It’s essential for all business leaders to make swift and informed data-derived decisions, more so now than ever before. To do so, they need to be able to move from data to actionable insights. In this article, we’ll explore:insights, leadership, strategic thinking, actionable insights, smart business

  • Skills required for B2B company leaders to make better data-derived decisions and the benefits of doing so. 
  • Current challenges, and signs that improvement in this area is needed.
  • Three skills for leveraging actionable insights. 

Reap 3 Benefits When You Move from Insights to Action  

B2B companies operate in a complex and dynamic environment. To stay competitive, accelerate customer acquisition, and excel at customer-centricity, leaders need to be able to make informed data-derived decisions based on accurate actionable insights. However, insights alone are not enough. Leaders must also be able to act based on these insights to drive business growth and success.

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There are numerous benefits of moving from insights to action; these are among the top three: 

  1. Increased revenue: Forrester Consulting survey of 900 global business leaders commissioned by Collibra found that data-savvy businesses are 162% more likely to have significantly surpassed their revenue goals when compared to their “laggard” counterparts. 
  2. Better customer acquisition and retention: According to McKinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are not only 23 times more likely to acquire customers, but they’re also six times as likely to retain customers and 19 times more likely to be profitable! 
  3. Outperforming competitors. According to PwC, data-driven organizations can outperform their competitors by 6% in profitability and 5% in productivity. 

Challenged to Derive Insights from Your Data? You’re Not Alone

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Data analytics are among an organization’s most valuable assets and being data-driven is critical to success. Yet, for many organizations, becoming data-driven and turning insights into action is very hard. The recent Harvard Business survey found only 24% of respondents regarded their organizations as data-driven. The findings from this year’s survey indicated that participants are making record levels of investment but most firms continue to struggle to derive value from their Big Data and AI investments.

Watch for these signs that your company needs to improve its ability to take advantage of actionable insights: 

  • A poor customer effort score: If a company is experiencing poor customer satisfaction, it may be a sign that leaders are not effectively using insights to make it easier and desirable for prospective and existing customers to do business with you.  Monitor this score along with gathering insight into the number of potential breakpoints in the customer journey.   
  • A poor win/loss ratio: If a company is not experiencing growth, maintaining, or growing share, it may be a sign that leaders are not effectively using insights to facilitate engagement, understand the customer buying process, or navigate the competitive landscape. 
  • Inefficient operations: If a company is experiencing inefficiencies in its operations, it may be a sign that leaders are not effectively using insights to improve operational efficiency. 

Why are companies finding moving from insights to action so challenging? In our work we have found four common recurring causes: 

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  1. Data overload: The amount of data companies have access to today is staggering; making it challenging to sort through and derive meaningful analytics. 
  2. Lack of clarity: Even with access to data analytics, it can be challenging to determine which insights are relevant and actionable. 
  3. Resistance to change: In some cases, company leaders may be resistant to change, making it challenging to implement new strategies based on insights. 
  4. Inadequate resources: Many companies still lack the necessary resources and skills to analyze data and implement new strategies. 

Do these challenges resonate with you? 

3 Key Skillsets to Overcome the Challenge

To overcome these challenges, leaders must develop a strong data-driven culture along with the necessary skills to move from insights to action.  In addition to developing a data-driven culture, if you and your team want to move from data to insights to action, we recommend starting with these three crucial skills: 

leadership, strategic thinking, smart business

  • Data analysis: Data analytics skills should not be solely relegated to your analytics and data science people. This is a critical skill for all leaders.  Leaders need to be able to analyze data effectively, identify relevant insights, and use the insights and business context to make smart data-derived decisions quickly.   
  • Strategic thinking: Insights are only valuable if they facilitate your organization’s ability to serve customers better and successfully innovate and compete. This requires leaders to be able to use the insights to develop new strategies and formulate and implement actionable plans. 
  • Leadership: Leadership is active. It is demonstrated when you guide those around you to move from one point to another – that is to act.  To achieve this goal, leaders need to be able to help their teams understand the implications of the insights and inspire and mobilize their teams to implement the strategies and plans. 

These three skills do not take extensive education or investment. Every leader and team can develop these skills.  Let’s talk about how we can help you and your team transform data-derived insights into action. 

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