Information vs. Intelligence

Tim LawtonJul 27 2017
Information v. Intelligence

If you’ve ever worked in the military, cybersecurity, or even corporate compliance- you have most likely heard a debate about the differences between information and intelligence. 

Two very different, but often confused, concepts. Both concepts have very broad meanings when it comes to data and what types of data your organization deals with.

Here, when we talk about either, we’re talking about information or intelligence that comes from direct engagement with any group that your organization connects with. 

Whether it be your customers, employees, or any other beneficiary of your business model, there are vast amounts of information to be gained and intelligence to be acquired.

Information helps describe the world around us, whether in the present moment or perceptions about the past or future. It tells us how the world is. It tells us the what. Being able to find out that what is often the easy part. There are many ways to acquire it. However, information for information’s sake isn’t worth a whole lot if you stop there. Information only becomes intelligence when you start to add context and some actual analysis around it all.

Intelligence guides, predicts, and advises. It is the capacity to use the information you've collected to solve problems. It can tell us the why. Arguably, finding out the why is often the toughest part. Intelligence not only helps us understand why things are the way they are, but it also helps to guide decisions that enact effective change. The keyword being effective.

Decision-makers can (and certainly do) enact change just from information alone. But intelligence-driven decisions allow you to have more confidence in what the outcome is likely to be, e.g. effective change. When an organization is making any type of a decision, time and money are always at play. Being confident in those decisions should be a top priority.

The truth of the matter is that regardless of the industry or sector that you are working in, information is most likely coming at you so fast you don’t know what to do with it. Quite possibly, adding “analyzing data for some sort of intelligence” doesn’t squeeze nicely into your already packed schedule. 

You need a better way, a faster way.

At SightX, we set out to do one thing- have a major impact on each organization that we partner with. We provide a virtual data scientist that helps analyze the deluge of data you are gathering so you can gain the intelligence needed to make effective decisions.

We understand that the majority of analysts’ time goes to cleaning and organizing data. We are making sure that all of your time- in some cases up to 80% of working hours- is now spent on actual analysis.

Intelligence, not information, is what you need to better understand the people, customers, or employees that you’re engaging with. In today’s world, the most powerful organizations are the ones that combine the best human levels of intelligence, emotional insight, and ability to handle uncertainty with software that automates busy work.

 

Tim Lawton

Tim Lawton

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We’ve said it before- and we'll most likely say it again: consumers are changing.

It should come as no surprise that consumer behavior has evolved quite a bit in recent years, but that evolution was fast-tracked in 2020. From where they shop to how they want to connect with their favorite brands- consumers demand engagement on their terms.

Effective engagement can mean speed and efficiency, but more often than not, it also demands creativity.

For insights teams, in particular, this can be a challenge. However, a modern, effective, and creative way to get impactful feedback from consumers is through a heatmap experiment.

A heatmap is a visual storytelling exercise. It organizes data about an image using color-coded zones representing the frequency of activities, interactions, or sentiments.

Historically, heatmaps have been a popular visualization tool with data-driven researchers across industries. Given current consumer trends, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that heatmaps have been gaining popularity in recent years amongst leading researchers. While they remain a key tool in user interface and experience research, their usage in concept and product testing research continues to gain popularity.

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Efficient and effective prototype feedback allows you to refine your products earlier in the development process- before you even begin building your minimum viable product (MVP).

Design Testing
Getting feedback on visual design elements like fonts, colors, layouts, and imagery is an important step in the research process, and heatmap experiments are one of the most cost- and time-efficient ways to do it.

Using heatmaps for design testing allows you to identify what works and what doesn’t for any customer-facing visuals.


Package Testing
Most products go through many iterations of packaging designs before launch. Testing various concepts with heat mapping allows you to gain detailed insights into potential customers' preferences surrounding specific packaging attributes.

Respondents have the opportunity to select and react to design elements, logo placements, packaging types, and other details - allowing you to understand where consumers focus their attention and in what order.

Ad & Message Testing
Your go-to-market messaging and content strategy can make or break your product launch. However, message testing isn’t just about the words themselves - the taglines, logos, and other copy in the ad are just as important as the package and product designs.

Using heatmaps, you can test which ad or message garners the most positive or frequent interaction, and which drives more viewers to engage with the Call-to-Action. Consumers indicate to researchers where the messaging is catching their attention, if that attention is positive or negative, and why they feel that way.

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