The difference between a finding and an insight

The distinction between a finding and an insight can be crucial in various fields, especially in the fields of creativity and organizational development.

Let us delve into understanding these terms, their meaning and the transition process between them.

Understand results and insights

Observations or findings usually refer to raw data or information obtained through research, analysis or exploration. They are often the first pieces of the puzzle and provide a basis for further investigation. Essentially, findings are facts or observations waiting to be contextualized and given meaning.

On the other hand, insights represent a deeper level of understanding derived from the findings. They involve interpretation, synthesis and understanding to reveal underlying truths or patterns. Insights bridge the gap between raw data and practical knowledge, offering valuable perspective and understanding.

Creativity to reach insights

In the creative process, findings serve as building blocks. They can be inspirations, initial ideas or fragments of information. But it’s the transformation of these findings into insights that truly fuels creative endeavors.

For example, an artist may collect data through research, sketches, or experiments. It is then the synthesis of these findings that eventually leads to the creative breakthrough – an insight that drives the artistic vision forward.

Findings are thus not the result but the beginning of the creative process in order to come to a deeper and sometimes unexpected insight with the help of creativity. Creativity becomes a tool not to draw too hasty conclusions.

Organizational perspective on observation and insights

Organizations rely heavily on data and results to make informed decisions. The results can be market research, customer feedback or operational statistics. However, it is the extraction of insights from these findings that enables organizations to innovate, strategize and adapt.

For example, a company can collect data from studies of consumer behavior. Instead of concluding that customer service has gotten worse, insights derived from this data can reveal changing trends, leading to the development of new products that meet new customer needs that didn’t exist before.

The process: finding insight

The journey from a finding to an insight involves several crucial steps:

1. Collection of relevant and related information, observations of behavior or research results.
2. Examine, organize and interpret collected data to identify challenges and issues.
3. A creative process and brainstorming to understand implications and meaning.
4. Synthesis consisting of understanding the connections between the findings to reveal deeper meanings or insights.
5. Test, prototype and verify the derived insights to ensure relevance.

Example: Finding vs Insight

  • Finding: Customer complaints increased by 20% last quarter.
  • Jump to conclusion: The staff is not working hard enough to make customers happy or someone is doing something wrong within the service organization.
  • Insight: The increase in complaints may indicate a flaw in product design or service delivery that does not meet new customer demands.


  • Finding : Sales of a specific product have decreased.
  • Jump to conclusion: salespeople aren’t working hard enough or competition has gotten tougher.
  • Insight: Analysis of customer feedback shows that changing consumer preferences require a change in product features or marketing strategy. For example. that customers demand better sustainability work.

While the findings form the basis of understanding, the insights are catalysts for innovation and informed decision-making. The transition from a finding to an insight involves a process that requires analysis, creative thinking and contextualization.

Both are critical, but it is the insights that come from the observations that drive progress, foster innovation, and lead to meaningful results in both creative endeavors and organizational strategies.