Data: the lifeblood of commercial success and value creation

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Data is now central to every businesses’ success. Ignoring the importance of data to your company risks courting disaster.

Just eight percent of companies foresee their current business model staying economically viable if their industry continues to digitize at its current rate, according to consultants McKinsey. Furthermore, research by the International Institute for Analytics shows that by 2020, businesses using data will see $430 billion in productivity benefits over competitors who are not.

This makes designing and implementing a digital strategy, centered around leveraging data to your advantage essential.

Data analytics powering customer experience

Customer experience is a top business priority. For example, Salesforce reports that 75% of consumers now expect a consistent customer experience across offline, online, and mobile platforms. And, they’re willing to pay more to have these great experiences.

Data analytics tools are increasingly critical to delivering great customer experience. So much so that by 2020, over 40 percent of all data analytics projects will focus on customer experience according to Gartner.

Real-time analysis also becoming crucial

Customers today expect personalized experiences on demand. With that in mind, Gartner predicts spending on real-time data analytics will grow three times faster than spending on non-real-time analytics between 2016 and 2019, as companies strive to deliver the personalization customers expect. As such, by 2020, more than 50 percent of consumers’ mobile interactions with businesses will be contextualized, hyper-personal experiences that leverage their past actions and current, real-time behavior.

Data journey

According to Helmut Reisinger, CEO of Orange Business Services, “It is now imperative that companies take advantage of data to make better-informed decisions and use digital technologies to improve performance and deliver an enhanced customer experience in real time. At Orange, we believe that data should now be at the very heart of every enterprise strategy, and it should be used to strengthen a business and provide competitive advantage.”

Here are three companies that are making data the focus of their business strategy:

1. AccorHotels: improving the guest experience

Hospitality group AccorHotels is reaping the benefits of a data strategy introduced in 2014, which gathers data centrally and shares it across its various countries and departments. It transformed its infrastructure and created communities of business analysts and revenue managers who leveraged new data chains to create price recommendation systems and make the data usable for employees. In addition, the company has just implemented artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to enable customers to audibly interact with chatbots online and get the latest, personalized information and offers on demand.

2. American Express: understanding how we purchase

Credit card giant American Express has focused on data to revolutionize its marketing efforts. The company has unique access to customer purchasing habits and patterns. Its business insights department analyzes that information in real time to create powerful customer behavioral data. This data is then used to help partner retailers develop innovative new marketing campaigns and promote their products and services to American Express cardholders. The end result is more mobilized, active existing customers and increasing numbers of new ones.

3. Bosch: improving the factory floor

Multinational engineering and electronics company Bosch is using data to transform its production line. It is digitizing, robotizing and implementing machine-to-machine communications to meet new industrial challenges. The company is gathering data, which is then communicated between machines and human operators to keep track of inventory and enable maintenance workers to take pre-emptive action on potential breakdowns and more. Bosch is already reaping the benefits: its production line in Mondeville, France, now boasts fewer quality defects, fewer losses and fewer breakdowns. It has also improved the time taken to change production lines, down to just five minutes versus the average time of 30 minutes in France.

Making the most of data

Data is now central to making companies more effective and delivering an enhanced customer experience, which helps to drive greater competitiveness and profitability. Organizations need to engage employees, customers, partners and suppliers, who all play a role in the data value chain and work together to turn it into powerful business insights. Empathy with the pain points of these stakeholders, as well as creativity, are just as important as statistical modeling and AI expertise in coming up with new solutions to the key business challenges we face today. It is important to be both human and digital.

Helmut Reisinger continues: “Data is essential to every business today. Organizations are already reaping the benefits of big data analytics to predict the way in which consumers want to interact with them across omnichannel touch points. And IoT data is proving critical to streamline business processes and reduce waste in sectors as diverse as manufacturing, automotive and shipping. Actionable outcomes are the desired end goal, where data becomes insight and delivers tangible results.”

By working to analyze and process data to transform it into value, you can empower your company to adapt to the needs and demands of a new generation of customers and employees. Successfully gathering, analyzing and implementing data with the assistance of the right partner is the way to succeed.

If you want to know more about the data journey, watch this animation.