Data Points and Insights; What’s The Difference?

Marketing Research for Brands Series

The terms dataanalyticsandinsights are thrown around very loosely in corporate boardrooms and marketing sales pitches.

Even more frequent, is the problem of assuming raw data points can indicate valid and actionable insights from your research.

It’s no wonder brand managers and market researchers are left bridging expectations with clients day in and day out as we are all notably consumed by these buzz words. 

While the difference may seem obvious to those of us prescribing, those on the side of interpretation and action may get confused

Data points, analytics, and actionable insights are all very different, yet, depend on each other for qualified data synthesis and overall marketing research health.   

Data Points 

The bare and unprocessed information gathered from your qualitative or quantitative research processes would be defined as your data. 

These points within your data are representative of a range of values, findings, and other patterns that exist between respondents. 

Data primarily exists in numeric and categorical form, and thus, only with proper cleaning and formatting, can it be used to appropriately analyze relationships existing within the said data points. 

Response formatting also bears significant weight on processing the findings as open-ended, categorical, and metric style questioning reveals numerous scales.  

Gathering Analytics

Once the data is arranged, cleaned, and processed, it goes through its analytics phase. 

This is the stage in which raw information is materialized and fabricated, and as patterns present themselves within the findings. 

Analytics are largely considered informational tools used at a point in which aggregated data can provide key visualizations, reports, and metrics. This reformatting and improved optics, allow us to see new angles, drawing new conclusions. 

With this new conclusive information, analytics can prescribe actionable steps, and that is where insights come in. 

Driven Insights 

While the buzz and hype may trend towards words like data-driven marketing or big-data automation, what market researchers and brand managers want are actionable insights. 

These are useful in understanding your audience, key customers, and potential new target markets

Good insights are easy to identify, speak to a wide audience, align with previous research, and should be geared towards the result you initially aimed towards. 


While often misinterpreted, and used conjointly, data points, analytics, and insights are all completely different. 

However, they represent a unified cycle in conducting quality market research and one without the other would not function. 

For a brief dive into why Data Analysis is Gold Mining, click here.