The prolonged and disruptive COVID-19 situation is resulting in profound changes in consumer behaviour and how businesses need to respond.
The prolonged and disruptive COVID-19 situation is resulting in profound changes in consumer behaviour and how businesses need to respond. Almost two years after the beginning of the pandemic, technology has never led so many aspects of life as today – from the way people work to how they manage their lives and connect with the world. Consumers expectations for better experiences with brands are also higher than ever, which in turn puts pressure on businesses to be constantly innovating.
That’s where data comes in as an essential asset to support organisations not only to survive in this landscape, but to thrive. There is a considerable achievement gap between organisations with mature data practices versus data-innovation beginners that puts mature business as leaders in not only generating game-changing ideas, but in bringing them to life in record time.
Even though the world faced many other disruptions before, it’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a driving force to expand the way organisations see data and the competitive advantage they can have when using it to drive innovation. It, therefore, isn’t surprising to note that 73% of organisations around the world have accelerated their data innovation initiatives and projects in comparison with before the pandemic – with New Zealand (58%) and Australia (32%) among the ones to report a significant acceleration on data projects.
However, for many organisations it is still a challenge to bring data to the core of the business and leverage it on strategies and decision-making processes. Despite over two thirds (72%) of Australian organisations reporting good or excellent progress in implementing automated data monitoring to capture ongoing and real-time answers, for more than half (58%) uncovering and better utilising dark data is still one of the top five IT and business priorities for the next 2 years.
In this high-speed digital transformation landscape, businesses not only need a complete view of their data, but the ability to act upon it quickly. Flinders University, a research institution in Adelaide, South Australia, is a great example on how data visibility enables decision-makers to make meaningful choices within the business. With 25,000 students and staff accessing systems both from campus and remotely, having a better visibility into the institution’s networks was not only important to improve security measures for user activity or to keep information safe from attacks. During the COVID-19 recovery period, having access to dashboards and insights was also key for the University to understand staff and students’ trends in coming back to campus, and coordinate their response accordingly.
Data visibility has also a proven impact in expanding and enhancing business activities, service offerings and portfolios. For instance, over half (56%) of Australian organisations find data-related products and services more profitable and easier to sell than other offerings, and also to be growing faster than other areas of the business (53%).
It is important to remember that this pandemic is not the first or the last disruption we will need to face. This is the era of disruption, and it compels organisations to be in an unstoppable innovation process to survive. Either because of technological advances or factors that are beyond our control, to be ready to seize opportunities and answer to changes is an imperative for business, big or small. Supply chain crisis, chip shortage, cyber-attacks – all these came to reassure that a resilient business is a business that is adaptable, flexible and has the agility to make significant decisions fast. This also takes us to an era full of data opportunities that puts in the lead companies that are ready to leverage their data to innovate and grow.