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How To Craft Actionable Insights

. 2 min read
How To Craft Actionable Insights

It’s in its third issue.

And it took way too long.

There are three major reasons for the delay.

DIKW pyramid

As a senior officer in a statutory board, I was tasked with writing a management blurb on matters relating to small- and mid-sized enterprises—SMEs.

The process starts with data collection.

These data will then be organized and analyzed, giving you information.

Given the pieces of information, insights are being distilled. In Information Management parlance, this is called, knowledge.

Finally, with the knowledge, “wisdom is the ability to select the best way to reach the desired outcome.”

This is also known as the DIKW pyramid.

At the end of each week, I will present a list of recommendations based on the process above.

These recommendations are also known as actionable insights.

5 things to consider

The framework you can use in generating actionable insights is ABRSM an adaptation from here.

Alignment. To determine if a piece of knowledge can be converted into actionable insights, the first criterion is alignment. Without an alignment to your existing goals and/or objectives, acting on every piece of knowledge that comes your way is not recommended. Fact is, this must be done in a disciplined way so that you do not fall for the shiny object syndrome.

Background. Without sufficient background or context, “it is hard to move forward if you fail to appreciate why it is important or unique.” When there isn’t sufficient background, it is crucial you ask the right questions. Two key questions to ask include, “how does this compare to previous years?” and “what are the contributory factors that led to this?”

Relevance. To be relevant, an insight needs to be delivered to the right person at the right time in the right setting. This will take several iterations. Starting with a broad audience and narrowing it down to a specific group is the way to go. You do not need some crazy figures like 100,000. In fact, you don’t even need 1,000 true fans. Think 100 instead.

Specificity. A vaguely worded insight will create confusion and is open to interpretation. Remember, a confused customer buys nothing. Specificity comes with presenting the insight within context and also with sufficient details on what to do. If you are unsure if your insight is specific enough, then better to err on the safe side.

Measurable. What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done. Every piece of insight needs a set of accompanying metrics. When it comes to measurement, there are only two types: activities and outcomes. Both needs to be measured but only one is crucial. As we circle back to the definition of wisdom, it is the ability to select the best way to reach the desired outcome.

The delay

I have been procrastinating on publishing the third iteration of the newsletter.

The three reasons were:

  • Who wants to read another newsletter?
  • Do you have what it takes to write a newsletter?
  • The people you want to reach will not subscribe to the newsletter.

it is true that with the Internet, we get consistent high-light reels of everyone else’s success.

Gratefully, I’ve gotten over it.

Look out for the fourth issue this coming week.