Data and analytics hold a kind of ‘power’ – and we can use that power to build online security, prevent financial crime and even fend off cybercriminals. But there are still so many other ways we can improve the world through analytics. It can make business more personal, help us save lives in mission-critical situations, and ultimately empower people to invent brand new products we can’t dream of.
I truly believe that insights from data can change the world and people’s lives from the ground up, and we are beginning to see just how analytics can help people go from envisioning the future, to actually building it.
Despite this, as business people, we often actually undersell the true potential and ‘promise’ of data and analytics. We often mistakenly consider them as simply boring, table-stakes necessities that help us track financial metrics, optimise business processes and make data-driven decisions. Although these are all real benefits, analytics can be so much more important, not just to our businesses, but to everybody across the entire world.
Empowering people in the age of analytics
In many ways, analytics is actually very personal. This is more evident than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic, where everyone continues to endure immense disruption to their daily lives, both personal and professional.
The restaurant industry is one of the obvious examples. Many of them, especially smaller restaurants, had to become digital businesses overnight. They learned to take online orders, organise pickups and deliveries, optimise menu items and create loyalty programs. This is hard work, and for many of us, digital transformation has taken more than a decade. Restaurants did not have this type of time.
Thankfully, we’ve seen companies like Personica step in, providing critical analytics technology to their restaurant customers. Their work has made it possible for many restaurants to adapt and stay in business as if they were online businesses all along. It also means that many of us still have our favorite restaurants to enjoy during these times.
Championing analytics to save lives
When we do the hard work of making insights from data available to people, we do more than just optimise numbers or use AI to do ‘fancy tricks’. The decisions we make every day can affect real people. Analytics is what gives us the power to make smarter, faster decisions, and often mission-critical ones that save lives and livelihoods.
This is most evident in the healthcare field, which has also had to reinvent itself in a remote-first world despite striving to provide extremely personal care. Just like the restaurant industry, many health care providers moved its operations online while still retaining a human feel. Analytics helped make this possible by helping healthcare providers optimise appointments, wait times, and even providing customised experiences based on a patient’s prior medical history.
Today, medical tech company Ava uses AI and IoT to help women become pregnant without intrusive techniques or other treatments. Thanks to their work in personalising medical care specifically for women, more than 30,000 babies were born. We are literally seeing new life right in front of us, due to creative uses of analytics.
Meanwhile addressing mental health issues, which are increasingly surfacing since the pandemic began, are also being addressed with data. Today, there are companies providing 1-800 hotlines for those who need emotional support or are struggling with suicidal thoughts. Some of these hotlines are actually backed by analytics that pair the right mental health professionals with the right caller based on his or her needs.
Sometimes, analytics even helps these professionals choose the right answers. This work is an important reminder of the power of analytics, and that behind the scenes, analytics often can often mean the difference when helping somebody in need.
Analytics, AI and the promise of a better future
It’s understandable that when first we hear about cutting-edge technology, especially in analytics, that it seems a little ‘cold and robotic’. We often think data turns us into ]optimisation robots that act however the data tells us to act’, but this is a myth and was never the purpose of analytics.
The truth is, it goes the other way around. Analytics helps us solve very human problems and change the world for the better. In fact, when we make people the focus of analytics and put its power into their hands, we see people invent and innovate, creating brand new products and services in health care, education, entertainment, and much more.
If we want to drive more innovation at scale, we need to make the power of analytics accessible to everybody. This has been the goal of business intelligence from the very beginning. We must continue to make insights from data available to all people so that we can better connect with others, build stronger and more diverse teams, and build products previous generations couldn’t dream of.
I believe this is the promise of analytics—the power to help us take ideas and use modern data and analytics to transform our lives and enhance our future for the better.
About the Author:
Paul Scholey, Vice President International Sales at Sisense
As Vice President of International Sales, Paul Scholey is responsible for growing the Sisense business in EMEA and APAC. He brings over 25 years’ of experience in the software industry, having previously worked in and led teams in consulting, pre-sales, and sales. Paul has a track record of growing early stage and midsize software companies, with specialization in building sales teams focused on accountability and value-based selling. Most recently, he was SVP of International at BlueJeans by Verizon. Prior to that, Paul held a variety of leadership positions at Oracle, Teradata, Pentaho and Business Objects.
Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organisations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customisable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform, that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, six years in a row. Visit us at www.sisense.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.