Navigating the permacrisis with decision intelligence

 Senior Vice President, APJ, Alteryx

The global economy is transforming through new technology, and every forward-thinking company is amid their digital transformation strategy. Amidst the series of unparalleled crises encountered by business leaders in recent times, the term “permacrisis” has notably claimed the title of the Collins Dictionary‘s 2022’s “word of the year”.

Part of many companies’ strategy to navigate the permacrisis is to unearth the unparalleled insights from data. With data expected to grow up to 221 zettabytes by 2026, more pressure is placed for decision-makers to wrangle with the data and unlock time to insight through decision intelligence to “see around corners” and thrive.

Technology is one part of the equation to impactful insights. The pivotal aspect lies in empowering non-data science personnel, including professionals like accountants, to effectively extract insights. While we cannot turn all accountants into data scientists, nor would they want to be, we can certainly help them become more digitally enabled data-driven decision-makers. After all, it is far easier to teach an accountant some data analytics skills than to teach a data scientist the accounting rules.

The analytic enablement and empowerment of people to solve their own problems is becoming mission-critical for business leaders. Regrettably, many industries continue to underutilise the wealth of available analytical intelligence, disproportionately relying on a limited cohort of highly skilled data science experts. Nonetheless, the generation of strategic decision intelligence remains eminently scalable, promising broader and more substantial impact.

Why Analytics for All Matters

Data-driven decisions hold immense weight, as echoed in our 2023 State of Cloud Analytics Report that 89% of global respondents agree that cloud analytics investments have contributed to profitability. Yet, many businesses falter in bridging the gap between data and its users, restricting its access to leaders and high-level decision-makers. Technology is a catalyst, but data intelligence flourishes when a culture fostering data use in decision-making is nurtured. Empowering all employees, regardless of tech savviness, to access cross-departmental analytics is the route to democratising data-driven decisions.

Lacking data transparency and accessible analytics leaves most staff underserved, with insufficient data for informed choices. A data-literate workforce, adept at using technology to glean strategic insight from data, supports broader business goals. Instead of waiting for the talent market, business leaders should empower all employees for data-driven decisions.

Technology as Part of the Equation

Despite the growing importance of analytics in decision-making, many leaders face the common challenge of bringing their teams and data together to make data-driven decisions. The best technology in the world cannot help you create effective change if your people are not on board and capable of exploiting it to deliver value. Business leaders need to empower them and equip them with the right skills and tools. 

Self-service low-code/no-code platforms can play a crucial role in this process by enabling users with little to no programming experience to create and use analytics tools to make speedier, more informed decisions based on data. Companies that recognise this and lead the charge by upskilling – and reskilling – all employees, while fostering a data literacy culture where anyone can leverage data for strategic decision-making, will outpace those who fail to take these steps, quickly falling behind the competition.

Impact on Business Outcomes with Decision Intelligence

Data-driven decision intelligence is a stabiliser across all industries, so businesses have much to gain from a data-literate workforce. Accessible, self-service analytics and automation technologies are a force multiplier – a way to help businesses go further on their AI journey – enabling them to deliver actionable insights without relying on manual analysis. Apart from reducing the workload, making data more usable, and minimising human intervention, the automation of analytics processes can help to analyse fast-evolving market trends in real time. Delivering the ability to accurately predict future business scenarios, prepare for adversities, and invest in the right growth opportunities.

Why react to the unexpected when you can see, predict, and solve before it happens? With new challenges emerging almost daily, business decision-makers need to unlock the power of data-driven decision intelligence. A data-driven mindset can take time but is a valuable investment for delivering the insights needed at the speed and scale required to navigate increased economic and competitive uncertainty.