Skip to content

Driving Analytics & Insights Action

Corporations are investing in data, analytics and insights capabilities at a high level. The rate of spend is likely to accelerate going forward, keeping pace with advancements in AI and other tech capabilities, as Big Data and CPG worlds intersect. Unlocking the value of data, analytics and insights lies in the actionability that drives growth.

Can you speak about the nature and power of the intersection of analytics and insights, and its impact on organizational results?

“I speak for myself, but I suspect it’s true for several of my insights colleagues across the board, that unless we are directly responsible for analytics and insights strategy, we rarely stop to think about what they mean for the organization’s overall success financially,” says Shah. “While most will agree that analytics and insights holds the power to create edge in the market, part of the difficulty in fully understanding its impact lies in the fact that it is very difficult to establish causal relationship and what its impact is on the return on investment on the company’s investment in these capabilities. Unless these capabilities drive revenue, they will not be able to show that they drive return on investment.”

Yet unlocking the value of analytics and insights lies in the actionability that drives growth. It is necessary for insights professionals to understand how these three interact and what they can do to deliver value. In terms of the value of analytics: Is it cost or is it investment?

Shah notes, “The challenge is to deliver ROI upfront and it’s a hurdle that makes analytics seem more like a cost than an investment. Further, when we look at the level of investment available for analytics and insights for most companies in principle, they cannot spend more than .25% of their total revenue because the amount of money spent on analytics and insights capabilities must be less than the investment in marketing and product development. And then lastly, over 75% of companies aspire to be data driven, but only one in four is actually able to deliver analytics value through action. Actionability of insights is the missing link.”

She continues, “Let’s look at some inefficiencies in the CPG environment, like business planning. Business planning must deploy insights that are prescriptive and not merely diagnostic. Without guidance and action, business plans cannot deliver value. For example, an unintuitive business plan recommends grow distribution, but one with data driven insights goes further to identify which consumers to go after with which items and also provides guidance on how to achieve that and estimates its impact on top and bottom lines. This increases efficiency.”

Shah also points to promotions as an example of increasing efficiency of insights.

She says, “If you look at overall promotions, the majority of them see three in five promotions have no incrementality. Analytics and insights are not only for post-promotion reporting of performance. They should be used to inform promotional strategy to drive true incrementality. For example, targeted versus mass promotion. What about the timing, frequency, or depth of promotion? What about which consumers respond more profitably and how to leverage that insight for agility and optimization?”

And lastly, there is the area of predictability.

“Predictability is an area of huge potential for analytics and insights,” says Shah. “For example, a CPG company can significantly improve the rate of success of its new product development if it’s able to predict what the shoppers and consumers are likely to do and want over the horizon. And getting more pointed and accurate with prediction is needed to unlock the power of product innovation.”

Connecting Analytics & Insights

What exactly is the relationship between data analytics and insights?

“Now that we have considered the cost and value of analytics and insights, let us take a closer look at their relationship,” says Shah. “Data analytics and insights have a very close and interdependent relationship. Data, as we know, is just rough, unprocessed facts that by themselves do not provide much insight or actionability. When they’re cleaned, scrubbed, analyzed, and visualized they become information. And information is often delivered in the form of reports, dashboards, and other visualizations. These are also limited because their actionability is limited without having deeper insight.”

“That brings us to insight. Insight is an accurate, deep, intuitive understanding of a subject, and it informs decision or action. But analytics are the engines that turn data into insights that are instrumental in building an understanding to address business questions, draw conclusions, and make what many refer to as data-driven decisions. And the interplay of all these results in action, results in transformation and decision. And when we take action, it generates new data. This is what brings agility to insights. Agility is the ability to iteratively measure, learn, and change to optimize insights and the results that they drive.”

Driving Insights into Action

That call to action is to either fully tap into the power of analytics with actionable insights or get left behind, relates Shah. “Just a quick glance at the power of data and analytics, and what unleashes it, is when insights drive revenue. For insights to drive revenue, they must be diagnostic and predictive in nature and have actionability and agility. Diagnostics provide the hindsight needed to understand what happened with a view at the category, retailer, shopper or consumer, and competition. In short, diagnostics should be able to answer questions like what, when, where, and most importantly, try to answer why and how. Without an understanding of the causes, the insight will not provide actionability. When we answer the why, we most often know what we need to do to drive change.”

