Getting the sausage AND the sizzle when it comes to insight

A guide to help you answer the question: are you getting quality thinking?

In the evolving landscape of data-driven decision-making, the term "insight" has become a buzzword and in some cases almost bastardised.  Findings are the facts, the patterns in data that you simply report back. Insights by contrast require a level of interpretation – they are shaped by perspective, context and opinion and as a result are more complex. That’s why they are discoverable and why we say that we see things other agencies don’t. We work harder to find the real insight.

While we frequently hear about the importance of gaining insights, the concept of a "quality insight" often remains elusive to many. We wanted to share a guide to how to spot quality when you see it, rather than potentially getting seduced by the creative smokescreen that can surround them.


Headlines in storytelling beyond knee jerk description – storytelling is important. Interpretation and how you frame your ideas and the implications this has for business and brand matters. As an example, ‘Everyone is looking to wear younger clothes’ (Ballsy, rudimentary take) vs. ‘No one wants their outfit to age them’ (Nuanced, reflective insight….) interprets the same insight but in a way that can direct your next brand step differently. Language is an artform.

Robust frameworks and sample – yes, we are talking about base sizes, sample breakdowns and significant differences. This is research 101 but is something that increasingly pops up. The general principle is per participant group a base size of n=60 is as low as you go. That is if you are looking for  comparison with significant differences (which by the way is best at 95%). Your method design is important to consider too when thinking about robust insight. Ensuring that your screening criteria recruits exactly who you want, and question designs optimise responses, so that even at the lower end of sample sizes you are able to from confident conclusions

Move beyond nominal figures – it is not enough to track NPS alone anymore because it doesn’t give you as a brand manager, nor the strategy team the insight you need to fully understand the impact of marketing activities. Instead we track the metric “worth what I pay” – inspired by Byron Sharp’s approach to mental and physical availability of brands – bringing together consumers expectations and experience.

If you want to know more….  And see what you could be missing, give One Picture a call. In particular reach out to Mich in the UK team (, Rich in the Australia Team ( and Carl in the NZ team (