Editor’s note: Thor Olof Philogène is the founder and CEO of Stravito. 

In many ways, consumer insights are like diamonds. They come in a variety of different shapes and colors. They’re multifaceted and depending on which angle you look at them from, you might see something different. You have to dig and sift to get to them but there’s no doubting their value. They mean different things to different people, but they are meaningful and, in some instances, priceless. Despite this, many global organizations still struggle to quantify and define the value that they bring.

Through our Consumer Insights Podcast, I’ve had the chance to speak with insights leaders, from brand-side to agency-side, CX to strategy, qualitative methods to data science and beyond, sharing their views on their most valuable gems. In speaking with these experts, I’ve not only gained a fresh perspective on the value of insights, but also on how to turn insights into impact, stitching together the philosophies, skills, tools, opportunities and challenges that are on the minds of insights leaders today.

Despite spending most of our time thinking about insights, it can be challenging to pin down a definition when put on the spot. In fact, many of the leaders I’ve spoken with have started by outlining what an insight is not. While each leader had their own unique perspective, their answers were all grounded in the belief that an insight is not the same as data, a fact or an observation. Though it needs to be grounded in those elements, it was evident that true insight goes deeper than that. A theme that stood out to me was that the best insights adhere to three criteria: tension, intuition and action. 

Often beneath a neatly packaged statistic or finding, if you dig deeper, you’ll find the tension or pain points that are in the customer's mind. It’s at this level where you really start to understand how to improve consumer experi...