Data Analytics

Data Analytics trends that would dominate in 2021

The year gone by and the ongoing one reaffirms that we live in a disruptive and dynamic environment; persistence and patience are a virtue, which should help us tide over the pandemic. This year as well as going forward, it is not data or technology but the pandemic that will be the key influencer of trends in data analytics. Public, private, and not-for-profit organizations shall witness one or all of the following three trends:

Health and Safety Analytics

Healthcare: Data analytics will continue to remain pivotal in operations of biotechnology companies, pharma (drug discovery, manufacturing, retail sales) sector, hospitals, and diagnostic centers – across various stages in the value chain. In the current crisis, the power of data analytics can help ease anxiety levels of countrymen, patients, and health care workers; be it dashboards with hospital bed availability, notifying patients of the actual expected time to receive RT-PCR test result and not arbitrary.

Governing bodies: The power of data analytics can be unleashed to push relevant and latest information, insights to citizens – dashboards with vaccine stock levels across locations, prescriptive alerts basis geographical location, personalized safety tips. For this, enabling data architecture is necessary that allows for sharing information across various devices and health care entities – data marketplace.

Employee 360: Organizations have always focused on customers to improve top-line revenue and customer experience, now for the first time organizations will have to invest in capturing employee-centric data for well-being and various analysis. Pandemic has changed ways of working for most businesses. The workforce has been operating remotely for over a year now. Some organizations have declared a permanent remote operating model. With all this, an organization’s key asset (human workforce) is no longer moving around in the physical vicinity to assess their mood or motive. Leaders, managers, HR will find it increasingly difficult to manage attrition and maintain business continuity. This paves way for OEMs to invent and manufacture technology for capturing data related to workforce mood/motive. Data can even be anonymized to maintain privacy prior to analyzing and deriving insights – productivity, attrition, mental and physical well-being.

Workplace safety: Business sites where physical footfall will resume after lockdown or post-vaccination; it is critical to maintain WHO prescribed health and safety standards. Organizations will be required to invest in infrastructure for surveillance and real-time analytics for maintaining hygiene to continue operations.

Customer Analytics: Digital storefronts are a major (or sometimes only) channel of purchase in the current pandemic situation. For marketing and sales teams to draw customers to these digital stores or convert footfall (app or web page visits) they require data to analyze and define relevant strategies. Market and customer data will need to be made available almost as an office supply (data-as-a-service), for the sales force to analyze with ease customer buying patterns, market conditions, competition. Analytics platforms will need to enable this self-service operating model.

Modern India is grappling with pandemics in its own way, the element of empathy should be infused when dealing with customers. The geographical location (city), hot spots, containment zones are to be considered as analytical model parameters for assessing demand or rolling out personalized offers. It is even better if on the landing page of an app or web page, customers’ well-being and mood can be checked. This is applicable even in a physical buying mode. Today, the only checks are for body temperature and wearing a mask. Employing techniques to assess customer’s mood, can help the store manager offer relevant products/services thereby increasing the conversion rate.

Cyber Analytics: How many of us experience human touch as first thing in the morning when we wake up? Most might be reaching their personal or household devices. In the current physical distance scenario, contact with digital assets will only increase. How can this contact and further interactions during the day be secured? Especially when each digital interaction is leading to the generation of personal, or customer, or organizational data; or the interaction is for accessing this generated/stored data. Installing secure protocols, firewalls alone may not be sufficient. The entire data lifecycle (data collection / generation / storage / archive / purge / analysis / presentation) needs to be continuously monitored and assessed. Insights are to be derived for preempting lapses, predicting infiltration; the critical step is to complete the feedback loop with cyber teams to improve measures.

Organizations’ workforce is away from secure office or client spaces, operating remotely. VPN, multi-factor authentication, data loss/protection software may not completely secure from cyber-attacks. As new techniques are deployed, they must be constantly tested and upgraded through near real-time analytics, to make them secure.

By Praveen Kokku, Managing Director, Protiviti Member Firm for India

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