The Key to Actionable Insights: And an Approach That Works

man-machineIf you work in social media, and you want to obtain more actionable insights from your social media listening, monitoring or analytics tools, you need to hire an experienced analyst. No tool can provide actionable insights.

Since the dawn of social media listening, tool vendors have claimed that, unlike all of their competitors, THEIR tool can provide the actionable insights that you so desperately crave. But it simply is not true.

Perhaps their tool, combined with skilled people, can do the trick. But the answer to your desire for actionable insights can never be solved by any tool alone.

Instead, I have found the following approach to work very well, across a wide array of situations:

  1. Determine the questions you would like your analysis to answer.
  2. Define the data sets that would be required to answer those questions.
  3. Identify the analyses that must be performed on those data sets, to resolve the questions you seek to answer.
  4. Determine the set of tools that can perform the required analytics on the data sets. In the current state of social media analytics, one tool rarely does all that is needed.
  5. Find a skilled analyst who understands (i) the data, (ii) your business, and (iii) the analytical approaches that must be applied to get you what you need.
  6. Collaborate with the analyst to refine their approaches, and the data sets that you combine. As you work together, you will discover ways to improve your collective ability to provide actionable insights.

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