Digital data is growing at a remarkable rate, and every business is gathering that data in some form or another. The question becomes whether a business is capturing data to be lost in a great data lake, or channeling it into genuinely informed business strategy. The outcome of that decision can have significant implications for your competitive advantage in a crowded and volatile business ecosystem.
The sheer pace of data generation in today’s world is mind-boggling, with analysis indicating that the volume of data and information in our shared digital universe effectively doubling every two years. According to research by Domo, every Internet minute sees 5.9mil Google searches, 347,000 tweets sent, 231mil emails sent, 66,000 photos shared on Instagram, and much more besides.
That data offers remarkable strategic insight for businesses—helping understand where, how, when, and why customers interact, and combining with technologies such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to not only pick out trends of the past, but accurately predict the trends of the future.
What data-driven business strategy means
Business data today covers a whole range of sources and data types, from structured demographic data to unstructured multimedia posts on social media. Enterprises are aware of the value this data can deliver according to research by Experian, which shows 85% of organizations see data as one of their most valuable assets.
According to UK Government research, just 26% of companies in the UK are using data to generate business insights. That figure may well reflect a global challenge, with data from the PwC U.S. Cloud Business Survey showing just 34% of executives saying they’re achieving their target business outcome with improved decision making through big data business intelligence, and just 16% noting they were realizing substantial value from their data.
With the right systems in place, that data can deliver strategic value that boost competitive advantage across key business dimensions through enhanced business intelligence and analytics.
Improving customer experience
Customer experience is critical to building and maintaining a loyal customer base, and one which is acutely important in today’s consumer landscape. Consumers are now used to digital platforms which provide smooth, customized user journeys, with rapid response times and personalized offerings.
Leveraging data offers a powerful opportunity for enterprises to meet these expectations, understanding customer needs, responding to queries in a timely and targeted manner, and delivering an evolving product portfolio that fulfills user desires.
Machine learning (ML) delivers a valuable enabler of this opportunity, building on automated data-driven processes to respond to customer needs in a fast and effective way. We see that in our own work at Neural Technologies, leveraging ML capabilities to provide automated solutions that reduce risk and improve revenue opportunities in the high-volume data landscape.
Data-driven AI/ML can enhance customer acquisition and both employee and customer experience significantly. According to research by McKinsey, one telco company in the US built data-driven forecasting and analysis using AI/ML models to improve staffing in response to customer demand, leading to a 10-20% cost saving in hiring and scheduling, and 10-20% increase in sales due to being more responsive to customer demand.
Solving business challenges
Business challenges are constantly evolving in the modern workplace, with global disruption and a rapidly changing technology landscape. The first step to a strategic response is identifying and understanding how and why these problems occur. In accurately identifying pain points through data, businesses can make strategic decisions which address those challenges.
The right data analytics system will integrate data in a way that shines a magnifying glass on your business problems—identifying a process that is hindering good customer experience, a platform that is constraining business planning, and similar challenges.
Neural Technologies’ own Business Assurance solutions are designed to work in this manner, leveraging data to understand revenue risks and address them before they evolve into more substantial business challenges. According to research by McKinsey, organizations that invest in big data enjoy a 6% increase in profits, increasing to 9% for five-year investments.
Improving revenue protection
Effective business strategy isn’t just about maximizing revenue potential, it’s about improving and enhancing how that revenue is protected. With increasingly sophisticated revenue management tools like our own Revenue Assurance solution, data is now at the core of good revenue strategy. This solution ensures flexible, scalable revenue protection that meets your unique business needs.
Enterprises invest significant resources into capturing, building, and expanding revenue opportunities, and it’s equally important that the fruits of that investment are protected. With the right data, companies can understand how and where revenue leakage occurs, and quickly identify and address the root cause of any revenue losses.
Unlocking new market opportunities
The more you know about your customers, and your broader market, the better informed your strategic product rollout can be.
UK-based studies show that leveraging data, a major global snack company was able to reduce R&D time by 10%, and product delivery times by up to 40%, with improved business confidence as to appropriate targeting and market response to their products.
Data is undoubtedly now a key to unlock improved strategic value for businesses, and one which a growing number of enterprises are now seeking to invest in. Those who move first are poised to enjoy significant competitive advantage as they embrace an informed approach to navigating a rapidly evolving business environment.