Storypoints of Interest
Jan 10

Looking Back May Help You Move Forward


We’ve turned the calendar and are into a new year. It’s a great time to ask if your business is headed in the right direction or if you need to change course, which means it’s a great time to look back at the work you did last year.

What can the data you collected in the past tell you about where to go in the future? What you learned in 2016 may be just what you need to be able to see farther. A thorough review of the insights you collected can help you understand what business issues are impacting your organization, what trends you want to capitalize on, what new options there are to consider.

Whether you’re in charge of insights for your company or you are a user of insights, now is the great time to review 2016. Sure, you’re into the full swing of things in 2017, and what you learned last year may be fresh in your mind, but someone from the outside may help you you get the full value out the time and money you invested. Make sure your 2017 insights spending is maximally productive.

  • Zoom Out. You conducted a lot of work to answer tactical questions for your business. You used the data you collected to help the organization make decisions, then it was on to the next question. At the time, maybe you weren’t able to zoom out and see what else was there, to see what other pieces of research you’ve done that also relate, or to see what you could learn from multiple pieces of research conducted among the same audience.
  • Don’t Repeat. Research studies you conducted, the reports you bought, and the social conversations you listened to may have been related to a theme or a target audience that was important to you last year. That focus really helped your business. Now that you have the chance to step back and digest all that work, can you see ways to streamline your work for this year? Can you make sure the new work you will do will be truly incremental?
  • Fresh Connections. Can you view your information objectively, with fresh eyes? It’s easy to see the same patterns in your data when you talk about those patterns with your coworkers every day. Maybe an outsider can make connections that you can’t at this point.
  • Reevaluate your destination. Do you see any signs of change in your syndicated data, your secondary and economic reports, your trend reports, your trade publications, or the articles predicting what 2017 will bring? Do you still want to go where you were heading, or do you need to tweak your plans?

Pulling all of this together is a big, important job, and you still have to support your businesses. A consultant can devote the time and provide a fresh outlook so that you can continue to influence your businesses, train your department, be there to answer the day-to-day questions, and build relationships with your company’s decision makers. As an added bonus, you get a set of information that you can use again and again as you influence direction and strategy. Now’s a great time to look back so you can move forward. Contact us now to see how we can help.

Cara Kelly