Data experts reveal what it takes to drive business success through AI innovation
A fresh wave of economic and business activity and uncertainty in 2022 sees data and analytics playing an increasingly critical role in helping organisations build resiliency and thrive in this uncertain landscape.
Data and analytics open fresh opportunities to innovate, drive transformation, mitigate risk, and allow organisations to remain competitive.
But are businesses doing enough with data and analytics to drive real, tangible success?
This question was recently unpacked at an intimate lunch hosted by Sisense, the leading AI-driven platform for infusing analytics everywhere, at The Establishment – an iconic Sydney venue. Celebrating the release of Sisense’s Future of Data Analytics Report 2022 - Asia Pacific Edition, the exclusive event attracted a remarkable group of panelists, including:
- Abhishek Singh, Chief Information Officer at UNICEF Australia
- Patrick Hill, Chief Product Officer at Propic
- Annette Slunjski, Managing Director at the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA)
- Rohan Persaud, Director of Channels and Alliances at Sisense
Data is ‘gold’ for boosting product price and customer loyalty
Sisense’s report reveals:
almost half (45%) of APAC data professionals surveyed agree that offering personalised, customised data and analytics to customers could allow them to increase the average selling price of their products or services.
At the same time,
43% of respondents agree data and analytics would help build loyalty and retain customers.
It’s clear that embracing data analytics is key for a brighter business future.
Patrick Hill, Chief Product Officer at Propic (pictured below) is a huge proponent of the power of data analytics. He’s experienced, firsthand, the ‘data difference’.
“Data analytics is key to providing Propic customers with extra value,” he explains. “At head-office level, we provide data that gives customers real-time understanding of what’s going on internally in their databases next to the industry data. Bringing those two together means they can manage uptime and downtime very quickly.
“At a local level, real estate agents need real-time data to prove their service as well. They need to be able to ‘point and shoot’ their work to make a sale.”
Propic is an artificial intelligence (AI) for real estate specialist company. The maturity of using data at every layer of the stack is not so commonplace in the real estate industry, Patrick says.
“Being the home of AI, we’re always pushing the boundaries of data maturity for our real estate agency clients.
“AI and the proof-pointing inside our product, on our dashboard, shows the benefit of our AI platform. It’s driving our ability to sell more products and instruments,” he says.
Patrick says AI can also be utilised to save organisations time. “In property management, we could automate maintenance services and lease management, releasing 80% of the mundane, repetitive work from your people, so they can get out and grow high-value relationships,” he says. “These are all visceral benefits of AI that tie back to business objectives.”
Data ‘gold’ for offering customers better experiences
Abhishek Singh, Chief Information Officer at UNICEF Australia, highlights how data is “absolutely gold” for the not-for-profit sector. “We use data in the same way that large corporations use data. We look at it and ask what we can do with data,” he says.
“Bring awareness and let your people share their input on what they want to do with data. Everyone must be on board. Otherwise, you’ll be creating something that nobody in your organisation even knows about.”
“It’s also vital to knock down organisational silos. If you don’t, you’ll have a very disjointed effort. Everyone needs to derive functions that support each other in relation to the strategy.”
Annette Slunjski, Managing Director at the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), asked Abhishek how his organisation is handling customers’ demanding greater personalisation against the backdrop of the demise of the third-party cookie.
To avoid overstepping that delicate boundary, Abhishek recommends leading with transparency.
“Make sure your approach is very clear,” he says. “Ensure your organisation is behind you on what you want to do with the data because the data strategy is owned by everybody.”
Patrick adds that it’s important to relay the fact that AI is more than a buzzword in industries like marketing. “AI must always be tied back to visceral benefits and business objectives,” he says.
“Think about the visceral experience of being a sales agent. You want to increase revenue, right? What if I told you I could do that within 60 days? What if I told you sales conversion goes up 30, 40, 50% with AI?”
Tapping into the untapped
When it came to rating their organisation’s ability to maximise the value of its data, respondents across the APAC region gave, on average, only a 6 out of 10 rating. The finding comes as no surprise to Annette. She encourages organisations to work on their data quality to really start reaping benefits.
“I can guarantee that if you start working on data quality today, you will get a benefit tomorrow,” Annette says. “Everyone wants a shiny AI project without paying attention to their data. If you don’t deal with your data quality; then in six months, that shiny AI project just might not deliver the benefits you thought – and the c-suite will likely become disillusioned. But if you work on your data quality, then every single system you have now will benefit.”
While Patrick agrees that data quality is key, he adds that the first thing an organisation needs to do is define what it wants to do with the data. “You need to know what your end objective is,” he says. “If you don’t know what your end objective is, then you’re wasting your time.”
“At the same time, we shouldn’t still be talking about end-of-month reporting, but live reporting. AI can listen, categorise, document and predict patterns, behaviours and trends every minute of every day,” Patrick adds.
Patrick adds that it’s also important for organisations to walk before they run when it comes to their data strategy. “If you’re saying you need AI, it’s probably the wrong place to start. First, you have to be able to articulate what you’re trying to achieve so data can help you,” he explains.
“It’s a journey. And if you’re in a leadership position, your job is to start at the beginning and then build that framework. You need the vision and a way to get there.”
Opportunities and next steps
It’s important to enlist the entire organisation, banding them together to make it through any and all challenges that may arise. According to the report, skills, training, and data literacy remain top priorities.
To improve organisational data strategies, 40% of respondents agree that it’s important for employees to become data literate and adopt business intelligence tools as part of their daily workflows. While it would be nice to simply wave a magic wand to accomplish this; the truth is, it takes patience and commitment.
But it is possible. As Rohan Persaud, Director of Channels and Alliances at Sisense points out, Netflix is already using predictive models to help users determine what they want to watch next.
“We can have that in our day-to-day work lives as well. It’s moving beyond the dashboards. Instead of clicking 18 times in a dashboard, we should just be typing in the questions we want to have answered,” he says.
When it comes to adapting to change Patrick is reminded of what Steve Jobs has to say. “He said when it comes to using technology, humans aren’t very sophisticated. So technology should be easy. If they open an email, send an email, and open a webpage; then they’re super users.
“That’s still true today. It needs to be easy. With embedded analytics, it’s really easy to go on that journey of digital transformation.”
To read MEDIA COVERAGE about the report visit:
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