Being an analyst can be challenging. You constantly have this urge to break grounds with the data you have at your disposable but a large portion of the time, the data you have does not get the spotlight it deserves. But it goes slightly beyond just that data puke that we so often see in digital performance reports these days. In order to drive impact with the data, you have to find a way to relay that in a way that is easily understood by your clients and your internal teams. Data is not rocket science. It comes down to a core element. Every action made on Digital has an outcome and in order to drive more successful outcomes, we need the data to tell us what to do next. Que in INsights. A buzzword we hear in every client reporting meeting, where are the insights? What I have come to learn is that a large percentage of the time insights usually refers to the commentary of data. You know, stating that water is wet? But how do we move away from that level of linear thinking when it is all we ever hear? 

Drum roll…OUTSights 

A little concept introduced by Avinash Kaushik. A frame of mind rather than a concept. It’s really a new lens through which we view the reports and data that we work with. What is an Outsight? It’s simply things that cannot be seen by the viewer/client. It’s something that you can and only will see if you pair up data sets and granularly analyse them. It’s about interrogating the numbers till they make sense and ultimately tell a story. I personally think that for far too long, as marketers, we have focused on the bits of data that we know we can understand and data that makes us feel safe and confident. But it’s by dipping into the riskier data sets, where we tend to find these “out of sights” that end up being all we ever needed. 

Let me contextualise this a little for you: 

With the below data you can easily draw insight from it, right? “Organic Traffic to the website decreased by 13{7b66f5b8f9cce5198cdc7f2d96338c3c9bbce7bf1ebd58c7794d60da2dc43006}” – straight forward, simple but quite frankly useless to the client and your overall analysis.  

Let’s take this a step further, dig a little deeper and see what we find: 

“Organic traffic to the website decreased by 13{7b66f5b8f9cce5198cdc7f2d96338c3c9bbce7bf1ebd58c7794d60da2dc43006} largely due to a decline in users searching for the keyword Johannesburg accommodation. Historical data from the same season in 2018 shows us that this decrease is a seasonal one and occurs annually. Upon further analysis, we see the keywords that are quite popular around this time of the year is actually “Durban accommodation” which suggests that audiences in South Africa have a higher propensity to book a Durban vacation for the festive period rather than a Jozi one” 

From this out-of-sight, you not only know the cause of the decline, but you also know how to improve it, and what actions your team would need to make in order to drive increased bookings.  

It can get quite tricky for the bits of data that cannot be expanded upon, but remember, if any piece of data does not have a possible action attached to it, it’s probably useless anyway. Focus on pieces of data that drive impact and change.  

Lastly, if you are an analyst reading this, a brand manager or simply a business owner, I challenge you to dig deeper, make yourself uncomfortable and step away from the norm, find the out-of-sight that can deliver actions and results.