As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, we continue to find examples of organizations that use analytics to manage uncertainty. Data played an outsized role in the necessary changes we’ve seen in 2020 and will have an even greater impact in 2021 and beyond. 

A 2020 survey showed that almost half of businesses are now using analytics more often than they had prior to the pandemic. Across industries and geographies, professionals of all kinds are embracing the power of data to keep businesses afloat, save lives, and embrace new opportunities.

The Biggest BI and Data Trends for 2021

Luma Health analyzes text messages to improve patient communications

One of the many things that digital health insurance company Luma Health helps medical providers do is collect feedback from their patients and communicate with them more easily and effectively. As COVID-19 was a huge healthcare crisis and a huge data event, the volumes of data being generated and captured by the organization skyrocketed in 2020. 

Luma Health’s data team used Sisense and Natural Language Processing to glean insights from their wealth of patient-provider text messages. The trends they uncovered now power effective new messaging that providers use to improve the patient experience, without Luma Health raising rates at all!

“In times of crisis, people need insight,” said Aditya Bansod, Luma Health Co-Founder and CTO. “The teams at Luma Health were able to use data analytics to analyze, recognize, and address the unpredictable swings in patient behavior that COVID-19 produced, harnessing insights to create a surge of innovation for good.”

New business conditions present new data that can yield game-changing insights. An innovation wrought from necessity can turn out to be the next burst of acceleration for a company or the foray into a new market that it then comes to lead. These exciting new angles are only visible, and possible, with the right analytics and data at a workforce’s disposal.

Key takeaway: Stay on top of new data that your org has access to; look for ways to leverage it for intelligence that can guide actions and evolve your product or service.

Softstuff uses data to pivot to direct-to-consumer

The COVID-19 crisis caused the unplanned evolution of countless businesses. For specialty food provider Soft Stuff, 2020 will forever be the year that they entered the business-to-consumer market. As the pandemic was just beginning in the US, President and CEO Lois Gamerman and her team took a hard look at the data and decided it was time to leap into retail ecommerce in hopes of weathering the storm.

“It’s hard to quantify the full effect [of analytics],” said Director of Technology and Business Operations Darren Klinefelter. “I was able to see in more depth the customers that come to our website, and we started better tracking our e-commerce ability.”

Soft Stuff has opened a range of storefronts to serve different communities, including FeedingU Kosher, Chesapeake Bay Gourmet, and others. 

“We’re managing three, four e-commerce sites off of the same inventory,” said President and CEO Lois Gamerman. “Sisense has given us the opportunity to look deeply into the products that we’re carrying and what the throughput is for each one of these flows.”

Using data and insights to chart a path into the future is top-of-mind for most executives. Currently, only 13% of respondents to a recent Sisense survey (conducted with IDC) said they interact with analytics on a daily basis (34% said weekly; about 50% said monthly). That number will only go up as intelligence from analyzed data becomes more and more important to the future of their companies. Getting a big-picture view of an industry and the company’s prospects for the future is an essential way that an analytics platform can help executives steer their companies in the right direction.

Key takeaway: Division heads, executives, and other decision makers need to make regular use of analytics a key part of how they lead their organizations.

LiveHire enhances hiring with AI

LiveHire’s AI-enabled talent acquisition and engagement platform, empowers HR managers and recruiters to hire and retain the best talent, more easily. Users experience a streamlined interface, where their hiring decisions can be guided by deep insights gleaned from their analyzed data — a huge step forward for HR professionals dealing with ever-slimmer margins and a more competitive job market in the era of COVID. 

“Healthcare organizations today, more than ever before, need to be able to source, engage, hire, and analyse well-matched talent into the organisation at speed with a next-generation applicant tracking system,” says Antonluigi Gozzi, LiveHire Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder.

Hiring and retaining the best people and using data to back up those hiring choices is a key part of helping businesses remain competitive. Infusing the right insights into workers’ hands at the right place — the optimum point of decision-making — will streamline operations, improve outcomes (including HR outcomes), and help the business evolve.

Key takeaway: Look for ways to infuse data-driven decisions into essential workflows to increase adoption and improve business outcomes.

Building a better world with data

Every company is becoming a data company, but what that data looks like and the changes it helps bring about are as unique as the companies themselves. The COVID crisis changed the world and has informed the shape that businesses have had to take in order to survive, but the fundamentals remain: Assess your data stores, start analyzing what you have, and pivot in the direction the data points.

The Biggest BI and Data Trends for 2021

Rachel Burstyn has been a part of the Sisense content team since 2019.

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