Companies nowadays have unlimited access to an ever-increasing amount of data sources, making it easier and faster for managers to base their business decisions on facts. However, this vast array of available data also poses some challenges.
Today, there is a high demand for businesses to prove the success of their activities that provide insights, such as market research studies. The more successful a company is in demonstrating their return on investment (ROI), the greater their chances are of getting an increased budget approved to support new initiatives.
This is why it is critical for companies to provide insights that prove the best value-for-the-money and are worth the investment. We’re going to share the following three common pitfalls where insights are not used effectively:
- Insights are difficult to access
- Different reports reveal contradictory insights
- Provided insights are not easy to grasp
1. Insights are Difficult to Access
Effective decisions depend on the right insights being available at the right time. Just imagine if you need to attend a meeting with only a few minutes’ notice. In this meeting, your team will be discussing ways to optimize the latest campaign. Wouldn’t it be senseless to meet if you didn’t have specific information to share during the meeting?
Additionally, decision makers should not have to request information from their IT departments or external consultants prior to meetings, especially if they’re unsure of exactly what information they need. The increased velocity and volume of decision making has encouraged companies to provide business users with direct access to their relevant insights.
Access can be given via comprehensive dashboards and other data discovery tools that allow everyone to quickly get to the right information whenever and wherever they need. Without having fast, direct access to data, even the most valuable insights can be worthless, hindering the perceived value and ROI.
2. Different Reports Reveal Contradictory Insights
Since information can exist in separate files, such as chart reports and table sheets, it’s possible that facts and figures may conflict with each other. This may be due to individuals performing their own further calculations, or because files are simply not up-to-date.
Storing data in file-based silos prevents decision makers from clearly seeing any correlation or meaning between the information. All relevant data needs to be housed in one system that is always up-to-date. This way, it becomes a ‘single source of truth’ that is the basis for all future decisions. This is an ambitious undertaking, but guarantees that information will be efficiently used.
Using an online dashboard that utilizes the ‘single source of truth’ approach avoids putting your Insights ROI at risk due to contradictory, outdated, or incorrectly calculated data.
3. Provided Insights Are Not Easy to Grasp
Lastly, your ROI could be at risk because decision makers may draw the wrong conclusions from the data simply because the insights are not easy to grasp or understand. There is an increasing demand from stakeholders to receive actionable information that they can work with themselves. This means that data analysis is no longer the sole responsibility of experienced business analysts. In order for stakeholders to easily grasp business insights, there needs to be a clear and simple visual presentation of complex facts.
One of the best ways to communicate this information is through the use of interactive storytelling with the help of infographic dashboards. These dashboards not only inform, but persuade and inspire users. They highlight correlations and spatial relationships, visualize comparisons and explain principles, all of which would be difficult to interpret from just charts, tables, or numbers alone.
Powerful infographic dashboards help companies to effectively communicate the essential insights to specific target groups in a way that ensures they will be understood and used for both tactical and strategic decisions.
Those responsible for business activities must continuously prove their ROI using information and insights. Typically, researchers tend to focus on things such as panel quality, study design, and analytical approach. However, we must also consider how to guarantee the best usage of insights throughout the entire organization by making insights available for everyone, creating a single source of truth, and delivering information in a way that is easy to understand.
Alexander Skorka, Dapresy