July 31, 2015

How is insight being used in the news?

By Paul Laughlin

iStock photoMany of you appear to be appreciating more sharing from other relevant blogs & publications.

So, here’s another curation of recent insight stories published in the news.

The Economist might not immediately strike you as a Customer Insight publication, but it’s well worth a read for a couple of reasons at least. Firstly, it’s quality journalism & analysis of latest economic context, that is so often important when interpreting internal data & trends. Secondly, the Economist often provides good examples of data visualisation.

Here is an article on the changing US technology sector, which includes an interesting visualisation of relative market share during the heydays of IBM, Microsoft & then Apple. What makes this interactive visualisation more powerful is with one click the reader can also see nominal & real values, helping overcome the frequent pitfall of focussing just on proportions or just on actuals. Being able to see both enables the reader to see that whilst individual supplier dominance has shifted, the growth of the sector has continued unabated.


Shifting our focus to the research discipline within Customer Insight, the ever reliable Quirks magazine shares an interesting article on Change Leadership. This demonstrates that a number of the disciplines from change management best practice are very relevant to ensuring research projects add real value.

The four key actions highlighted in the article are:

  • bridge the research schedule with the path for change;
  • build awareness of the need for change;
  • collaborate with all impacted stakeholders;
  • put the customer front and back of the change.

Thos make good sense from my experience and tally with elements taught within the 9 step model for analysis we shared previously. Here’s that article.


Turning now to predictive analytics, no less a publication than Scientific American shares how US police forces are being empowered by Obama’s Police Data Initiative. Given the extensive media coverage in recent years, appearing to reveal racist or inappropriate police behaviour, this is obviously an important issue. Clearly still a work in progress, but it will be interesting to see how well algorithms manage to detect officers prior to unacceptable behaviour.

Can Police Use Data Science to Prevent Deadly Encounters?


Hope those were interesting. If you have found customer insight stories that piqued your interest or have a tale to tell about what you’ve achieved in your business – please let us know so we can share with our growing community.