The data revolution – Creating a competitive advantage

We are in a data revolution, and I wanted to share my thoughts from a few articles that I have been looking at.

Due to the pandemic, we have achieved ten years of digital acceleration during the past 12 months. While this acceleration has shifted millions of people into online channels, we now have an unintended problem –

relatively generic online experiences have replaced millions of rich in-person interactions. 

Businesses must change the narrative and create more meaningful digital conversations by adding a human touch. We are all in competition with a consumer’s last ‘best’ experience regardless of the industry. Our habitual behaviour means that we now expect an Amazon, Uber, or Netflix experience whenever we interact with a business.


At the height of the pandemic, one in five consumers switched brands, and seven in ten tried new digital channels.


With the increase in online activity and the resulting surge in data, we have not gained a comparable level of understanding of the customer. Rather than using the data to target customers and tailor messages, many marketers have reverted to mass communications and promotions.

Trust (or the lack of it) in data, based on how fast we move, has been enough to stop the most well-intentioned approach to data and optimisation. This will not be the case anymore with the (universal) priority on customer-centricity presenting us with the perfect opportunity to prove the value.

Data and Analytics technology is helping organisations respond to change, uncertainty and stay ahead of opportunities. Tools are used to identify key trends and prioritise based on the largest impact on competitive advantage.

These are some data and analytics technology trends that have been identified for 2021:

  • Smarter, responsible, scalable artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Data & analytics as core business function understanding importance to accelerate business initiatives
  • The emergence of dynamic stories to replace dashboards
  • Decision intelligence bringing together technology and people to deliver decision-making intelligence
  • X analytics, where X can substitute a range of variables presenting structured or unstructured data to identify, predict and plan for business opportunities (and disasters)
  • Augmented data management to optimise, automate (or offload) data management tasks
  • Insight data will shift from the domain of the data expert to anyone in the organisation with the implementation of automated, conversational, mobile, and dynamically generated insights.

Marketers are accepting data for the benefits and are doubling down. Organisations are already using data to implement modelling to design shop layouts, deliver personalised customer service, predict location and order fulfillment requirements and anticipate shifts in customer behaviour.

An example showed a consumer-goods company, anticipated that sales of beauty products would spike as communities eased out of lockdown. Marketing teams tracked reopening’s on a county basis, using epidemiological statistics, municipal reporting, and traffic data to determine where to focus their media spend. These tactics drove a double-digit increase in sales.

Empower your team to test customer behaviours and react quickly to changes. Create physical (and virtual) war rooms and use collaboration tools to be more agile, and the best companies are going further by integrating their vendor teams into their internal practices.

When you get this right, the results are impressive.

Organisations that prioritise data and the decision-making process can turn this crisis into a time of transformation. Capturing new data, searching for new relationships, and enabling rapid experimentation, can deliver granular growth opportunities for significantly greater ROI and resilience.

With digital acceleration and deeper digital engagement, companies will continue to invest in data, to create a more in-person, online experience.

Until next time,
Tony – Lead Experience Strategist


Reference – McKinsey ‘The big reset: Data driven marketing in the new normal’
Reference – Gartner ‘Top 10 data and analytics trends 2021’


Recent Posts