“Next comes foresight. Analytics and insights have two main purposes. One is to ensure current success, and two is to future proof the business. Predictiveness is the ability to provide foresight and inform the future. What will the competitive landscape look like? What will the consumer need or want? How will shoppers evolve? And how will retail change over the horizon? We must constantly ponder these questions and relentlessly pursue insights to address these business needs.”

What is actionability? “Hindsight and foresight, as we’ve seen, now provide us with the ability to answer the now what or how to. In short, fulfill the imperative obligation to recommend action and drive change. And insights inform which levers to deploy. For example, the four p’s, optimize assortment, distribution, pricing, promotion. The most effective insights teams have agility built into their fabric with continuous measurement, feedback, and iterative improvement,” says Shah.

Watch the full presentation as Shivani Shah discusses a few specific retail use cases that leverage analytics and insights to drive action. Plus: All Things Insights’ Seth Adler and Shah further discuss how to deliver action and manage organizational change.

Contributor

  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

    View all posts

Related Content

Elevating Insights Impact

Market research efforts are evolving as corporations strive to determine actionable insights, implement new operations and infrastructures, and establ…

Building Empathy to Improve Insights

While customer centricity is a key attribute in today’s insights and data-driven corporate culture, success must also be built on a concept of empathy…

 
 

More Related Content

Basketball on the court with hoop in background.
actionable insights

Elevating Insights Impact

Market research efforts are evolving as corporations strive to determine actionable insights, implement new operations and infrastructures, and establ…

Happy family of four and dog walking on the beach by the ocean.
empathy

Building Empathy to Improve Insights

While customer centricity is a key attribute in today’s insights and data-driven corporate culture, success must also be built on a concept of empathy…

Pinpointing on a map, ie, being strategic.
actionable insights

Finding Stakeholder Alignment

Stakeholder alignment is increasingly important in both overall business and insights strategy. As the enterprise strives for organizational success,…

Vortex-like laser images in space like setting.
automation

Finding the Right AI Research Opportunities

As part of the AI & Tech Summit portion of this year’s TMRE @ Home virtual gathering, David Iudica, SVP, Research and Insights: Retail and Wealth, Cit…

Darts resting on the side of a bullseye.
actionable insights

Taking a Customer-Centric Business Approach

Growth marketing continues to be an effective and nimble way to attract, engage and retain customers. Billed as an alternative to traditional marketin…

Book with pages flying open.
insights soft skills

Learning the Soft Skills of Market Research

Skills can be developed in a variety of ways in the insights workplace to create an effective, versatile employee with a diverse arsenal of competenci…

open book, flipping through pages
actionable insights

Harnessing Data Storytelling

As data becomes more accessible throughout an organization, the need for data storytelling becomes more important in terms of strategy. It’s no longer…

Gold bars
media insights

Determining the Value of Business Content

Michael Bagalman, Vice President, Business Intelligence and Data Science, STARZ, gave a presentation at the Media Insights & Engagement Conference, ca…

data science

Defining Governance to Deliver Data Benefits

Big data is here, it’s a growing trend and it’s not going away anytime soon. The rise of artificial intelligence and other technological developments…

marketing

Turning Data into Market Intelligence

When surveying a new market opportunity, the company’s market intelligence efforts come into play. This valuable data helps determine market segmentat…

actionable insights

Diving Deeper into Insights ROI

The third day of TMRE@Home, May 2, will demonstrate best practices involved in developing and positioning insights ROI. Fusing AI, data and analytics…

analytics and insights

Blending Analytics & Insights

The second day of TMRE@Home, May 1, will demonstrate best practices involved in marrying analytics with insights. Insights from analytics can be an ev…

data science

Plugging into the Future With AI

TMRE@Home is going to be held virtually this year from April 30 to May 2, 2024, and it will feature several educational tracks for insights and market…

data science

Building the Analytics & Insights Ecosystem

The recent TMRE Continued virtual event hosted a session, “Blending Analytics & Insights to Drive Business Outcomes.” Moderated by All Things Insights…

insights and AI

Operationalizing a Hybrid Approach to AI

In “Insights + AI: Operationalizing A Hybrid Approach,” Christina Speck, Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Commercial Product, Blue Cross & Blue Sh…

data science

Finding the Right Machine Learning Formula

In “Machine Learning: Optimizing Ad Campaigns,” Michael Bagalman, Vice President, Business Intelligence and Data Science, STARZ, explored machine lear…

