data, data, everywhere, but not a drop of insight

Everyone agrees that there’s more data than ever before and the rate at which data is being created is growing all the time. But at the same time, most of us would also agree that customer understanding, creativity, communication effectiveness and innovation aren’t progressing at a similar pace.

It’s that word ‘insight’ which lies at the heart of this. The word insight is widely and increasingly used. It is recognised to be a vital trigger for successful marketing. But there’s little consensus on what an insight is, let alone how to go about creating one. It seems that insight, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

012.pngA Microsoft TV ad suggests that the answer lies in the cloud.

According to this ad, creating insight is a matter of finding nuggets of information that lie hidden in the mass of non-insightful  information. The process of insight creation is one of sifting through, much like panning for gold.

But that’s not what we believe. For us at hps MM-Eye and in the wider hps group, creating insight is much broader than data interrogation. It is less a process and more a way of thinking about the consumer and looking at the client’s business challenge.

It begins with having the right mix of people in the room. Insight is not created by a lone genius. It is the result of people with the right mix of skills and perspectives working together;

  • data experts with skills in structuring and processing information and spotting patterns within the data
  • consumer experts who have years of experience considering life from other people’s points of view and have walked many hundreds of miles in other people’s shoes
  • sector experts who bring market reality to the table and interrogate consumer wishes through the lens of trends and competitor activity
  • client experts, who bring deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities for the client’s business

The right people need the right tools to get the job done;

  • data, such as the clients’ own data from CRM, previous research studies, sales and media spend, as well as relevant open source data to complement and build the fuller picture
  • fresh primary research based upon questioning techniques which move beyond the superficial and rational to unearth underlying emotional truths
  • storytelling and visualisation tools to powerfully and engagingly communicate the research and insights

And the final element is time. If insights are finding out something previously unknown which leads to better decision making and more effective action within a business, then it will take time, and maybe even the occasional wrong turn down a blind alley, to get there.

At hps, we call this 3D: Diagnosis, Dialogue and Destiny. It is our approach to ensuring that each project we do is founded on actionable insights to bring brands closer to customers.

Find out more about how we help our clients by transforming data into insight at our Masterclass:

‘Walk a mile in my shoes: Improve Customer Journeys with Insight’

on Wednesday 5th July at The Groucho Club, 45 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 4QB.



Managing Director, HPS MM-Eye. Helping you see the world differently.

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