The transition to working from home has driven the need to a different kind of workforce collaboration. The situation we are in has forced us to accept a new way of working, a new way of education, entertainment consumption etc. The pandemic in a way has worked as a catalyst that has exposed vulnerabilities of many organizations. Several companies have been caught off guard and have had to make necessary adjustments in their operations.
The pandemic has given many companies the opportunity to grow and innovate during these times. Some organizations have been able to take this opportunity and reinvent themselves and have started offering varied and need of the hour value based resources, while some continue to struggle. All in all, the pandemic has made businesses more conscious about where they spend their money and look for new and innovative solutions to optimize their customer service and experience.
The need for data analytics:
The rise of Artificial Intelligence & Analytics in the past few years had many organizations applying its core data practices to scale their businesses. The coronavirus pandemic has further expanded these opportunities and also accelerated them in some cases. Organizations are quickly adopting data analytics; what once took months or years for companies to build came to life in a matter of weeks because of COVID-19. As per a study by Analytics Insight in May 2020, 55% of businesses have started utilizing data to improve efficiency and rely on it to predict changes and outcomes. Forty-seven percent look to their data as indicators of how they can better support their customers, and 45% count on data to predict business outcomes. It is not surprising that companies have started to recognize data analytics for its problem solving capabilities and identifying potential disruptions.
Below are a few ways data analytics can help companies in building resilience during COVID-19:
- Tracking and responding
Data analytics has the ability to analyze large sets of data from numerous sources. Data such as news updates, hotel and airline booking trends, population density, demographics to name a few. Such information can help companies keep a track of upcoming trends and work a solution around it. For e.g. the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases dashboard is using data analytics to trace the coronavirus.
This dashboard is not only helping us visualize the affected areas, deaths and recovered cases, but is also helping health officials learn how it is affecting different regions and communities.
- Sales and revenue
The customer behaviour is an ever evolving one, even more now as demands shift to online completely. Collection of data, analysis of customer sentiments and behaviour and experiences on all platforms etc. are some of the ways data analytics can help in carving new revenue streams. For e.g. a retail brand, which was brought to a standstill because of the lockdown managed to generate a revenue of Rs 34+ Lakhs by only spending Rs 27,000. The brand switched from offline to online and used a predictive modeling technique to arrive at segments of customers most likely to purchase and ran targeted and personalized campaigns to this set of customers.
- Working with emerging demands
Companies that run call centers to perform sales and customer service functions are facing huge pressure. By using analytics and artificial intelligence to identify customers most likely to be affected by the pandemic, companies can prepare a proactive communication plan to inform these customers about changes in policy and services. Furthermore, they can also use data analytics to segment queries based on urgencies.
- Keep an eye on competitors
Data analytics can give insights on steps taken by competitors to mitigate similar risks faced by your organization. Not just this, it has the ability to present insights into financial status, company profiles and updates, SWOT analysis and mergers of any kinds. A thorough competitive study of market players can help in evaluating the market, highlighting opportunities and decision making.
Keeping the ball rolling
Analytics and AI have gained more momentum rather quickly in these last few months, the behavioral and economic shift in the way businesses function has increased the demand for AI and analytics. Organizations had no choice but to fully align themselves with analytics driven solutions to prepare effectively for the business challenges that emerged overnight. However, investing in analytics and AI is an ongoing activity, as companies start to rebuild, leaders will have to rethink their business strategies and models consistently to stay in the competition game.
Below are a list of actions that the leaders must keep in mind to make the progress of data analytics stick:
- Communicate the importance of analytics and digital transformation to employees
- Treating AI and analytics resources as top priority
- Offer virtual learning and up skilling opportunities to employees to help structure agile teams
- Conduct regular audits for necessary fixes and implementing new modeling techniques
- Establish protocols to ensure consistency and efficiency in evaluating and developing new models and tools
Data analytics and artificial intelligence have largely helped the healthcare industry with COVID-19. Researchers and experts have leveraged these tools to do everything from tracking capacities in hospitals to identifying patients at high-risk. Many believe these technologies are vital for preparing for similar situations in the future too. Data analytics will turn out to be the star performer that will help in meeting customer’s needs, help make decisions, rethink operational models and help drive businesses to the new normal. While it will take effort and skill to adapt businesses to the evolving consumer needs, organizations who pay heed to the changes COVID-19 has brought to companies and work towards building a more resilient business which will be different from the past and have the potential to survive in the post COVID world.
IGT’s Analytics Services provides industries with specific advanced analytics solutions and personalization with the help of its cutting-edge technologies. We help customers make well-informed on-time business decisions throughout their digital transformation journey. Read more about our analytics solutions.
Gurmeet Oberoi is a researcher and writer of change tactics and technologies in travel and other verticals, she frequently posts across the digital ecosystem. With 9-yrs of experience in communications and marketing, Gurmeet has a passion for travel and reading among other things. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org