Following the Data Philosophy for Success

Following the Data Philosophy for Success

Have you noticed how businesses are increasingly relying on data to get work done? This pandemic has especially cast renewed focus on the importance of data and data management. With the imposed social restrictions still in force, to a certain degree, the critical factor that’s driving businesses these days is data.

You’ve probably witnessed this at your local pharmacy, where you get a reminder for your next refill of prescription medication, and all you have to do is pay online and have your order delivered at your doorstep. The pharmacist has all your procurement data at his/her disposal, making it easy for them to send out regular reminders to customers and keep business moving forward.

“...intelligent systems with AI and Machine Learning capabilities have the capability to quantify, dissect, and tabulate patterns in data collected from single or multiple sources, which can be further manipulated for the kind of objective one is set out to achieve…”

This is a simple case of data management and recovery to facilitate timely customer service. If we take this to the next level — servicing thousands of customers, through multiple channels, with complex or unique service requests, while negotiating with vendors on pricing and discount schemes — the data needed to tally requisitions to the related vendors and sales orders to the related customers runs into millions.

No Data, No Customers

Failing to capture this data could stagnate your entire business because without data, you cannot approach the customer. Quoting Steve Jobs- “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves”, we today know that the best way to get close to your customers is by having data on them! And this has been especially felt during the pandemic, what with the incessant social restrictions in place.

But, beyond customer care, organizations have done little to capitalize on business data. Lack of the right technology tools can prevent companies from banking on data to push business objectives. Data collected over a period of time from customers, processes, and systems usually illustrates a few patterns that can be detected to know the trajectory the company is taking to get work done.

These patterns are detected more easily using intelligent automation or other digital transformation and wearable technologies in the market. Basically, intelligent systems with AI and Machine Learning capabilities have the capability to quantify, dissect, and tabulate patterns in data collected from single or multiple sources, which can be further manipulated for the kind of objective one is set out to achieve.

A good example of this would be order processing software based on intelligent automation technology.
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The solution captures sales orders, extracts relevant order details, validates those against database records, and verifies or approves the data for use by an ERP or Accounting software. Business data on sales orders thus captured provide information on the buying patterns of a particular demography, giving a good indication of current trends in the marketplace. Tabulate and process this data in an ERP system or accounting application to learn about the acceptable pricing range in that demographic.

Of course, it helps that you capture data in abundance to be able to detect a plausible buying pattern for any consumer segment. Powerful intelligent data capture tools in the market with machine learning and OCR/ICR capabilities can do the job for you. By detecting a pattern in say, consumer buying behavior, you can model your product development and marketing strategies accordingly.

The main takeaway from this is that data is at the heart of business transformation and by processing data, companies are effectively harnessing value and insights they can use to propel business forward.

Data-ism: As a Business Philosophy

This is the very essence of data-ism, a term coined by David Brooks in his 2013 write-up “The Philosophy of Data”. At the core of this philosophy is the belief that companies can exercise better process control and business strategies by quantifying processes.

By being able to measure a process or function, you are in a better position to gauge its effectiveness and make modifications for achieving positive business outcomes. Data enables visibility along process chains, allowing for more controlled implementation of a process.

Intelligent process automation with embedded intelligent data capture technology helps capture data along functions and process it to generate metrics or measurements that can be manipulated to arrive at the desired business outcome.

Data-ism is here to stay and dominate the business landscape in the coming years. The intelligent thing for businesses to do would be to adopt this ‘ism’ to harness data and insights for the best possible solutions for the future.

On a final note, here’s a real-world example of data philosophy taking effect, where this educational entity captured data from utility bills, which amounted to almost 5000 per year, and analyzed it to understand usage data and monitor utility consumption more effectively.

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