CEO Ruschka Raidoo says companies should use analytics to deliver what their customers want.
“Even though it is easy just to focus on analytics for financial services, the truth is all industries need to embrace it. It is a driver for any environment and more powerful than most people think. From a financial perspective, using analytics provides you with the ability to proactively manage instead of reactively looking at an income statement and then only trying to overcome obstacles,” says Raidoo.
With a 15-year track record in banking, she understands the benefits of being proactive well.
“Banks, medical aids, and insurers are taking the lead in driving change locally, but other companies are starting to understand the value of data analytics better. In South Africa, change is starting to happen on a very practical level. It is now about understanding customers better and the vehicles to do that reside in mobile apps, loyalty programmes, strategic partnerships, and data.”
She believes that if data is captured and analysed correctly, it makes the transition from theory to practical interventions possible and capable of delivering immediate value to companies and their customers.
“Data is about creating storylines for customers and developing solutions based on their likes, dislikes, and so on. It is about using points of reference to provide people with options they did not know they wanted. There is a lot of power in data, but you need to understand it.”
For South African businesses, the coming months will be vital in terms of data analysis.
“The amount of data available to organisations is snowballing. Analytics, predictability, algorithms, and business cycles are all speeding up thanks to how data is being managed. Companies must now use that data to understand the market and their customers. This is where out of the box thinking will be important when used in conjunction with a good analytics function inside the business.”
She says that if you have good data, then you can draw good insights from it from a business intelligence perspective. This delivers high benefit with relatively low effort thanks to that improved understanding of data.
“Instead of watching what competitors are doing, companies should lead the market by taking analytics seriously and focusing on what their customers want. This is then used as a basis to refine solutions to meet in those requirements. Analytics is all about data management and ensuring that the quality of data is good. Unfortunately, many businesses are still in denial about how good their data is. Once they start analysing it, then they will identify the problem areas as well as those aspects that need improving.”
The business environment needs to see the strategic execution of data analysis.
“Execution is important. By focusing on the quality of the data, decision-makers remove the ‘garbage in / garbage out’ scenario. They can then focus on retaining customers and attracting new ones for business growth.”