Organizations are aware of the critical importance of data; regardless of the business unit, department, or function, it’s a safe bet that the term “data-driven” has become ubiquitous. But, according to a recent Forbes article, in order to react nimbly to business disruptions and prepare for future challenges, businesses now must pivot from focusing on being data-driven to becoming insight-driven.
The distinction between data-driven and insight-driven is subtle but nonetheless important. Read on for three essential steps on the road to becoming an insight-driven enterprise:
1. Institutionalize the approach of questions first, not data
If you begin with a questions-first approach, you are naturally more likely to explore various data sets and discover larger connections, patterns, and trends. A data-first approach, by contrast, means your exploration will quickly go deep and narrow. Any resulting product or solution will then only be for one silo of the process value chain.
2. Establish a methodology that encourages the exploration of the unknown
A well-designed methodology is critical for effectively transforming into an insight-driven organization. Start by outlining your key business objectives and how insights can help you achieve them. You should also incentivize your team to be part of the process and encourage them to think unconventionally and discover larger problem spaces. Questions to consider at this stage include: “Can you define clear pathways from business decisions to data sources?” and “How do you keep people from falling down the rabbit hole of biases and preferences?”
3. Establish an ecosystem where you can collaborate with all stakeholders
Adopting an insight-driven mindset makes you more open to questioning the underlying assumptions in any process. As a result, businesses can make strategic decisions that take the bigger picture into account. Because an insight-driven enterprise has questioning, analysis, data, and reasoning embedded into the everyday decision-making process, it follows that collaboration and innovation are key. As such, the third consideration is ensuring that all stakeholders—both internal and external—can easily collaborate on analytics projects. This lays the framework for these initiatives to scale and deliver maximum business impact faster.
None of this is to suggest that there is anything wrong with the notion of being data-driven—after all, without data, there can be no insights. But as the Forbes piece cautions, companies that focus too narrowly on data alone are at a significant business disadvantage.
For more on how to ensure you prioritize the insights, take a look at the full Forbes article.