The Power of Data Analytics to Transform Businesses

by Razvan Tapu, Chief Digital Officer, Stefanini EMEA

Data and the intelligence that can be extracted from it has already transformed the business landscape – and this trend is only set to continue as businesses seek more sophisticated approaches to gathering and interpreting the ever-increasing amount of operational and customer data available.

“A smart approach to analytics, using the latest best practice technologies, built on a firm business case and blending art and science to create tailored solutions is a game-changer for businesses and can offer a huge competitive advantage to organizations investing in their future success.

Razvan Tapu

Chief Digital Officer, Stefanini EMEA

While this clearly represents a huge opportunity for businesses to operate more effectively and provide a better customer experience, the explosion of data also poses significant challenges. These challenges range from technical to cultural, spanning everything from a lack of the required skills to an unwillingness to think outside of the box. On top of this, businesses must ensure they comply with GDPR regulations. As a result, many organizations find themselves going round in circles, wanting to become data-driven but not knowing where to begin.

Understanding the ways analytics can be used, and more importantly for what business scenarios it should be used is key to maximizing the value these solutions deliver. We caught up with Razvan Tapu, Chief Digital Officer, at Stefanini EMEA, to discuss what a best practice approach to data analytics looks like, along with the transformative opportunities businesses can implement as a result of this.

Predictive, prescriptive, diagnostic, descriptive

In line with the explosion of data, there’s a wealth of new analytics approaches to deliver powerful results.

Razvan explains that for many businesses, one of the most effective approaches is to invest in predictive, prescriptive, diagnostic and descriptive analytics.

This means the capacity to look back on historical data and understand what has happened within the business – descriptive – or to identify where a problem lies – diagnostic.

But it also means mining data to power insights and actions in the future, including predictive analytics – identifying a likely future outcome – and prescriptive analytics – which involves using analytics to implement a solution based on the data.

The value this can offer businesses is demonstrated by the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicting that 65% of new spending in analytics will use event-driven architecture to make decisions and initiate actions. At this level of sophistication, Razvan explains, an organization becomes in effect a self-driving car.

“Consider the huge efficiency and profitability gains that are possible when advanced analytics tools are being effectively deployed in an organization. Not only does the business fully understand how its customers are behaving and how efficient its processes are, but it also has the ability to anticipate future issues and even automate a response to these without human interaction,” explains Razvan.

Personalizing for profitability

Razvan explains that each analytics program needs clear and quantifiable objectives defined in terms of value created and value delivered. With this in place, it is possible to combine advanced analytics approaches to create an improved customer experience that drives profitability.

Businesses are increasingly identifying more sophisticated ways to use analytics to personalize the online content they serve customers, with notable examples including Netflix, which tailors its website and recommendations according to past viewing habits and the customer profile.

Stefanini recently deployed a sophisticated analytics project to help a large retail company improve the user experience and maximize the profitability of its portal. This involved identifying how users navigated to the site – whether they visited directly or via a search engine – along with their customer personas, such as whether they were interested in price or features. This information was used to serve tailored landing pages, powerfully boosting conversions.

Predicting and tackling problems

Predictive and prescriptive analytics can play a powerful role in preventing problems before they arise, while also enabling businesses to respond smartly if they do.

Razvan explains how Stefanini has helped a major utilities business to use smart analytics to anticipate when a customer is likely to switch provider and the best preventative action to take – such as when to send a tailored discount or offer.

On top of this, analytics is being used to ensure the customer support are able to get a data-driven suggestion about how a request should be handled whenever a customer gets in touch with the organization.

As a result, Stefanini has enabled the company to become a truly data-driven organization, reducing churn and boosting the value delivered at all stages of the customer journey.

Blending art and science

Each of these examples involves more than simply sophisticated analytics tools, because each is also supported by a clear business strategy, Razvan explains.

Each also blends art and science, with the science of the analytics blended with a creative approach based on the nuances and history of each business.

“A smart approach to analytics, using the latest best practice technologies, built on a firm business case and blending art and science to create tailored solutions is a game-changer for businesses and can offer a huge competitive advantage to organizations investing in their future success,” concludes Razvan.

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