Rapid Insight (CC)

Rapid Insight (CC)

The future of insight and evaluation

Rapid insight: Learning our way to the future

Rapid Insight © 2024 by NHS Horizons is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 

Rapid insight is an approach developed by NHS Horizons which turns data from highly interactive events involving large numbers of people, into knowledge that can be acted upon to positively affect change. It is helpful to think of rapid insight as both a method (‘the how’) and a product (‘an output’).  

What is Rapid Insight?

Rapid insight can take many different forms. The product is often a verbal summary that is presented live at an event; it can also be an output following an event that represents what emerged. Products can range from thematic summaries to key questions emerging, to identifying some clear calls to action. Whatever the product ends up being, it must be practical (it must be possible to do something with the insights) AND have been developed through a social process (i.e. by a group of people, together). In this way, rapid insight helps bring together what we are learning in ways that further stimulates and guides actions and next steps.   

11 Metaphors for exploring Rapid Insight sketch note by Laura Yearsley for NHS Horizons

How does it work?

Typical workshop outputs (that you might have seen elsewhere) are a summary of an event or a thematic analysis. Rapid insight goes a step further and helps us to look beyond data to explore what it means, and what the implications might be for the problem we’re seeking to address. That enables us to produce key messages and actionable insights that act as a springboard for next steps.  

We believe there are at least four aspects of our approach that make it distinct, these include (but are not limited to):   

1. How it can be used in combination with strategic facilitation and design, to support breakthrough thinking. 

2. The emphasis on social learning; it is possible to fill in any blanks, both between unfolding events and the larger points these add up to, if we do this together.   

3. Celebrating – and actively encouraging – what each person brings to the process of insight generation.   

4.  Lastly, as we do rapid insight on many of the priority areas affecting health and care services, we always seek to build in insights from other areas, helping to build our collaborative intelligence of how the system is operating which in turn, helps communities and networks to learn faster.    

How can I learn to do rapid insight?  

We want others to be able to practice the art of rapid insight. There are different ways you can learn more about our approach and have the opportunity to put this into practice. If you commission NHS Horizons to help you with an event, you can get involved in rapid insight generation. We do a lot of knowledge and skills sharing “on the job,” including some basic training in research methods. To meet increasing demand and interest in rapid insight, we have also developed a teaching and coaching package for organisations who are interested in building capability in this area. 

Discover the future of insight with us and take your work to the next level with Horizons. Email: mlcsu.horizons@nhs.net and let’s make change happen. 

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“If we have better insights, we have better decisions, and therefore better health”

Rapid Insight © 2024 by NHS Horizons is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 

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