What Are Actionable Insights? Turning Data Into Action.

What Are Actionable Insights? Turning Data Into Action

In today’s digital-first business world, the search for actionable insights is more than a nice to have – they form a critical piece of the puzzle for every leader looking to innovate and make more data-driven decisions. 

But what exactly are actionable insights? And how can they help turn your customer feedback into making informed decisions that actually drive business outcomes?

At Kapiche, we’re dedicated to helping teams go beyond data analysis, streamlining ways to derive actionable insights that propel your business forward. 

In this article, we’ll explore what makes up an actionable insight, how they function as the fuel for customer insights programs, and practical steps you can take to harness the full potential of your business data.

What are actionable insights?

Actionable insights are like the north star for navigating business opportunities and challenges. They’re not just data points. They are meaningful findings collected from across your customer journey that light a path for specific actions you can take to create more value for customers.  

Unlike raw data, actionable insights come with a clear call to action. They should be able to answer the ‘so what’ question that comes from analyzing data, and guide decision makers towards the best next steps to take. 

For Research Insights and VoC leaders, knowing the difference between data, and actionable data is key. For example, knowing that customer satisfaction scores are low is relevant data to have, but it’s not enough. To make the insight actionable, you need to clearly understand the best ways to address the dissatisfaction to improve experiences in future. When executed well, your customer feedback surveys, tools, and processes should support your team in finding actionable insights regularly.

Benefits of harnessing actionable insights

Benefits of harnessing actionable insights

Actionable insights hold the power to transform your customer experience, and relative market position. They hold the keys to much more than optimizing a department-level NPS score. Fundamentally, they serve as the bridge between the sea of data you collect, and the strategies you need to implement. 

“Actionable insights are the bridge between the sea of data you collect, and the strategies you need to implement.”

More than just highlighting trends, actionable insights should offer clear, direct paths to enhance your business operations, innovate on your product offerings, and improve customer experience. Here are some of the top ways that we see category-leading companies leverage actionable insights to innovate and compete: 

Informed decision-making

In an environment where decisions need to be both fast and informed, prioritizing actionable insights creates more confidence around which decisions best support the company’s strategic objectives. Without insightful data, your teams are left to interpret data and make decisions from guesswork.

Customer retention and experience

By understanding and acting on customer feedback, businesses can enhance customer experiences in a way that fosters loyalty, and reduces churn. Customer expectations are constantly changing. Companies that leverage actionable insights can anticipate these changes and adapt more swiftly. This agility is helpful for both retaining customers, and attracting new ones.

Operational efficiency

Actionable insights also enable teams to gain a deeper understanding of their operational strengths and weaknesses. There are likely areas in your business that could benefit from improved efficiency, or a new approach for cost savings. With an actionable analytics approach in place, it’s easier to connect the dots between which areas are most ripe for optimization.

As we explore the different ways you can collect actionable insights, it’s key to remember this guiding principle: actionable insights are not just about collecting data, they’re about driving action.

Collecting actionable insights

Collecting actionable insights: where to look

Uncovering actionable insights begins with knowing where to look. Every comment, review, and survey response holds potential insights for your product development, customer service, and marketing strategies. 

For businesses looking to leverage this data, here are three great places to begin sourcing more actionable insights.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys

If you’re already running NPS surveys, this is a great place to start. These are the surveys that ask customers the simple question, “how likely are you to recommend this product or service to others?” If your NPS survey design only includes asking customers to answer using a 5-point scale, you’re leaving a lot of valuable insights on the table. Instead, make sure you design your survey to enable responses in a qualitative data format. To make the most of this data, make sure you have a qualitative data analysis process in place to help you mine for insights.

The real gold in NPS surveys comes from the follow-up questions, where customers can express in their own words what you’re doing well, and where you need to improve. This unstructured feedback is where actionable insights are often hidden. They can reveal not just how customers feel, but why they feel that way. 

