight is a piece of knowledge about how your business works. I once worked with a bank that generated 60, insights a year, primarily through controlled testing programs.
They did have a knowledge management database in which the insights were supposed to be stored.
It means that we may have to devote a lot more effort to insight creation and marketing than we would otherwise. If an organization cares enough about insights to treat them as long-term assets, it might sooner throw away money than throw away a useful insight.
In short, becoming an insight-driven organization should mean not only being able to create and apply a lot of insights, but also being willing to hang on to and reuse them over time. Knowing How to Win, iUniverse,position to use data to make decisions showed that perceptions of data-driven decision making (DDDM) activities and culture in their organization varied widely.
simple versus complex analysis and decision making Descriptive study, no outcome. Data and Decision Making: Same Organization, .
Featured. McKinsey Global Institute Our mission is to help leaders in multiple sectors develop a deeper understanding of the global economy. In decision-driven reorganization, the challenge is to determine exactly what authority decision makers need, regardless of their organizational status, if they are to make good decisions and.
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