Data analysis and business intelligence always seem like components of a farsighted ‘to-do’ list that never comes to fruition for most businesses. Not anymore! The COVID-19 outbreak has forced organizations globally to re-engineer their business processes to do more with less.
Today, data forms the epicenter of business operations in any industry. How you service your customer is very much dependent on your company’s history with that customer and the priorities you have set to retain their long-term loyalty. In simple terms, it is the transactional and customer data that you have accumulated over the course of your engagement with a client that needs to be tapped into in order to know how to further that engagement. Customer service cannot be successfully implemented without data on consumer behavior. Likewise, market research, inventory control, procurement, human resource management, recruitment, finance & accounting, administration, etc. all need data to push the corporate agenda and achieve organizational goals.
In times of a pandemic, when socio-economic mobility has been greatly restrained, data is the fuel that will propel businesses in the absence of active engagement with partners, customers, and shareholders. Getting hold of the right data is still a difficult task for many organizations used to accessing information from the standard paper-based databases. Accurate and authentic information gathering is a major challenge given the plethora of data generated every second.
If we are to simply look at some of the statistics surrounding data, the challenges and opportunities managing it are endless. A recent research and analysis on data by IDC, and sponsored by EMC2 reveals that data generated from digital sources is growing at the rate of 40% per year, and will reach 44 trillion gigabytes this year (The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things, EMC). With software and digital technology accessible in even the remotest corners of the globe, digital data as a result of the synergy between people, processes, and technology has reached mammoth figures and continues to grow at an exponential rate.
The big advantage for companies is that they can now tap into this Big Data to elicit intricate as well as apparent business know-how and maneuvers to further organizational goals. Organizations can leverage technology to mine useful, relevant, customer-centric information that can be used to engage clients and continue business operations.
This continuation of business operations in a stagnant socio-economic setup is what is needed, and businesses large and small are achieving this through automation, specifically intelligent process automation with intelligent capture capabilities.
The latest example of this initiative under the current COVID-19 circumstances is the deal between Palantir and a US based healthcare body, as reported in Forbes. Palantir has entered into a contract with one of the biggest healthcare agencies in the US to provide technology that would assist in mining relevant information from data captured from various sources— clients can apply knowledge obtained from this information to assist with the COVID-19 emergency response more effectively and promptly (Palantir, The Peter Thiel-Backed $20 Billion Big Data Cruncher, Scores $17 Million Coronavirus Emergency Relief Deal, Forbes).
The challenge for most SMBs and startups is investing in the right data capture technology to avail data mining and analysis of their business operations. Budgetary constraints prevent most growing organizations and even established businesses from specifically allocating funds for data capture and analysis— this is a general fallacy exhibited by businesses, which could prove detrimental to their growth and sustainability in a fiercely competitive market.
Companies fail to make use of their business information only because they are not equipped with the right technology and tools to capture the vast amounts of data circulating in their corporate environment. An intelligent data capture tool solves this problem effectively and does not require a whole lot of investment!
Intelligent Data Capture makes uses of digital transformation technologies such as AI and Machine Learning, along with RPA to self-learn from human actions and extract data from both paper and digital documents. This extracted data is then classified, sorted, verified against a master database, approved, and then circulated to various business applications such as ERPs and Business Intelligence software for further analysis and inference.
The best part about Intelligent Capture technology is that human intervention is reduced significantly, so what you have is clean, accurate, authentic, and verified data that is ready to be fed into business applications and host systems for further churning and inference. This accessibility to ‘Clean Data’ is what was keeping businesses from making any use of their transactional and consumer information, but not anymore. Intelligent Data Capture, especially in these times, is a critical business accelerator that will tell you the next steps for your company, derived from historical and past data, when social engagement is a risk, and meeting customers and vendors is a near impossibility.