What is the appropriate word for someone (or something) that gives you insights?

Example sentences for context:

Ann is our best ???. She always provides us with amazing insights.

This software is a good ???. It helps us to get brilliant insights into our business process.

What would you replace "???" with? Something that conveys the meaning and is commonly understood (mainly in business and formal/semi-formal environments).

  • 1
    Is that an analyst? Commented May 18, 2022 at 13:29
  • @YosefBaskin well, an analyst is a little broad and only applies to a person. You can't really use "analyst" to describe a thing. Also, not every analyst generates insights. I was hoping that maybe there's something that is more specific and expressive
    – peterrogov
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 13:37
  • Lexico has << inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated to do [I'd add 'see'] or feel something, especially to do something creative. "Helen had one of her flashes of inspiration" >> and again<< inspirational: providing or showing creative or spiritual inspiration. >> But 'inspirer' sounds off here. Commented May 18, 2022 at 16:54
  • Duh!! A microscope!!!
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 19:31
  • 1
    @JohnLawler thank you! Your comment makes me realise that actually, insight is not something that can be generated or created externally. Rather it is something that happens in one's mind. Insights can be stimulated or even provoked by some external influence but that's not guaranteed. Perhaps I need to reconsider the way I try to use this word and what is it I am trying to say. Thank you very much everyone for your comments!
    – peterrogov
    Commented May 19, 2022 at 8:24

3 Answers 3


perspicacious is a word you will see whenever deep and instant insight is there. It appears often in books and prints. However, I have seldom seen it in business or technical communication (which may or may not be a plus point in your context )

Also, I understand it is not a drop-in replacement for the ??? in your sentence. But the sentence can be reworded as XYZ is a perspicacious analyst.

The Noun form is Perspicacity.

adjective: perspicacious

    having a ready insight into and understanding of things.
    "it offers quite a few facts to the perspicacious reporter"

able to understand someone or something quickly and accurately; showing this a perspicacious remark He was perspicacious enough to realize that things were soon going to change.

  • 1
    If adjectives are to be allowed, 'insightful' is hard to better. Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 13:34
  • @EdwinAshworth. True. insightful will also go with both- a person or a software . Though it will still not be an in-place replacement for ??? in OP's sentence
    – R.S.
    Commented Oct 25, 2023 at 6:43

My answer is "oracle" because the dictionary's (to wit, Oxford) foremost definition includes, "a person or thing regarded as an infallible authority or guide on something". And that is how I have always heard it used.

  • 1
    If you've actually read the Tour, you ought to know :) In any case, it's not important to the answer, so I'll remove your 'comment'. Secondly, can you expand on your answer? What's the definition of 'oracle', and why do you think it fits the OP's request?
    – Joachim
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 7:22

Recognizing this is an old post, if you look up synonyms for the word "sage" you should find some potential options. Something like "authority" might be simple and accessible in many uses.

From M-W:

sage noun (1)

1 : one (such as a profound philosopher) distinguished for wisdom
2 : a mature or venerable person of sound judgment


4 a (1) : a citation (as from a book or file) used in defense or support
(2) : the source from which the citation is drawn
b (1) : a conclusive statement or set of statements (such as an official decision of a court)
(2) : a decision taken as a precedent
c : an individual cited or appealed to as an expert

  • Hi Kevin. Users generally come here for direct answers, not to look something up (which is something we assume they have done already themselves). Also, 'authority' intrinsically has nothing to do with generating insight - why do you think it fits the OP's request?
    – Joachim
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 14:51

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