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Why You Need Insights, Not Just Data

Article by
21st August 2023 in

The tremendous volume of data in digital marketing can be overwhelming. Each number, chart and graph offers a new way of thinking about our campaigns. With so much data available, it’s hard to know which figures lead to marketing success. 

Data undoubtedly sets the foundation for effective decision-making. However, it’s not disparate data points that help us make the best decisions—it’s the story those data points tell when brought together. When data comes together and context is added, we get insights. They tell us why we’re seeing certain results by connecting data, actions and outcomes. Ultimately, insights lead to successful strategies. 

The Difference Between Data Points and Insights 

Data points show us the state of our campaigns. They are metrics – overall website traffic, engagement rate and conversions, to name a few. While essential to understanding how we’re going, they don’t tell us why we’re in that state. 

Insights, on the other hand, are observations of cause and effect – X action was taken, then Y result occurred and affected our enquiries, sales or other behaviours positively or negatively. We get insights when we put data points together and analyse them in context. Insights help us develop actionable strategies that can make a difference. 

Unlike data points, insights need to be tested and verified. We do this by implementing strategies and seeing their results. Once they’re proven accurate, we know which strategies are working. It’s impossible to develop a strong strategy from data points alone. 

How Insights Guide Us Forward 

Consider your website. The bounce rate of your site is a data point, and you notice it’s had a 10% increase. Another data point is conversions, which have fallen alongside the bounce rate increase. These data points only give you facts (which may be good or bad). You decided to redesign your site to look more up to date just before the increase in bounce rate and decrease in conversions. An insight is that the redesign has made your site difficult for visitors to navigate, causing them to leave quicker and not convert. With this knowledge, you can develop a strategy to improve user experience then see if that insight is accurate and the issue can be rectified. 

If we only used data points, we’d be presented with any number of reasons why those metrics are appearing and what could be done to improve them. It would take trial and error to solve the problem; and in the end, we still wouldn’t know what caused the problem and how to prevent it in the future. 

Insights give us the confidence to make data-driven decisions without hesitation. They arm us with the knowledge that there are solid reasons behind our actions that will help us make the right moves. 

By gathering insights, we are in a much better position to arrive at solutions. They allow us to cut through the noise of data with strong campaigns that drive success.  

The Map to Data-Driven Success 

In digital marketing, the immense sea of data we have access to can create uncertainty and confusion. While data is integral to the work that we do, it’s the insights we develop from data that make the real difference. With insights, we can confidently build better campaigns and achieve greater results. 

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