Analytics vs. Actionable Insights: Where’s the real value in your data?

It’s 2024, and we all now know that information reigns supreme, businesses have recognised the undeniable, make or break, potential of data. As someone deeply geeky about data and working predominantly in roles connected to data for the last 15 years, you gain an understanding that data is more than just numbers; it’s the raw material for informed decision-making, innovation, cost savings and growth. 

 I want to talk a little about moving your data work past analytics and into the transformative world of actionable insights.

analytics vs actionable insights datore

Analytics: The Foundation of Data Understanding

Before we hit the actionable insights button, we must pay homage to humble analytics, the unsung hero of data interpretation. Analytics, in its many forms, plays a crucial role in organising, cleaning, structuring and visualising vast volumes of data, making it manageable and comprehensible.

Let’s be honest, if we could get every organisation to even the descriptive and diagnostic analytics stage, we’d be winning.

Descriptive analytics summarises historical data, providing a snapshot of past performance. It helps answer questions like, “What happened?” and “How did we get here?”

Diagnostic analytics, on the other hand, delves much deeper, identifying patterns and trends and uncovering the reasons behind specific outcomes or anomalies. Imagine a mahooosive library of random and unsorted books.

Analytics is the librarian who categorises, labels and arranges the books neatly on shelves. It’s the foundation that makes the library useful. However, to truly appreciate the value of this library, we’ve got to have a look at the concept of actionable insights.

Actionable Insights: The Catalyst for Transformation

Actionable insights, as you probably already know, are the real catalysts for transforming data into a strategic asset. While analytics provides a wealth of information, it can end up dying in places like the board room (often nice to look at, but you end up kinda thinking, ‘so what?’). Actionable insights go beyond by offering prescriptive and predictive guidance on what should be happening. They empower organisations to go beyond making informed decisions and into the world of strategic data-driven actions and automations. 

Prescriptive guidance is where the magic really begins. Actionable insights offer specific recommendations for actions to optimise decision-making. Imagine a weather forecast that not only tells you it will rain at 2pm but also advises you to carry a light umbrella (no need for a big one, the rain will be light) to avoid getting wet. This is the power of actionable insights. 

Predictive analytics, the foundation layer of most actionable insights, enables organisations to anticipate future trends and outcomes. It’s like having a crystal ball that helps you proactively prepare for what’s to come. This predictive power is invaluable for businesses aiming to stay ahead in what can only be described as the most changeable market I’ve ever seen. 

 It’s in the realm of actionable insights that we truly witness the magic unfold. Prescriptive guidance takes us from understanding to action, allowing organisations to optimise processes, allocate limited resources more effectively, and respond swiftly to changing circumstances. 

 Predictive power transforms organisations from reactive to proactive entities. By foreseeing market shifts, customer preferences, or operational challenges like energy consumption or staff retention, actionable insights enable businesses to stay one step ahead. The real-world impact of this transformation is nothing short of extraordinary. 

Real-World Impact

Consider a Facilities Management department at a large multinational. By analysing historical data, predictive analytics helps distribute resources in the most effective way, optimise energy consumption, automate bill reconciliation, proactively maintain assets before breakdown and optimise new hybrid workspaces.

The result? Increased efficiency, lower costs, and a more satisfied and engaged internal customer base. 

The Value Equation: Analytics + Actionable Insights

To truly unleash the power of data, it’s essential to recognise that analytics and actionable insights are not adversaries but allies. Analytics lays the foundation, preparing the data for insights to flourish.

It’s the librarian who ensures the books are ready to be read. However, actionable insights are the storytellers, weaving narratives and guiding decision-makers through the data’s labyrinth. 

The Road to Actionable Insights

Now, you might be wondering how organisations can transition from data analytics to actionable insights, and that’s where Datore’s technology + people approach comes in. We provide organisations with both the technology and on-demand skills to tackle every part of the journey; from raw data trapped in systems and spreadsheets – all the way through to predictive analytics with a side of actionable insights. 

For many of our customers, we even serve up those insights on a plate, leaving them to run their business, safe in the knowledge that we’re always on the lookout for those golden nuggets that can impact the way they operate. 

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David Leslie

Data Value
Helping small & medium businesses harness their data like an enterprise – at a fraction of the cost with Analytics as a Service.
If you want to know how AaaS aligns will move you through the data journey to actionable insights, get in contact now.

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