Intro to Business Analytics and Actionable Insight (Part I)

A key driver for businesses to invest in business analytics (BA) systems is to be able to better leverage big data (i.e. myriad quantity of complex data) to improve decision quality. Traditional approach in businesses intelligence (BI) system to provide decision makers the access to huge amount of “nice to know” information is no longer an effective strategy. Businesses shift their focus to business analytics systems which aim to provide decision makers with “actionable insight”, that is, timely and relevant information that provide basis for making decisions and taking action which in turn yield positive outcomes for the businesses.

Ideal Business Analytics
Ideal Business Analytics

What’s Business Analytics?

Business analytics enable businesses to extract useful knowledge from data, to understand complex problem situation, and to provide foresight into the impacts of the actions to be taken. Business analytics can be grouped into two main categories

1) visual analytics – the analysis tools that capitalize on interactive data visualization techniques for ad-hoc querying and data exploration. Here are some major vendors who provide user-friendly, powerful solutions:

2) advanced analytics – the analysis tools that use sophisticated quantitative methods includes predictive analysis, data mining, simulation, and optimization.

What’s Missing?

Despite “Actionable Insight” has been used widely, no one can precisely tell what is it, how to achieve it, and what a good actionable insight is. Without truly understand what they going to get out from business analytics, a lot of businesses jump onto the bandwagon and expect actionable insights will be realized automatically.

Recent reports have shown biggest hurdle for business is to determine how to take action based on the results of business analytics. Many organization encountered the complexity on translating analytical results into knowledge and into positive outcomes for the business.

Gaps between Business Analytics and Actionable Insight
Gaps between Business Analytics and Actionable Insight

Therefore, it is vital for businesses to understand what actionable insight is, so they set realistic expectations and be informed in business analytics-related investments. Moreover, to be able to measure the quality of actionable insight is even more important. It allows businesses to compare, benchmark, and evaluate different advanced analytics software before acquiring it.

We are a group of University researchers who currently conduct a survey about industrial experts’ perspective on actionable insight. A logical framework and a measurement model for actionable insight has been created. Now inputs from industrial experts like you will be incorporated to enhance the practicality of the findings.

If you’re interested in the survey, please go to:

We will send out our final reports to all our participants. Kindly indicate that you wish to receive a copy of the final report at the end of the survey. The final report will consist of:

  • What is “actionable insight”. Defined in a structured concept. Allowing you to improve your analysis practices and knowing what capability you’re looking for when acquiring business analytics software.
  • What are the tools used by the industry experts.
  • What are the information sources that industry use in their data-driven decision making.
  • How to measure “actionable insight” in your business
  • How all above can be varied across different industries, sectors, and other demographics.
Intro to Business Analytics and Actionable Insight (Part I)

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