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What are data insights and why does it matter anyway?

If you’ve ever come across any data or business intelligence platform, everyone promises that they will drive you actionable insights. I mean what? Thinking deeply about the term insights, what does it incline to you? It is such an overrated word that it probably became a buzzword before you could say Jack Robinson. Everyone promises real-time results of your problem and driving more value to your data. But what’s the reality?

As more and more organizations see and understand data, they are transforming into data-driven, changing mindsets and behaviors around data to establish positions as data-leaders in the industry. If we want to understand the term “insights”, it’s crucial to see what’s on the bottom of the pyramid. Do you remember the one we mentioned in the last blog post? 

#DATA 

Data appears in various forms - numbers or text on the paper, bits and bytes in electronic memory or just facts in your mind. Data is many times referred to as the information that travels or is stored somewhere. We can say that data is just raw unprocessed facts. Oftentimes, the terms data and information are being used synonymously but this is not correct. You can have primary data and secondary data. 

#INFORMATION 

Information is basically structured, refined raw data that is ready to be analyzed. Information is a critical component since it basically processes data and organizes it into a user-friendly format. The critical thing about information is that it can never exist without data - you can have data without information but never information without data. To set an example, imagine that a customer bill from a restaurant represents a single source of data. If you combine hundreds of those bills, you can receive some valuable information about the most favorite item on the menu. That is information. 

What's inevitable is that all the data and information that is being collected must be put into one centralized database/system/platform (you can call it whatever you want) and must be available at all times to your departments. If you have a platform like this, you can drive meaningful insights from your information. 

#INSIGHTS

Speaking the language of data has become the new norm for data-driven organizations. One of the biggest challenges is to find the exact English, or even non-english explanation of what insight is. It's not the same as an observation, do not be mistaken. Insights are derived from information - you look at a piece of information and make some conclusions from it - what are the next steps to consider? What is the relationship between variables? Can we make decisions? Insights are only insights if you consider them to be insights - if they are relevant to the result you need to achieve then it is an insight. 

How do you convert data into insights and insights into actionable insights? The truth is that you need to understand the problem, talk to the end users and define the underlying issue. If we go back to our example with restaurant bills, we can say that actionable insight would be to identify what meals to sell in order to increase sales volume. Data insights are actionable if they are: 

  • Relevant 
  • Clear 
  • Valuable 
  • Aligned with your goals 

Insights vary greatly between industries and are results of different factors. What you consider an insight might not be an insight for someone else. If you are curious about gaining insights, you should try our tool BinarBase that is the best combination of data intelligence, knowledge and AI. We bring stunning visualizations and accurate information in a few seconds. 

Want to know more? Reach us!

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