“Unstructured feedback is where actionable insights are hidden. They reveal not only what customers feel, but why.”

Online reviews and social media mentions

Your customers are leaving digital breadcrumbs across social media and online reviews daily. These are great sources to collect feedback from. Today there are more forums and formats than ever for customers to share about their experiences with products and services.

These external sources make up ‘unsolicited feedback’, and are often some of the best ways to discover candid feedback on what’s working and what’s not. Monitoring these channels can help you quickly identify common pain points, uncover opportunities for product improvements, and even plot new ideas for innovation. 

Internal customer feedback and interactions

Another great way to generate actionable insights is to monitor direct conversations with your customers. Involving your customer service teams into the feedback collection process will feed you insights about customer experience that formal data capture methods will miss. Customer service teams are on the frontline, interacting with customers daily, and are uniquely positioned to observe how customers actually behave and the issues they’re facing with your product or service, along with nuanced perspectives on their needs.

Each of these sources offer a different lens through which to view the customer experience, and can provide a unique set of actionable insights. By casting a wide net and integrating both qualitative and quantitative sources, you’ll be well positioned to draw conclusions from insightful data.

How to get actionable insights: collection and data analysis

Once you know where to look for data, the next step is turning that data into actionable insights. Without the right tools in place to analyze and interpret data, it will remain just that – untapped potential. 

At Kapiche, we are constantly looking for new ways to make this process easier for teams, from integrating data from any source to analysis and decision-making. Whatever set of tools you choose, here are some principles to keep in mind to guide your data collection and data analysis efforts, to get the most out of your findings:

What to collect? Tips to ensure insights are actionable

Not all insights are created equal. The goal is to find actionable insights –– ones that will directly inform changes you plan to make to your operations or business strategy to improve outcomes. 

To ensure insights are actionable, they should include the following six components:

  1. Alignment

  2. Context

  3. Relevance

  4. Specificity

  5. Novelty

  6. Clarity

Let's explore these attributes to understand how they work.

Building blocks of an actionable insight


Does this information help your business achieve your business objectives? Does it align with your North Star Metric? If you take action on it, will it further your goals as a business? You may uncover information that is “actionable”, but if it’s not relevant to your business, it’s not helpful. It’s just noise.


Do you have relevant supporting data to help you understand what this insight means to your business? For example, what does it mean to your business if you receive 5,000 complaints about a particular issue in one month? Some businesses would consider that a huge spike and they’d need to dig deep to understand what is causing this spike. Context helps you understand how to think about your data.


Does the right person have the right information at the right time? Handing in a report detailing customer perceptions of your pricing model to the engineering team will not deliver actionable insights, because they can’t influence pricing. Getting insights to the relevant team is a critical part of creating actionable insights. An analytics platform that generates insights, but doesn’t provide an easy way to share them with stakeholders doesn’t provide relevance.


Do you understand why this trend has occurred? What specific inputs caused this anomaly?

“Unless you understand the why behind the insight, you won’t be able to act on it and get the results you expect.”

For example, if you’ve seen a noticeable increase in customer satisfaction, but don’t know what changed to cause the improvement, you won’t be able to replicate the success. An actionable insight should tell you what specific levers you can pull to get results.


Is this new information to you? Some data isn’t that insightful, even if you can act on it. For example, you’ll probably already be aware that fast responses improve customer satisfaction with your service team. This isn’t an actionable insight. However, if your data shows that customers who reported a long-standing bug are 5x more likely to churn, that’s new information that is important to act on.


Is the insight clearly communicated in a way that the relevant stakeholders understand it? Data visualization can play a big part in making an insight actionable. Not only does it make the information digestible, but it also makes it memorable. Communicating data effectively can drive urgency and action.

Without these six elements present, you may have data that is not actionable.

Tools that support insight collection

Make sure you get set up with a software or tool that will help you turn unstructured data into valuable insights. NLP (Natural Language Processing) technology is designed to ingest customer feedback – written or spoken – from surveys, reviews, support center conversations, social media conversations, or raw data you feed it. With data in one place, NLP capabilities can help you quickly sift through large volumes of data, identify patterns, sentiments, and specific feedback themes that point to areas for improvement or innovation. 

