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Data Points vs. Data Insights: Are they really that different?

We live in a data driven world. It is now easier than ever to quantify our behavior and to analyze trends using data. A large percentage of our lives have migrated to online platforms and this has only facilitated the collection of information.

Sounds scary?

A little, yes.

However, this has also opened the realm of possibilities for marketers. If consumer behavior can be accurately tracked, we can also adjust our marketing strategy to influence our target market with great precision.

Is all data valuable data?

Not necessarily. The more data is collected, the greater the possibility to lose track of what is actually important. The best way to prevent being overwhelmed by data is to never lose track of your research goal.

Always remember why you started. What is your research question? What portion of your strategy would you be willing and able to adjust according to your findings?

Keeping the questions mentioned above in mind will help you sort through your data and identify what is actually valuable. 

Is there really a difference between data points and data insights?

Although data points are data insights are related, they are not the same thing.

A data point is a single piece of information. It can be categorical or metric and measures a specific variable at a particular point in time. As such, single data points generally provide very little value to researchers.

If, instead, you collect several data points that are relevant to your research question and are generalizable to your broader population, you can combine them and conduct analyses that can be of great value to your organization.

These analyses can be as simple as summarizing central tendency (mean, median and mode) or as complex as regression and correlation tests. Derived findings are known as insights that could potentially be significant enough to alter your current strategy.

To summarize, related data points can be combined and analyzed to generate valuable insights for your organization. Insights are generally connected to your research question and should be actionable. If all is done right, a modification in your strategy based on data insights can lead to great benefits to your organization.

Keep the difference between data points and data insights in mind next time you are collecting data. Make sure your data is relevant and actionable and you have the potential to make impactful changes to your marketing strategy.

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