Data Science & Analytics Strategy
data quality

Reinventing the Data Relationship

The reinvention of the relationship between enterprise data science and business stakeholders is upon us. The focus is now on what the data can do for…

actionable insights

Diving Deeper into Measuring Insights ROI

If you can measure it, you can manage it. Insights leaders came together on this panel discussion on “Measuring Insights ROI” to share their respectiv…

business strategy

Demystifying Insights ROI

Key challenges come into translating business insights into ROI. This includes data quality, research bias, no direct translation of insights into bus…

actionable insights

Establishing Insights ROI

In a recent ATI Gathering…Insights ROI, the community looked at the complex issue of insights return on investment from several different angles. Co…

actionable growth

Actioning Insights

Providing insights is not a barrier. Ensuring those insights actually move the needle is the job at hand. Is where the insights are reported the probl…

consumer mindset

Reaching the Consumer

Insights are being generated but in some cases are not being used. The first assumption is that these insights aren’t actionable. Which of course migh…

artificial intelligence

Unifying Data Analytics and Insights

To be human or not to be human? That is a relevant question in today’s technology-driven society, and one we posed when thinking about unifying data a…

actionable insights

Elusive Insights

Insights are being generated but in some cases are not being used. The first assumption is that these insights aren’t actionable. Which of course migh…

insights leadership

Gaining Insights Leadership

The role of today’s Insights professional is evolving as Insights teams are increasingly pressured to connect data sources, surface consumer stories a…

actionable growth

Taking Action to Spark Growth

Actionable growth is the process of taking action to achieve a desired outcome. It involves making strategic decisions and implementing tactics that w…

consumer insights

Measuring OTA Programming

Television audience measurement is on the precipice of innovation due to the opportunity to leverage data from set top boxes, smart TV’s, and other so…

strategic insights

Building Strategic Insights

The world of data is evolving and ever-changing. A data insights strategy is built in part on the potential data that one hopes to accumulate, the ins…

data translation

Translating Data Into Action

“Data is the new oil,” and it seems like everyone wants to get a piece. But what is it that most major companies are missing when it comes to harnessi…

data analytics

Interpreting Data

Data isn’t just a set of numbers in a spreadsheet that sits there collecting digital dust. Michael Nevksi, the Director of Global Insights at Visa, no…

data analytics

Data Fluency

Data fluency and how it applies to an organization is essential for a business to thrive – according to Bob Bress, Vice President and Head of Data S…

data analytics

Digestible Insights

Business founders and leaders are proud of their accomplishments and with good reason. They have led their operations, often for decades and through s…

insights strategy

Timely Insights

“May you live in interesting times.” We are all familiar with this curse (or blessing, depending on how you see it). Many of us even know it as Chines…

insights strategy

Insights Enablers

Over the past two and a half years, there “have been more DIY projects” thus “Insights teams are moving more to becoming consultants and enablers fro…

data science

Pandemic Analytics Insights

It is reported that after the pandemic that 50% more customers and teams will use Business Intelligence tools. “Adapting, moving online, and having a…

actionable insights

Data, Analytics, Insights & Action

If you watch June Dershewitz when she’s not looking, you might catch sight of her cape. She is a superhero in the world of data. Her goal is to make t…

inclusion

One Way To Insights ROI

“It’s not only a ‘feel good’ thing anymore. It is actually something that is reflected in profits.” DEI is a business issue. Once nice to have, the co…

data analytics

Insights On Outpacing Further Disruption

The axiom, ‘May you live in interesting times,’ is cited as both an expression as well as a curse. Its origin is foggy. For the past couple of decades…

user experience

UX Insights

Shilpi Sinha is not only speaking at TMRE but joining the pre-event Innovating Insights Workshop as a table co-host. Both the session on the agenda an…

data science

Data Culture

Global society and business continues to shift from decisions informing data to data informing decisions. That is to say, for most of human history, a…

data science

Insights Resilience

Way back at the beginning of our modern almost apocalypse, there was one term used across the globe and up and down the organization- resilience. Faci…

data science

Measurement, Currency and Attribution

Keeping pace with innovation is always a challenge. The Media industry not only has to keep pace with that innovation, many players have offerings tha…

actionable insights

Consistent Breakthrough Insights

All Things Insights brought the community together for a live session focused around the concept of providing consistent breakthrough brand insights o…

consumer

The Missing Link Between Data And Business

2022 has proven to be a year of change. While lingering reminders persist, the past two years are falling further and further back in the rear view mi…