Google is one of the most valuable companies in the world. A large part of its business is about providing reliable data to businesses about customer trends, conversion rates, and website hits. 

We live in a data-driven world, and so much of business strategy today is about gleaning data-backed insights on a variety of metrics. Data-first companies can keep pace with the dynamic business environment and ride the wave of the digital revolution. 

To develop sound business strategies, businesses should strive to convert raw data into actionable insights. Turning data into actionable insights requires putting in place processes for data collection and analysis. When you have to deal with large amounts of data—the reason why we call it the Big Data revolution—classifying and categorizing data is critical to making sense of it. 

Let’s explore how we can draw actionable insights from data for different business needs like problem-solving, improving the customer experience, and driving innovation. 

Why You Should Draw Actionable Insights From Data

Before Big Data entered the picture, data was used to support analysis. Today, however, it stimulates action. This is partially due to the rapidly-evolving technologies and ways of doing business.  For instance, Google is reported to have almost 500 updates to its algorithms a year. If you’re not prepared to handle such changes, it could undo the work you have been putting in to develop digital business strategies. 

You can make data work for you by doing your research and collecting the right kind of data.. Analyzing trends and drawing customer insights before you begin to implement your strategy is a foolproof way to stay on top of things. Here’s an actionable insights example:

Let’s say that you work as a content manager for a video-streaming media service like Netflix. Currently, because of people being confined indoors due to COVID-19, streaming services are seeing a rise in demand.

In this scenario, you can rehash your business strategy to accommodate this change in demand. Firstly, you’ll gather data on the kind of content customers have been watching, taking into account regional variations in content preferences.  Secondly, your marketing and sales teams will help you visualize the data, making it easier to understand. Finally, interpreting the data will help you develop your content commissioning strategy going forward. 

You will have to strike a fine balance in your execution. For instance, Indian audiences may be hooked to gangster dramas from the Hindi heartland now but there will be a point where they may be saturated by the same kind of content. You will think of commissioning content in other genres so that all your eggs are not in one basket. Data will guide you on the path to these decisions.  

You should turn data into actionable insights to:

  • Improve customer satisfaction and experience

  • Reform your business strategy to accommodate changes in the business environment

  • Predict and prepare for failures and setbacks

  • Tap into new markets

  • Stay abreast of digital advancements

Turning Data Into Actionable Insights

Data-driven insights can be lucrative for your business if you know how to use them efficiently. Let’s look at three steps to do this successfully:

  1. Define Your Purpose

The most important step in the process is defining why you need data-driven insights. This could be to change a marketing strategy, move into a new market, or expand your business. Once you’ve clearly defined your purpose, you can assess what you need to do to achieve your goals. This is where you collect data, which can be quantitative (numbers and figures) or qualitative (customer preferences gleaned through interviews). Harappa Education’s Creating Solutions course has some pointers on collecting the right kind of data. 

  1. Simplify Your Data

Here, you’ll collate the data you have collected and “clean it up”. In other words, you’ll weed out any discrepancies and redundancies. Keep only the data you need and simplify it using tools like MS Excel—a great way to synthesize data in the initial stages. Using this strategy is important to make sense of the data you’ve collected. Through this step, you can even keep the raw data on record for future use.

  1. Visualize Your Data

The final step in the process of drawing actionable insights is visualizing your data. This helps you understand the data and identify trends. Creating business strategies is easier when you can see everything laid out clearly in front of you.

Going through each of these three steps before you implement your business strategy will prepare you for unexpected challenges. Making decisions by turning data into actionable insights is critical in today’s dynamic business environment.

Learn more about analysis and problem-solving using actionable insights with our Creating Solutions course. You’ll discover the importance of relying on solid evidence while developing strategies for growth. Become an analytical and rational problem-solver by making data work for you.


Explore topics such as Ethical Decision Making, Data Driven Approach & Data Driven Decision Making from our Harappa Diaries blog section and develop your skills.

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