Actionable Insights

Swapna Mirashi

Where is the Life , we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom, we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge, we have lost in the information?

– by T S Elliot (from ‘The Rock’)

Actionable insight, term borrowed from big data analytics, stands for information that gives enough insight into the future, so that the actions that should be taken become clear for decision makers.

In the modern, rapidly changing, digital world, business are striving to close the gap between gathering data and taking action. Data is a collection of recorded events acquired from experiments, trials or observations etc. Information is data processed in a particular context. Knowledge comes from the information (gathered and processed) that is directly related to the problem or decision at hand. and all the information from experience on the subject. We make sense of this knowledge in context of our social milieu and these become ‘the stories we tell ourselves. Awareness of this human and social dimension application of knowledge is wisdom. Wisdom an ability to discern and judge the aspects of knowledge that are true, right, lasting, and applicable. Insight is the deepest level of knowing. Knowledge and wisdom set the stage for the discovery of insights that can then influence decisions and drive change. An insight that drives action is typically more valuable than one that simply answers a question–especially an insight that makes you rethink something and pushes you in a new direction. They are the highly treasured output of all the work that goes into collecting, preparing and analysing your data.       Actionable insights, as they are called, sit at the apex of the data pyramid.

Although we are able to develop computerized information-, knowledge-, and understanding-generating systems, we will never be able to generate wisdom by such systems. It may well be that wisdom—which is essential for the pursuit of ideals or ultimately valued ends—is the characteristic that differentiates man from machines. For this reason, if no other, the educational process should allocate as much time to the development and exercise of wisdom as it does to the development and exercise of intelligence.

                                                                                                                                     Russell L Alkoff (From Data to Wisdom)