September 14, 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
It’s been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began its scourge across the world, leaving in its wake economic unrest, exhaustive strain on healthcare systems, varying levels of uncertainty for nearly every industry vertical, and tremendous loss of life and financial stability.
Nearly all business decisions come at a cost. In the pandemic’s economic climate, those decisions’ risks carry far greater weight than ever before, and the consequences can be devastating. For example, business leaders may not be able to afford resources or costs to pivot from an unsuccessful investment in new product lines, manufacturing methods, or an overly ambitious software launch that directly or indirectly leads to revenue loss. Strategy is everything.
This article aims to present critical issues businesses face and how to use modern data solutions to resolve, mitigate, and insulate businesses from those problems in the future. This can be done using data companies already have, but aren’t leveraging, to work smarter and maintain a competitive advantage.
The following pain points represent some of the most significant pandemic related issues affecting most businesses:
Nearly every organization struggles to clearly identify costly bottlenecks embedded in their business processes, and that lack of understanding can add up over time. For example, a company may have poor visibility into complexity-driven costs to keep inefficient legacy systems running or high software licensing costs that could be renegotiated to much lower, competitive rates. These could be the difference between laying off employees or the inability to meet demands for production costs.
Many companies do not invest in the practice of modernizing marketing exposure channels by using targeted analytics or ensuring ease of consumer access to products through online shopping. Failing to build modern web pages or leverage technology to increase accessibility can lead to a sharp decline in revenue streams, low consumer diversity, and accessibility to products.
Adopting contact-free services or access to goods for consumers and remote or socially distanced work environments is essential to following government-mandated guidelines. Additionally, attempts to revert to non-socially distanced practices across states have proven to be dangerous to public health and typically rolled back to socially distanced restrictions.
Most companies didn’t have an emergency response plan in the event of abrupt economic instability or risk of sharp declines in revenue. Companies that put in the time to formulate these plans, while more prepared, will likely encounter most of the same struggles as other businesses. Your insights and strategy should derive from concrete research, consideration of new technology, and data analysis.
Due to unprecedented economic and financial instability, it’s crucial to adopt data solutions with a holistic approach that addresses the root cause and prioritizes low risk, high reward outcomes curated to meet your business needs:
What is your company’s burn rate? In other words, what is the cost of maintaining business as usual? For example, IT infrastructure, software licensing, payroll, and other essential expenses that “keep the lights on.” Data analytics can help your organization understand where those costs are highest, so they can be reviewed for more cost-efficient technologies, better vendors, or disposed of altogether.
Data modernization and governance bring organization-wide visibility and understanding of all data sources and provide a substantial strategic advantage to any business. The value of standardizing, modernizing, and managing data solutions offers vital insight to individuals in the organization and empowers your workforce to make data-driven decisions. Data is a company’s most valuable asset.
For example, it is difficult for a company to resolve recurring, costly issues or prioritize investment in resources based on consumer demand without data. Implementing data governance and definition is an investment that will continue to protect your business by maximizing risk/reward analytics and extrapolating projected outcomes based on historical data.
Efficiency evaluation and consulting act as an audit to identify one or more areas of business processes, technologies, or activities that directly or indirectly waste resources, contribute to profit loss, or could be improved. Ideally, efficiency evaluation is facilitated by a well-crafted data solution and governance.
For example, evaluating a business process will likely involve data from multiple sources to produce evidence that supports viable recommendations. Prior to the pandemic’s detrimental impact, practices involving efficiency and data auditing or modernization were generally considered “extra” or something only specialized companies needed.
The notion of businesses “going back to normal” has become an unrealistic expectation as consumer and employee health risks remain a concern. The future of business inherited an enormous amount of risk on a scale of magnitude that shook the world down to nearly every individual’s way of life. Investment and development strategies must evolve and adapt to anticipate those risks with more informed decisions to serve as the lighthouse to guide your company out of turbulent seas to safety and prosperity for years to come.
Learn more by reading our guide to modernizing legacy data analytics technology.
Senior Engineering Consultant
Taylor Thrasher is a Senior Engineering Consultant at Levvel. With almost a decade of experience, Taylor has a proven track record of implementing resilient data solutions and providing data governance/analytics consult to many Fortune 500 companies in a wide variety of industries. She has a passion for solving real-world business challenges using the principles of data science, creative/curated solutions, and offers a broad understanding of operations, infrastructure, and solution architecture for high complexity environments with unique requirements. Taylor's hobbies include her 150 gallon coral reef tank and playing video games.
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