How actionable data from real users impact your innovation

by | Data, Innovation

As someone who often tries to think their way out of possible outcomes in a given scenario, the chance to get some unbiased insight on certain ideas poses an interesting choice. Uncomfortable, yet also intriguing. When I have an idea, at some point the idea’s momentum leads me to something that I want to share at some point. But the bigger the potential upside (that I see), the more selective I am with regard to whom I show it to. But should that be the case? What does the data say? Should you even be worried?

The short (and annoying) answer is yes and no.

At, ideas are a-plenty

We generate ideas daily but not all of them see the light of day. But we do our best to package ideas into a format that lends itself to immediate testing. Sometimes internal testing, but most often with the premise of external market validation.

Project presentation is a thing most of us are taught throughout our young and impressionable scholastic upbringing. We’re taught that it is a big deal, yet not really a big deal (mostly in an effort to calm us down). That’s exactly how I felt with my first few business ideas. I had maybe 10 business ideas that I have formulated, yet only 3 made it to the surface. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I actually tested those 7 other ideas?

That is exactly why I am at today. The answer to this burning question of whether or not I should let others see and test my precious idea suddenly became so obvious. The market is what is supposed to meet what I made anyway.. So why not let them see it? I don’t keep a record of all the early-bird websites and offerings I visited, so why should others? Sure, some will see it and maybe get inspired. But isn’t that the point?

The data tells us that 80-90% of ideas don’t result in innovative, game-changing projects. But we only know that because we’ve (someone) tested it. The great innovators turn that data into a simple math equation. If the failure rate is the same, why wouldn’t we just turn up the testing volume? It seems too simple to be true, and, sure, there is nuance behind it. But it is such a simple premise for operating in the innovation space. In terms of data, not testing or sharing an idea or concept results in zero data. We don’t like zero data. Because data makes or breaks your idea.

Data tells you if people will buy into your idea/concept/business or not. Testing your innovation will always result in data. If the data is not actionable, then test until it does.

What is actionable data?

Now, you might be wondering; ”what does ‘actionable’ data mean?”. Actionable data is information about a particular event that leads you in a certain direction of action. That could be traffic to a webpage from a certain source, paid or organic, or it could be the heatmap of a certain landing page layout, leading you to determine what feature the users interact with the most. That is actionable because it leads you to actively make decisions that you feel will get you closer to your ultimate goal.

And that is exactly what we want to do.

At, we have said that 80% of innovation efforts fail. For a long time, this has been the go-to illustration when asked the question of how likely it is that your idea or concept will be a successful endeavor. Some have reported that it could be as high as 95% of efforts that fail to return a fruitful return. For us, it all starts with data. More specifically, actionable data from real users.

Too often we see products and other innovative efforts hit a proverbial wall due to late timing or lack of market response. One of the tenets in Alberto Savoia’s pretotyping (Book: “the right it”) is that data beats opinions. What this means is that however many reports, SWOT diagrams, and however much research you do, nothing can really replace what you gain from generating actionable data from real users. If the market responds to your concept, then you can build a product that they respond to. If you collect more qualitative data, you can build a product that you know they will love – And pay for.

When building the foundation for making insights actionable, one has to consider the sources that data flow from, and where it ends up. By controlling the environment in which you validate the market, the more accurate the data will be. The next big thing in data infrastructure is to have a “single source of truth” and this is not to say you can only collect data from one source. It just means that when the time comes to make sense of that data, it is:

  • Formatted
  • Validated
  • Compliant
  • Accessible
  • Understandable
  • Contextualized

With the companies that we have had through the Flashtest gauntlet, we experience that the more iterations that a test is run through, the more reliable the results. If data is to be trusted and to be actionable, it needs to be properly controlled.

How can help

We are a creative team of data-driven experts. We have developed a process capable of ensuring that you obtain real customer insights to validate your new products and services. This way, you do not waste any unnecessary resources developing features in your products that the customers do not necessarily want. It is an outsourcing opportunity where hardcore experts take gentle care of your ideas. Learn more here!