Tools that support actionable insight collection

Having this process automated not only speeds up text analysis, but also enhances the accuracy of data interpretation. Since the tool seamlessly integrates different data types from different sources and reduces the need for manual coding, it also significantly reduces the risk of biases and errors associated with human analysis.

Tools like Kapiche, for example, are designed to process and analyze customer feedback at scale using NLP to uncover actionable insights from qualitative data. This approach enables data visualization to help stakeholders understand insights at a glance, and facilitates quicker decisions.

From insights to action: practical steps for businesses

Turning insights into actionable takeaways is the critical step that determines whether the data you’ve collected will move the needle for your business, or simply collect dust.

In this section, we’ll highlight some of the ways we’ve seen businesses successfully navigate this, including some best practices and pitfalls to avoid. 

Tips for integrating insights into business strategy

Over the years, we’ve helped category-leading enterprises collect millions of data points, and turn them into actionable campaigns, innovations, and growth strategies. Here are some best practices to keep in mind, to get the most out of your research efforts: 

  • Align insights with strategic goals. Before you get collecting, decide which insights have the ability to act upon and how they directly support your overarching business objectives. This alignment ensures that every data source you analyze, and every ‘actionable insight’ you arrive at is truly actionable, and will contribute to your long-term vision. 

  • Prioritize actions based on impact. Not all insights will hold the same potential for impact. Prioritize actions based on a combination of urgency, perceived ROI, and strategic importance.

  • Foster a culture of agility. Being able to quickly pivot based on new insights is critical. Cultivate a company culture that values flexibility and swift execution, so you can capitalize on insights before they lose their relevance.

  • Communicate clearly and often. The transition from insight to action involves multiple stakeholders. Clear communication about the what, why, and how of any proposed changes ensures buy-in, and smooth implementation across departments.

going from actionable insight to action

Common pitfalls to avoid when going from insight to action

Similar to the best practices above, we’ve also seen some common pitfalls that teams run into when it comes to turning insights into action. Here are some things to look out for and avoid, to help things go smoothly:

  • Analysis paralysis. While it’s important to thoroughly understand insights, spending too much time on analysis can delay action, and cause insights to lose the timeliness and relevance factors we explored above. To avoid getting stuck, set clear deadlines for making decisions, and get NLP tools in place to help you move fast.

  • Siloed information. Ensure that the insights you land on, and the actions they inform are readily shared across departments. Without this, you’ll end up with siloed information, disjointed strategies, and ultimately missed opportunities.

  • Ignoring the customer’s voice. As you embark on actions that reflect your findings, don’t forget to keep a pulse on what customers are saying to you. Continuous feedback loops are essential to validate that the actions you are taking still address customer needs and expectations.

  • Underestimating resource needs. Transforming insights into action will require resources – time, budget, and people. Make sure you have an idea of the resources needed to do things well, and set those up for success. Otherwise, you’ll likely see your initiative stall before it can gain momentum.

In summary: unlocking actionable insights

As businesses navigate the evolving complexities of today’s digital-first environment, the significance of actionable insights cannot be overlooked. These insights are the lynchpin for making business decisions that are responsive, data informed, and effective. 

As AI and big data technology continues to advance, companies have even more tools at their fingertips to compete with a nuanced understanding of customer needs, preferences, and behavior.

At Kapiche, our aim is to remain at the forefront of the customer insights evolution, offering a platform that not only simplifies the extraction of actionable insights from data sets, but also ensure these insights align with your strategic goals.

Ready to take the next step in your journey towards data-driven strategies?

Book your Kapiche demo today and take the first step toward unlocking the full potential of your customer feedback. Discover how Kapiche’s innovative platform and personalized support can make actionable insights a cornerstone of your business strategy.

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