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Definition

actionable

Actionable, in a business context, is an adjective referring to things that can be acted upon.

The word is used in several business and information technology (IT) contexts. Actionable intelligence, for example, is information that leads an organization to take some important action. Actionable intelligence, or actionable insight, is often spoken of in terms of big data, as much of the challenge inherent in it is discovering elements that a business can act upon to enhance performance. The discovery of actionable intelligence is likely to lead to multiple action items.

The term actionable originated in a legal context, with a different meaning. A legal action is a law suit, so in that context, if an individual does or says something actionable, it’s probably illegal; the implication is that they could be sued.

This was last updated in January 2014

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