How to Get From PR Measurement Data to Insight

I have mentioned countless times in my blog that it is important to analyze data so that you can extract information that pertains to your company’s goals and objectives.  But I often wonder if the word “analyze” could use a more detailed explanation.  For a list maker like me, “analyze” seems like too big of a step to just cross off my list, which means we may need to break it down a bit.  The dictionary defines analyze as:  “to examine carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors, possible results, etc.”  It can be somewhat obscure to talk about analyzing data as the next step after collecting it.  But, how does one go about actually doing it?  Well, I found a very helpful marketing post that articulates the major challenge of getting from the collected data stage to insight.  Laura Patterson does a great job in her post, “More Data Does Not Equal Better Insights” of laying out what really needs to happen in the analyzing stage so that we end up with insights that give us the power to see and act.  Her post deals with marketing data in general, but I feel this translates to PR measurement data as well.

 

1.  Collect Data

2.  Analyze it

  1. Visualize trends….
  2. Discuss patterns…
  3. Articulate one insight…
  4. Incubate insights…
  5. Do insights resonate?

3.  Report Insights

Laura argues that data cannot give us value until we glean patterns, trends and anomalies from it.  This is easier to do when we present our results visually.  This is the first step in analyzing.  As our dictionary definition pointed out, analyzing involves careful examination in detail – so don’t expect it to be fast or easy.  In Patterson’s 5 step process of analyzing I noticed a few things that suggest that it is just that, a process.  It is a team effort that involves lots of discussion, possible insights, taking time away and then revisiting and presenting to others.  It sure is nice to attach a 5 step process to something as obscure as analyzing.  It makes the trip from data to insight much more focused and purposeful.  I know it is helpful for those of us who love to make lists and cross off the steps as we go!

Please let me know if you feel this 5 step process is as helpful for PR data as it is for generic marketing data.  Do you have any other suggestions to help break down the analyzing step?

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