"You can not uncover, seek, find, or land on "insights". Insight isn’t a noun in the sense that a car or a nickel or a pen are nouns. It’s a noun that names a quality or capacity, like beauty, intelligence, compassion. We tend not to pluralize and objectify these nouns, because they are not about objects.
Insight is a capacity to gain accurate and deep understanding of a person or thing. Insight, in other words, is what a good planner or creative – or hell, in a perfect world a good client or account manager – should have. The depth of this understanding should go so far as to seem intuitive. There are many ways one might obtain insight – through study, immersion, experience, interrogation, observation. And these are the standard tools of the planner or market researcher or strategist."
Ben McAllister warns about the dangers of "scientism":
"As an undergraduate physics major, I had grown to understand scientific research as a slow process that took place over years or even decades. Research, as I understood it then, was an attempt to deliberately advance knowledge by eliminating false theories. It was a difficult undertaking bolstered by rigorous debate.
In the business world, I later learned, “the research” is quite a different phenomenon. As my interview so nicely illustrated, “the research” is not debatable. Apparently it’s capable of predicting people’s reactions to decisions that haven’t even been made yet. In fact, “the research,” seems to be capable of making decisions all on its own."