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Inspiring Action: The Active Role of Insight in Decision Making

Using the words of our very own CEO, Paul Hudson: “To survive in a global marketplace, brands cannot afford to wait on data. Decisions must be made fast. And they must be reliably informed.” That’s where the value of insight from your market research studies comes in!

Market Research: Stats and Facts

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So, we know market research is a key driver of change and decision making in organisations. Now imagine the specific role of the insights in the decision-making process.

The insights generated by market research are one of the most common drivers of change within an organisation, but only if they are used by key decision-makers, and used correctly.

I think it’s important to establish here why I’m making a distinction between research and insight. I hear the terms used interchangeably so often, but these are two very distinguishable things. For anyone in need of clarification, Research is defined as “the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions”, while insight is “the capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of someone or something.”

The Benefits of Insights

In a world where the risks in decision-making are now so much greater, largely due to smarter technology, increase in automation and big data becoming even bigger, we can no longer rely on gut feeling to make business decisions. Using insights to drive your organisations’ decision-making also comes with many benefits:

  • It is a more cost-effective approach to business, minimising any investment risk.
  • It allows businesses to be a more customer-focused organisation, with the voice of the customer being put at the heart of all of their decisions.
  • It provides businesses with a competitive advantage, helping them identify their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Using insights helps organisations to plan their projected growth by identifying emerging trends within their customer-base and in the general consumer population.
  • Insights allows for business agility; helping to make quick decisions on up-to-date and relevant insights.

But these are only a few of the more generalised benefits that insights bring to the table. Each business that uses market research to uncover actionable insights will be able to see their own unique benefits revealed both in the long-term and short-term.

There are plenty of generalised benefits to insights, however each business that uses market research will uncover benefits unique to their organisation for both long-term and short-term success.

Effectively Using Insights

1. Plan and execute!

2. Focus on quality of data

3. Understand what is needed from your data

4. Know your audience and engage the right people

Key questions you should consider when thinking about the decision makers in your organisation — How much time do they have on their hands? What is the important detail for them to know to make those important decisions? How can I best convey these messages to this audience?

Other visual and interactive outputs when used appropriately, such as Infographics, video diaries and mood boards are also a great way to engage your stakeholders in the findings and bring the insights to life.

5. Create an insight-led culture in your organisation

I have no doubt there are more strategies and tips for embedding insight into decision-making. Feel free to add more in the comments below!

The original version of this article appeared on the FlexMR Insight Blog and can be accessed here.

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We empower brands to inform every decision at the speed of business by delivering on-demand insight and enterprise grade research technology.

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