What does it mean to be data-driven in today's day and age? The definitions have all changed. Not only does data inform and guide decision-making processes but also, optimizes operations, improves products, integrates services, and identifies new opportunities. The combination of artificial intelligence and cloud computing is an emerging concept in enterprise software architecture. It addresses the current demands and challenges of storing and processing high-volume data, building and running algorithms in the cloud, and integrating advanced machine-learning services.
Forbes India explored this further during the 'Reimaging Enterprises With Data Cloud' forum, in partnership with Snowflake. In a discussion moderated by Mugdha Kalra, leaders such as Vimal Venkatram, MD, Snowflake India; Dinesh Gangwani, CTO, Mahindra Finance; Sriram Naganathan, CTO, HDFC Ergo; Ramesh Padala, CTO, Reliance Retail; and Vijay Kannan, Global Business Head Transformation and CDO, Godrej Consumer Products discuss all that is data-driven.
What does it mean for an enterprise to be data-driven? Sharing his experience, Mr. Vijay said, "We sometimes overhype the word 'data' and what can organizations do with data. At its core, for me, it means ensuring better decision-making, more efficient and effective decisions by taking into account the information that's available to us. Over the past years, as technology has evolved, we've been able to capture a multitude of data sets across various operations and processes that organizations have. But, unfortunately, we've not been able to put it to use by converting data to information to insights. The advent of technology has unlocked the power that organizations can unleash behind getting to these insights."
As the discussion progressed to the biggest advantages of implementing data and then AI in decision-making, Mr. Dinesh from Mahindra Finance said, "There's a lot of information out there. The key we've observed is that we're all gunning for the same set of customers. So, one of the things that data helps is that on the customer experience, you can give a stronger focus. We've all heard the word hyper-personalized. With data and AI, you can decide what the customer needs to be pinged for. Next, we are looking at our operating costs and how we can lower them. There's a lot of collateral information that we collect and with AI you can do wonders with it. The third advantage is that from a decision perspective, while there's a lot of physical touches that are required, a bot acts as a strong enabler for us."
Mr. Sriram contributed his perspectives with a focus on the BFSI sector on the trends that have changed in the past concerning data and data consumption. Sharing some use cases in the sector, he said, "Talking about distribution and sales, the regulator has taken the lead. It has been talking about insurance for all by 2047. This has put all insurers on a fast trajectory. There's no better way than deep mining data and ensuring that we address this big issue. Ensuring the right kind of product for the right kind of people is the real challenge. At HDFC Ergo, crop insurance is a big play for us. You use a lot of data and artificial intelligence to cater to this particular segment. Another aspect is operational efficiency. As an industry, we don't see large margins. So, every penny saved is contributing in a big way to the bottom line."
How are numbers being used to understand what customers like? How can you change the products? What is the retail experience like? Sharing his insights Mr. Ramesh said, "Retail is more or less very simple. You buy, move, sell, and then finally serve. Reliance plays a big role and it's more of an ecosystem at play. We buy fruits from farmers, clothes from manufacturers, soaps from FMCG companies, etc. It's a big ecosystem of consumers and producers and we've been leveraging data to bring all of it together. From a consumer's perspective, there's been personalization and hyper-personalization. Our next-generation Resort Stores have features like virtual trial rooms which auto-detect details about you. In terms of the supply chain, buying and selling cycles have become hyper-seasonal."
Mr. Vimal shared his views on what is driving all organizations toward data and if everyone prepared for it. He said, "Every organization today needs to be data-driven if they are not. The Indian Railway Minister wants to build an ecosystem with bricks and clicks. The entire underlying clicks transformation is with data.
From private to public-sector organizations, everyone looks at data as an asset today. The whole idea of data is whether you can leverage it to offer new products and services which will impact revenue. Can we use it to reduce costs? Can we make data sharing with our customers or internal units more efficient? Can we improve efficiency and reduce risk as security is a major concern for all."
To watch the full episode, click here: https://youtu.be/_9mMkrWPcDw The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.