In the era of information, data is the key to many possibilities. Imagine peering into a dark cave armed with a flashlight, uncovering glimmers of insight waiting to be discovered. This is the essence of turning analytics into actionable insights. In today's data-driven landscape, the ability to transform raw data into strategic decisions has become a game-changer for businesses, organisations, and individuals alike. Using data and analytics we can make more informed decisions. But data alone is not the hero – it's the insights that hold the true power. In this blog post, we embark on a journey to explore how bridging the gap between data and decisions reshapes the very foundation of decision-making, all based on our +13 years of experience here at Shape.
Identifying Hidden Gems: The Key to Actionable Insights
Data is more than just figures and statistics. Data is any form of information you get from your systems. This can be consumer purchase history, location, age, gender etc. But this in itself is not actionable from a business/product owner perspective. You need actionable insights. So, how is this illusive creature then caught?
Insights emerge after meticulous data analysis. However, you can't optimise what you can't measure. We need to take one step back and begin by getting accurate information.
Insights are powerful and can be used to improve your business and identify opportunity areas. Imagine walking into a dark cave armed with a flashlight. The cave represents the sea of data at your disposal, and the flashlight symbolises analytics. As you shine the light around, you begin to notice glimmers – these are the insights, waiting to be discovered. The key to turning analytics into actionable insights is to identify and extract these hidden gems from the vast expanse of data. At Shape, we’ve been working with product analytics to measure the performance of our apps, and consequently make informed decisions to improve the current app offering.
Analytics: The Bridge to Informed Decision-Making
Numbers, no matter how numerous, are meaningless without context and interpretation. Analytics bridges the gap between raw data and informed decision-making. It's like being given puzzle pieces – analytics puts them together to reveal a clear picture. By transforming data points into visualisations, trends, and patterns, analytics paints a comprehensive story that can guide us toward smarter choices. At Shape we understand that these insights are not just summaries or trends; they are the 'ahas' that illuminate the path forward. They tell you why something is happening, how it's connected to other variables, and most importantly, what actions should be taken.
For instance, analytics in the app development context can tell us how many active users an app has at a given point in time, and how engaged these are with the features of the app, as well as help us understand the user journey within the app. By extracting these actionable insights, businesses can make informed decisions that have a tangible impact on their operations, marketing efforts, customer experiences, and more. So, how is this done in practice?
Asking the Right Questions: The Heart of Effective Analytics
Analytics is not just about crunching numbers or setting up visual dashboards ; it's about asking the right questions. Examples of these could be:
What are your business goals?
What challenges are you facing?
What opportunities do you seek?
The questions you pose drive the focus of your analysis. Starting with a well-defined question narrows your scope and increases the likelihood of uncovering actionable insights that directly address your needs. Some common questions that drive product analytics are ‘what percentage of users engage with the main feature of the app on a monthly basis?’; ‘what has been the development in engagement since the last launch?’; and, ‘are users dropping out at a certain point on the app?’. Having strong KPIs and goals before implementing a tracking plan allows this implementation to be in line with the business and app objectives. Too much data tracking is a dangerous path that leads to cluttered and disorganised information that ultimately can be difficult to translate into actionable insights.
Making Change Happen: The Value of Actionable Insights
Here's where the real magic happens – turning insights into action. The most valuable insights are those that prompt you to make a change, whether it's refining a marketing strategy, optimising a supply chain, or enhancing customer experiences.
We often meet a lot of challenges regarding this. Many companies want to be data driven in their decision making. But it’s important to understand that to be data driven, it's not enough to set up dashboards or make analytics to your web, app or other channels. You need to take a step further.
Analytics informs decisions, but it's your actions that create an impact. By turning data into insights further into actions, we give our organisation an understanding of how to use data, understand data and most importantly; creating a culture of data driven decision making. At Shape we have different methods in which we activate this decision making process: through different sets of market and competitor analysis, pain points and user sentiment analysis, among other both external and internal assessments. With continuous reporting of valuable metrics such as retention, acquisition and revenue, we have been able to optimise our apps on an ongoing basis and stay on top of possible user and usage changes that could be cause for concern.
The Cultural Shift: Essential for Data-Driven Success
Throughout the years we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with a vast amount of companies of all shapes and sizes. From your small startups to some of the largest companies in Europe. From this we have learned that transforming analytics into actionable insights requires more than just tools and techniques; it demands a cultural shift.
Organisations need to foster an environment where data-drivendecision-making is encouraged and rewarded. This involves ensuring that stakeholders across the board understand the value of analytics and are empowered to leverage insights for their respective domains.
Empowering Decision Makers: Unleashing the Potential of Analytics
In the end, the journey from raw data to actionable insights is one that transforms information into decisions. Analytics empowers us to see beyond the surface, recognise patterns, and make informed choices. But remember, data alone is not the hero – it's the insights from data that hold the true power. By asking questions, connecting the dots, and translating insights into actions, we convert data into decisions that drive growth, innovation, and it showcases our ability to solve complex problems, make informed decisions and will boost your business.
Shape's 5 Takeaways for Actionable Insights
If nothing else we ask that you take away these 5 key points:
Data's Potential: In the data-driven era, data holds limitless possibilities, similar to discovering insights in a dark cave with a flashlight. Transforming data into actionable insights is pivotal for businesses and individuals.
Insights Matter: While data is valuable, it's the extracted insights that possess true power. Through careful analysis, hidden gems of information can be uncovered, leading to informed decisions that shape outcomes.
Analytics Bridge the Gap: Analytics connect raw data to informed choices. It transforms data points into meaningful patterns, trends, and visualisations, guiding us toward intelligent decisions that drive business growth and efficiency.
Right Questions Drive Analysis: Effective analytics starts with asking appropriate questions. Defining questions narrows focus and enhances the discovery of actionable insights that align with specific needs.
Action Fuels Impact: Translating insights into action creates real impact, from refining strategies to enhancing experiences. While analytics informs decisions, it's the subsequent actions that drive change and innovation, fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making.
These 5 takeaways have laid the groundwork for how we work with actionable insights at Shape. Want to learn more about this?