Metrics to Insights


What are Insights?

Insight is a term commonly thrown around in digital organizations all the time. Before diving into how to get these beautiful insights let’s make sure we get a common definition.

An insight is an actionable idea that is derived from some bit of data and analysis.

Insights are pretty obviously a good thing. And they seem simple, we just get some data, review it, and we should be able to get insights easily. But it’s never so easy. In fact, I’d guess anyone who has worked as a technical product manager has had issues with using data to get actionable insights. Let’s review why it’s so hard.

Why are Insights so challenging?

  1. Defined purpose – without clarity about what the product needs to deliver, how can any metric show you whether it is performing properly? This needs to be a conversation and agreement between the product manager ans senior leaders
  2. Segmentation – when data is too high level it is hard to interpret and know what to do. When you feel you aren’t sure what data is telling you, start thinking about important segments you can add and what they can tell you about the behavior or outcomes you are interested in tracking
  3. True grit – sometimes the answer is easy, you just need to do more analysis. Only about 1/10 of analysis should ever be shared. Be conscious that the analysis process takes a tremendous amount of time and set clear expectations of what you want to learn. This will prevent a lot of time being invested running down a rabbit hole

How do you use Insights?

Once you have an insight, it’s a bit like a golden egg. Or a hot potato, depending on the circumstances. But, the scary part is that you have this amazingly powerful data and you know what to do with it. The insight shows a clear connection between some sort of customer data and your product. and you know exactly what needs to be done. The next step is to take that insight back through the framework we have defined and start the definition process. Good luck!



About Author

Co-founder of, ex-Audible (Amazon), AmEx and TribalScale Product Management leader, currently living in Portugal leading product management of vertical expansion for automotive within OLX. Mike has built products and coached teams all over the world.

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