Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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The advent of Coronavirus and the proliferation of Covid-19 joined with the need for business to undergo digital transformation along with the impending roll out of 5G and 5G solutions will lead to the acceleration of the second phase of data explosion in the world, leaders and experts concurred as part of deliberations under The Economic Times DataConnect Summit.

“Our CEO Satya Nadella has said that Covid-19 has forced two years of digital transformation in just two months,” Aparna Gupta, Customer Success Lead, Microsoft, said, adding that the pressure on digital was such that Microsoft’s Teams division was seeing a total of 75 million daily active users. Teams is a collaborative tool like Slack where users can avail services such as video conferencing and team chat.

In addition to Covid-19 forcing businesses to invest in digital, JoAnn C. Stonier, chief digital officer at Mastercard predicted that the roll out of 5G is also going to play a major role in ushering in a new era of data explosion. “The change will be in the variety of data sets that we will begin to collect,” she said, adding that in order to deal with this explosion and information overload, businesses and organisations around the world will start adopting more of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

“Organisations need to have an AI framework ready to get to their business goals. The framework will ensure that data sets coming in has quality control. If data sets are incomplete and not timely, models will become obsolete or result in false positives,” Stoiner advised.

Carlo Ratti, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also backed Stoiner’s thoughts and said that governments and organisations should look at an open-source approach to data in order to curb the pandemic.

Speakers and experts also spoke about the importance of using data analytics, machine learning and AI. Professor Ratti underlined that since workspaces were changing in the new normal, organisations can look at data analytics to understand how the space is being used on a minute by minute basis to turnaround productivity, and reduce investments among other benefits.

Thomas Bode, Global Head of Data & Analytics, Swarovski  also said that his company has started using data anaytics for hyper-personisalisation presently after integrating analytics two years ago on the basis of data collected via loyalty programmes.

“Now we are in the position of recommending products or purchases to our consumer database . While doing this we are also ensuring that we are still able to collect new and more data in order to gain insights to make our business better,” Bode said. Backing Bode on his thoughts on the need of data analytics, Santhoji Katare, Global Data Insight and Analytics, Ford Motor Company, said that his organisation was looking to create multiple data sources to finally gain insights to better customer experience, improve production, make their supply chain more efficient along with maintaining regulatory compliance.

Other experts also said that their road to digital transformation started with the agenda of delighting customers and maintaing a competitive edge. Sam Sahana, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Walgreen Boots, said that the company’s use of data analytics and cloud helped the company expand. “… we ended up buying obsolete businesses in South America and then transforming them digitally to add to our revenue stream,” he said.

Vijay Sethi, Chief Information Officer at Hero MotoCorp also backed Sahana’s comments and said that cost cannot be the driver for cloud migration or digital transformation at large, it should be to drive better customer experience by generating more insights about customer behaviour. He added that cloud was expected to play a more pivotal role for the organisation in years to come.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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