Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

It’s common to feel the same way about data. While organizations today collect multitudes of data, many believe that they aren’t able to act effectively on it.

Only 31% of organizations describe themselves as being data-driven, despite having invested in big data.

Data, data everywhere, but not a drop to act on.

Actionable insights are the remedy to this epidemic of unusable data. Instead of collecting data solely for the sake of having it, organizations need to create connections between data and their business goals. “Why is this data important? What do we need to do now?” When data is used correctly, it answers these questions, drives action, and unlocks business value.

Defining an actionable insight

Actionable insight is information that provides value to your business. It may answer a question, show you how to achieve the results that you want, or reveal an opportunity that you didn’t realize existed. Identifying actionable insights requires going beyond data correlation to uncover the causes behind trends. The key is in the name: you must be able to take action on the data.

Data that isn’t actionable might be noisy, unprocessed, misleading or just irrelevant to your business. In order to achieve insights, that data needs to be analyzed and conclusions need to be drawn. But not all conclusions are drawn equally…

The six attributes of actionable insights

How do you know if your insight is actionable, or just information? Insights that are actually helpful share six key features:

  • Alignment
  • Context
  • Relevance
  • Specificity
  • Novelty
  • Clarity

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