Gartner reports that 65% of CEOs want to accelerate digital transformation in 2021. It’s no surprise. After last year, everyone is looking for ways to regain momentum or obtain a competitive edge.
You’re likely in the same boat. So where to start? The data analytics experts at Wavicle share their advice for accelerating digital transformation and growth in 2021.
Digital transformation requires a strong data analytics strategy
The most important step in any company’s digital transformation is setting the right strategy. And, not just the right strategy for one department or unit of the company – the right strategy for your entire company.
Unfortunately, Gartner finds that 54% of enterprises still create a separate IT strategy rather than adopt an integrated business and IT strategy, which limits their potential for success.
If you are looking to improve your strategy moving forward, ask yourself:
- What is the problem you want to use data analytics to solve?
- Who are the key stakeholders you need to involve?
- Do we have the right data architecture in place to support these goals?
- How will you track and measure success?
- Do you have the right resources and capabilities to initiate this work or do we need outside support?
Drive customer satisfaction and sales with a total experience approach
As Naveen outlined, an integrated strategy between business and IT functions is critical. It’s also more important than ever to have an aligned strategy across customer experience (tracking and improving customer interactions with your company, products, and tools), user experience (the experience customers have when using your products), employee experience (enabling them to serve customer easily with the right tools and apps), and multi-experience (consumers’ digital touchpoints and how they utilize them via voice, touch, etc).
Why? To be successful in this economy, companies must provide their employees and customers with a seamless digital experience. Focusing on a total experience strategy and building the right architecture can reduce the data silos that exist today and improve the customer journey along every step.
Companies seeking a data analytics edge will move to the cloud
Companies have recognized the need to be more agile in 2021. One of the best ways to do so is to migrate to the cloud. In 2021, Forester predicts the global public cloud infrastructure market will grow to $120 billion. The benefits – speed, flexibility, and security – will outweigh previously held concerns.
Moving to the cloud enables companies to ingest, store, and analyze the large amounts of data needed to utilize advanced analytics to more accurately forecast demand, accelerate production, improve personalization, and increase marketing efficiency.
Autonomous data management solutions make it easier to analyze data quickly
Data management will become easier as companies utilize automated or autonomous solutions. Historically, data ingestion and data quality work required extensive coding and tedious data quality work. Now, tools with a meta-driven framework can automate data ingestion, data quality checks and data privacy reports in a matter of minutes, reducing the time and cost required to ensure you are using quality data to drive insights.
Data governance should be essential to any data analytics strategy
We all know too well the frequency of data breaches that have occurred in recent years. As companies look to digital transformation to accelerate growth, they must ensure data governance is a key component of their strategy. The need is twofold: a strong data governance strategy ensures companies can make business decisions based on clean, accurate data and it ensures the data meet privacy and regulatory requirements. Without a sound strategy in place, companies are potentially introducing unnecessary reputational and regulatory risks.
Using AI to uncover customer experience insights
Last year, all industries had to quickly adapt to new customer expectations, whether it was an increase in restaurant deliveries and drive-thru orders or a huge surge in online shopping. One of the most effective ways to meet or exceed customers’ expectations in a challenging environment is to listen. Using AI and natural language processing, it is possible to quickly analyze multiple sources of customer feedback – from emails to social to CSAT scores – and act upon it. As the year progresses, using AI to analyze two-way conversations and images will become another important tool for consumer insights, marketing, and operations teams looking to reduce churn and increase loyalty.
A new approach to demand forecasting
The pandemic taught us many business lessons, including that traditional approaches to demand forecasting that focus on steady-state demand signals will not meet the needs of our rapidly changing world. Instead, we need to uncover better demand signals from the real world, such as foot traffic data, to help us understand sudden changes in demand. By combining traditional time series forecasting techniques with ML and AI capabilities we can pick up on new signals of changing demand trends.
To do this we also need to quickly evaluate forecasting accuracy across multiple models and run multiple scenario simulations to best understand likely outcomes. Implementing systematic capabilities to compare and consolidate different versions of forecasts (statistical, sales forecast, marketing plans, production schedules, and financial forecasts) for the same future time period (generated at various points ahead of time) needs to be much easier to measure than it is currently.
2021: Accelerating towards the future
At Wavicle, we view 2021 with renewed hope and optimism. Digital transformation is no longer a “nice to have” in today’s economy. It’s a necessity that will fuel innovation and growth at companies that harness the power of data analytics to better serve their customers, improve operations and forecasting, and drive innovation.
To learn more about upcoming trends, save the date for Accelerate 2021: Data and Analytics Summit on March 9. Wavicle is partnering with industry thought leaders to share insights into how companies can fast-track their growth this year and into the future.