Driving Digital Transformation through Data Analytics
As Adeel has stated in his blog, “Digital Transformation, as it turns out, is as much a market dynamic – something that is happening all around us – as it is something organizations need to undertake”. He also said that ”Digital Transformation is the greater use of technology within a company’s products, services, and processes in an effort to increase the speed of execution, deliver competitive differentiation, and ultimately improve the user experience of its customers.” He broke it down into three distinct areas: establish a software-development culture, measure and qualify using IoT and instrumentation, and derive real-time insights using data analytics. I of course would like to focus on that last point.
We often talk about the notion that organizations need to disrupt themselves or they will be disrupted. When it comes to data analytics, this couldn’t be more true. Companies will be disrupted if they don’t digitally transform, they will fail if they don’t focus on implementing data analytics and engaging using consumer applications. I know, it is a strong stake in the ground but, stick with me.
When you think about your own personal life and the decisions that you make, do you move forward without remembering the past and the lessons you have learned? No, you always gain insights from your memories and your friends. It is the same for business. Businesses need to learn from their past in order to clearly see the future. Data analytics is the ability to look at the past and present and gain insights to make the right decision. When you combine data analytics and applications you will continue to drive more data into your environment and bring you closer to not only the best answer but closer to your customers. The fact is, understanding your customers gives you greater insights into the direction of your business and what products and services you need to be focused on and implementing. Understanding your customers also helps drive customer loyalty and gives businesses the opportunity to drive even more interaction with your clientele.
Let’s start with application. When was the last time you went through a day without touching an application? We use apps to make reservations, order our food for delivery, to plan our haircuts, to date, to get our news and to read books. Recently Waze and Dunkin Donuts announced a partnership. You can now order your coffee through the Waze app, allowing you to make sure it is ready on your way to your destination. Now the loyalty programs/apps are working with our other apps and giving us even greater insights into those that support our business and are loyal not only to our products but to our applications.
When you digitally transform your business you allow your business to grow into a future that you might not have been able to see before. When I first moved to Massachusetts, Dunkin Donuts was a donut shop with amazing coffee. It was where I first discovered coffee and learned that in New England a “regular coffee” comes with cream and sugar… a lot of sugar. I had never had coffee before I came to Massachusetts. I also remember the day that Krispy Kreme came into town. It is an amazing donut shop with coffee. Everyone worried that this was the end to Dunkin Donuts, a staple on just about every Massachusetts corner but, what they didn’t realize was that even with donuts in their name, they knew they had great coffee and they had to think outside of their domain. This thinking led them to Seoul, Korea and thousands of other places, it even led them to integrating with a GPS application. Again, this is a just a coffee company based in Canton, Massachusetts, trying to digitally transform their business.
Ironically, a co-worker of mine recently ran into an executive at Dunkin Donuts, talking about coffee and how the company is evolving. It is an interesting story based on understanding the business’s clientele and driving your business into areas that you never thought were within your reach. He continued to stress the importance of their app and their loyalty program. It is great to hear these things from a non-technical executive. It is important for those at the top to understand the power of the application and data that the company possesses. When you think about it, data analytics is like the game Jeopardy, it can give you the answer, you just need to know how to ask the questions. This need to drive the change toward data analytics is rooted in digital transformation, where your business has the ability to become competitive, increase customer relations, and help ensure your business has a future.
Erin K. Banks is portfolio marketing director for data analytics at Dell EMC. You can follow her on social media at @banksek.