We write for leading market research publication, Greenbook, on how "Insights" in business is almost as misunderstood as the use of the term inconceivable throughout the iconic film, "The Princess Bride".
What do insights have in common with the iconic movie The Princess Bride? Both are often misunderstood, writes our CEO Ant Franklin in his latest article for Greenbook, “Insights: Does It Mean What You Think It Means?” While it may seem “inconceivable”, the word insights is often misused and Ant argues that it is time to dig a little deeper.
In the market research industry, we seek insights everyday and generate them for our clients and teams. But what use are insights if they are not used for positive action? That is when our work begins to take on real value. This means we have to start looking beyond presenting numbers on a static page, via outdated crosstabs or PowerPoint decks, and start engaging stakeholders with insights that are easily accessible, democratized and holistic. It’s hard to leave behind the manually created reports that the market research industry has relied upon for decades, but it is well past time to break these inefficient processes.
Ant writes, “Stakeholders throughout an organization need to be able to gain first-hand understanding about what’s going on with their customers, with their competitor’s customers, with their products, as well as what target audiences are doing, with whom they do it, how they do it and more. If you’re using tables and tables and more tables to communicate your findings, it’s highly likely you’re already behind. In our fast-paced landscape, action based on outdated or static data is risky and not truly insight-driven because the context in which that data was collected could well have changed.”
While some shy away from using new technologies due to potential disruption, downtime or even fear, the improvements that the right solution can create is undeniable. Sharing data in a dynamic way so that more people can actually use them for good actions is what “insights” are all about. Far from making the researcher obsolete, as some may fear, Ant says taking a new approach that makes insights more accessible creates even greater job security and impact. In this scenario, “insights professionals become the enabler of unlocking value from data.”
Over the past 32 years, we’ve partnered with some of the world’s biggest brands and we know firsthand how much value is created when leaders can use insights to answer questions and take action. We’ve found that the two main insight-specific functionalities market researchers want, in order to prove the highest value, are: interactive, up-to-date, engaging data reporting that can keep up with a swiftly changing marketplace; and permissioned sharing that will get the data into the hands of the people who will be using it to take action.
He concludes the piece with: “we should never forget to remember the real role of insights: to generate understanding that results in positive business actions. Doing this today requires a new, collaborative approach - one that meets new expectations and demands across organizations. When we get it right, we’re all better served and can have our happily ever after, just like Wesley and Buttercup, which means using one particular word for all its worth and glory… insights.”
For the complete article, and more great Princess Bride comparisons, visit the Greenbook site here.