Navigating the Journey from Information to Insights

It’s about a 3 min. read.

Lauren Sears
Director, Insights & Strategy Operations

I’ve been thinking recently about how to do work that matters as it can be easy to find yourself lost in a seemingly endless tide of information and data. I wrote a blog post about this topic a couple of years ago, and thought it was about time for a refresh.

  • Be business-decision focused: Insights professionals know as well as anyone that a lack of focus throughout an engagement can have devastating consequences. Before investing in a program, articulate the decisions you want to make. At CMB, we focus our teams and our clients by drilling into the business decisions together before delving into a project. Having a relentlessly business-decision-focused approach keeps us on track, ensures we’re asking the right questions, and, most importantly, guarantees that the results can be used in a meaningful, actionable way.
  • Build connections: Meaningful work always starts with a connection. It’s not just about delivering the insights on time, which is why we’re so intent on building genuine, strong partnerships with our clients—personally AND professionally. We want to create real impact throughout our client’s organization. Our project management style revolves around making connections and engaging stakeholders at every stage of the project. This way, we can give our clients the tools to be successful far beyond any one specific project.
  • Focus on storytelling: Humans are natural storytellers. Narratives shape how we perceive and make sense of the world. It’s no shock, then, that storytelling is such a compelling way to communicate data. At CMB, we strive to become better storytellers every day. Delivering beyond just the information requires thoughtfulness and curiosity. Don’t just take the information at face value, bring the data (and the “why”) to life with emotion, streamlined narratives, secondary data/industry knowledge, and inspiring visuals.
  • Be effective, not just efficient: Our society has taught us that efficiency is always the goal, so we often find ourselves feeling guilty if we “waste” time. However, we need to shift our mindset and recognize that allowing for innovation and trying new things takes time and that’s okay—especially when it leads to agile solutions that save you time, and money, in the long run. I recently listened to an episode of “At the Table with Patrick Lencioni”, a great business-focused podcast, that discussed the topic of efficiency. It reinforced that it can be worthwhile to take a step back and think critically about you’re doing. Considering the project’s key business decisions at different stages throughout the project is a great way to confirm the approach you’re taking is the most effective. Spending time to focus on what you’re doing and how you’ll do it instead of only focusing on the execution will lead to better insights and better value for you and your clients.

I hope you find the above helpful in making your journey from information to insights. Remember: keep experimenting, keep searching, and keep pushing the envelope!