Planning: the difference between an understanding and an insight

It's easier to list the understandings you can glean from data than it is to arrive at an insight.

An understanding is a rational interpretation of data - the WHY behind people's actions and words. So, for example, if 78 per cent of people surveyed say that their health is one of the most important issues for them and 71 per cent say they worry about whether the food they eat is good for them, your understanding might be that people see healthy food as playing an important role in a healthy lifestyle.

However, if you also know that 63 per cent of people feel they don't have time to cook a healthy meal in the evening, your insight might be "people want an evening meal that is healthy but quick to prepare".

Listen for the ringing of bells!
A good way to test whether you have found an insight rather than an understanding is to see what reaction your finding provokes in your target audience. If it rings bells, people nod when they hear it and it provokes a strong response, then you have probably found an insight.

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