With the global economy set to rebound, recent headlines here have been dominated by optimistic news of innovation centre launches and shifting business strategies towards sustainability and circularity of resources. The idea behind these business strategies is the need to poise organisations’ readiness to ride the post-pandemic economic recovery wave.
Are we truly ready to ride this wave? To thrive in the digital economy, enterprises need to put data at the heart of innovation.
In 2020, more than 64 zettabytes of data were generated and consumed globally. Incumbents like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google alone have access to about 1.2 million terabytes of data. Smaller enterprises are also realising the advantages that leveraging data can bring to their businesses, making it a central asset that offers them a significant competitive edge. In fact, more than 90 percent of business executives believe data analytics are important for their enterprises to remain performant.
The Promise of Data-First Business Strategy and Culture
According to Alteryx-commissioned IDC “Toward Analytic Automation in Asia Pacific” research study, 69 percent of these “Analytic Experts” – enterprises with a data-first business strategy and culture – are more likely to outperform their peers in productivity enhancement. The same sentiments are shared with more than a quarter (28 percent) of businesses better positioned to drive cost reduction and staff retention.
With the true promise of having a data-centric approach to fuel organisational growth and opportunities, why is only a handful (9 percent) of Indian enterprises are in the “Analytic Expert” category?
India economy is dominated by a large consumer market and government services, with extensive labor regulations limiting employee mobility and innovation. Unfortunately, they reported major analytical gaps existing between business priorities and business performance. Notably, the aforementioned productivity enhancement and cost reduction, with the addition of customer experience, are where the gaps lie.
The Looming Storm to Overcome
Enterprises need to build capabilities to derive business value from data analytics. Executives across the region currently struggle with hard to use analytical tools, lack of timely access to data and shortage of workforce with adequate data literacy skills. Furthermore, these challenges are exacerbated by increased complexity and organisational demands for data analytics to be delivered at greater speed and scale.
The workforce dimension and process dimension are scrutinized more in later stages of capabilities development, as they seek sustainability in their data-driven business transformations. A large majority, however, lack the necessary data (91 percent), workforce (87 percent) and process capabilities (97 percent).
Many enterprises are approaching this storm with a two-pronged approach – to hire more data science and analytics workers, and upskill the current workforce to fill this skills gap. However, this is no easy feat. With the skill demands skyrocketing globally, the Indian workforce is reportedly the most data-stressed – where the majority are unhappy or overwhelmed while working with data. To keep pace with the emerging tech and technological advancements, there is an imminent need for the region’s digital workers to create large-scale data models and database technology. This trend is expected to surge by 34 percent in the next five years.
The Key to Unlocking Businesses’ Greatest Assets
That said, it is not too late for businesses to turn the tide. A human-centric, analytics automation platform can unlock data analytics, data science and process automation with few clicks of a button. Established organisations in various verticals have modernised legacy work cultures to eliminate mundane data preparation tasks that were embedded in spreadsheets, empowered traditionally non-data skilled employees to perform citizen-led analytics and created ideal data architectures to drive quicker and more valuable data-driven insights.
As data growth is forecasted to continue through 2024 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26 percent Indian organisations should look to improve data engineering and metadata management in order to gain greater insights from data.
Today’s integrated self-service analytics and data science solutions have proven to simplify and broaden the accessibility of data, analytics and data science to everyone regardless of department functions. The widespread implementation of AI and machine learning in these sophisticated platforms has made deriving insight-driven outcomes possible for any employee, even those without a coding background. Through a simple self-service experience that engages the workforce and accelerates a data-first culture and business strategy, businesses can now unlock the true potential of their greatest assets – data, workforce and processes – to outperform in key business priorities and supercharge their economic recovery journey.
The article has been written by Julian Quinn, Senior Vice President, Sales, APJ, Alteryx