The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation by 5-10 years across nearly every sector. Early in the pandemic, many organisations were forced to start their digital transformation journey in the face of business disruption and the change in consumer behaviour – for automotive retailers, their sales for new and used vehicle was moved online; for community pharmacies, they had to move many of their walk-in patients to home delivery. However, due to the limited amount of time for planning, such digitalisation could be fragmented. As we enter the new normal, these organisations are now looking at a long-term sustainable strategy post pandemic and take their digital transformation to the next level.
Digital Transformation is a process of creating new – or changing existing – business processes and culture using digital technologies for an organisation to deliver better values to its customers and meet the changing needs in the market. In some cases, digital transformation could lead to a fundamental change in how people think and work in an organisation, even its business model. A successful transformation will also improve the decision-making process, increase business resilience, and drive the business towards a more sustainable future and continuous growth.
What’s the key to a successful digital transformation?
Every interaction in the digital space generates data. These data provide indicators on various aspects of the business performance and customer experience. In the case of the sales of used vehicles, the demand for used cars spiked and this was an indicator for higher margin and sourcing the right stock. Some organisations have been utilising such data to improve their decision-making process; others might not have the right information tools in place to capture the real value of the data they collected. For those businesses who are using their data, however, the challenge is to have a holistic view of everything.
Traditionally, business organisations rely on people to collate data generated from different systems or applications into one complete report. But this process got a lot more challenging and became extremely time-consuming when businesses are digitalising their operations – the data is everywhere, online and offline. At this stage, the capability to integrate information from multiple sources, quickly analyse a huge amount of data and create easy to read visualisations is essential. To effectively turn complex data into actionable insights, the data analytics tool should present both big pictures and granular information so managers at all levels can see what needs to be actioned – to capture new opportunities or to prevent unnecessary losses for example, and drill down to different areas for the details they need. For instance, in community pharmacies it can be identified at head office that service opportunities are being missed, but unless this is being dropped into the workflow in the shop, there will be no improvement in performance.
Data analytics is obviously the key to a successful digital transformation. By pulling fragmented data into one place, businesses are connecting all their digital platforms into one ecosystem and getting integrated information to drive agility. There are other successful factors – clear goals with an integrated strategy, having the fit-for-purpose technologies and the right talent in place, but these should all be built on a data-driven culture and an agile mindset so businesses can see the changes they are expecting. (Read more: Flipping the Odds of Digital Transformation Success)
Become a data-driven organisation to fuel the transformation
Building a data-driven culture could be challenging – we will talk about it more in our future blogs, but one important step is to make data available to the wider organisation and treat it as a company asset. This process will not only increase the data literacy across the organisation, but also enable communications between departments using the same language to avoid data silos. In fact, shifting data and analytics to a core function is among Gartner’s Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021 – it’s clear that businesses are already moving data analytics from completed by a separate data or IT team to a core business function for better strategies and solve problems effectively.
Digital transformation drives agility for continuous improvement and data analytics is the fuel. Utilising data in the right way gives organisations better insights for decision making and helps them stay on top of the industry dynamics. Ultimately, digital transformation sets businesses on a path to become adaptive to future changes and uncertainties so they can continuously deliver values to their customers and stay profitable even in the face of disruption.
“Think of digital transformation less as a technology project to be finished than as a state of perpetual agility, always ready to evolve for whatever customers want next, and you’ll be pointed down the right path.” – Amit Zavery, VP and Head of Platform, Google Cloud
Real World Analytics (RWA) helps pharmacy groups and auto dealer groups to become data driven and drive profitability. Our pharmacy business intelligence solution provides actionable insights to ensure that no money is left behind and frees up pharmacy managers’ time for more innovations. The RWA’s automotive business intelligence solution brings data from various sources together to create a coherent picture and helps our customers take their digital transformation to the next level. If you’re interested in starting this data driven journey with us, check out our successful customer stories or contact us for more details.
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