One thing that most of people and business decision-makers have in common during the Covid-19 outbreak is their daily watch over predictive data. Getting familiar with the digital disruption for the past decade, there is no denying that the pandemic drives business leaders and professional workers have widely accepted the power of data analytics to enhance the quality of business decision. During the crisis, companies that are digitally native showed a higher resilience level and outperformed their competitors.
In the absence of direct face-to-face contact, more and more companies are pivoting their business strategy with digital operating model. Either they launched digital products or activated digital channels for marketing and selling their physical product and services, those digital pivot strategies increasingly demand data analytics to capture the consumer behavioral pattern, monitor their remote employee productivity, optimize financial cost and business operation, or predict the future of business growth.
A recent survey showed that more than 80% of executives increasingly relied on data analytics in dealing with major decisions related to the crisis. It was revealed that data analytics help organizations in shifting to remote work smoothly and effectively and in exercising business strategies to ensure business continuity. In general, the benefits of data analytics for leaders and organizations are:
Showing financial diagnostics and business dashboard
Generating business forecast and predictions
Early discovery of business trends and consumer behaviour shifts
Providing alerts and vital insights for decision-making
Rerouting supply chain and distribution
Digital native companies have encouraged all employees to embrace data-driven habit in their daily working life. As a result, business-transforming ideas can come from any level or function within the organization. A well-known story2 about how a Facebook intern sparked a business-transforming insight using his market analytics is one example on how data-analytics can be impactful to the business and organization once it has been internalized as a culture.
As more and more business leaders and organizations depend on data analytics for tactical and strategic decision making, there are also some consequences that organizations need to anticipate:
1. Data-Driven Working Habit
Despite the wide-acceptance of data analytics in senior management level of organization, building a data-driven working habit and culture throughout the entire organization is a critical challenge. If workers’ brain perceives the shift to data-driven way of working as a threat to their current expertise and future job existence, hence resistance may arise. Organizations firstly have to open up their employees’ mind with digital awareness and then step by step facilitating them with a brain-friendly approach to help them embrace the data-driven culture smoothly.
2. Data-Driven Leadership
Before a CEO declared that the organization will roll out a data-driven culture that is essential to enable the digital transformation, he or she need to ensure that the leaders have already embraced a data-driven mindset and decision-making behavior. Developing a data-driven leadership habit among organizational leaders at senior to middle level of managerial positions need to be conducted in a rapid pace. Neuroscientific evidence revealed that building a new habit requires minimum 3-to-5 weeks period of daily repetition, but make such habit sustainable needs 3-to-6 months period of habituation.
3. Insight-Driven Innovation
One of the vital aspect of data analytics is the conversion of raw data into insights. Insights is the ‘aha’ moment when we recognize certain pattern during a problem-solving process and come up with solution. However, understanding insights that was provided by the business analytics dashboard and converting it into an innovative solution is two different process in the brain. There is a unique pattern of brain activity that are associated with creative and innovative thinking. Fortunately, the ability to create innovative insight can be enhanced through a proper brain-based coaching approach that deliberately builds the innovative neural pattern in the brain.