Carlo Donati emphasises on quality of data; Marcia Tal delves on value creation

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Carlo Donati, Former CEO, Nestle Waters & member of the Global Executive Board, Nestle South Asia

Carlo Donati, Former CEO, Nestle Waters & member of the Global Executive Board, Nestle South Asia

The inaugural edition of the Pitch Analytics in Action conference held in Bangalore took off with the keynote address by Carlo Donati, Former CEO, Nestle Waters & member of the Global Executive Board, Nestle South Asia on ‘Analytics in Action’. He spoke about the importance of using analytics to improve efficiency, increase ROI, and be successful. In today’s world where we are running at an extremely great speed, innovation and renovation are key success factors.

Technology, quality, and speed dictate analytics. If big data allows for innovations, then quality is also very important. It boils down to intelligent data analysed by intelligent people who use it to take intelligent decisions leading to intelligent results. The Egyptians are a great example of application of big data to build their pyramids. Battles were won with the help of quality data. Quality data helps in discovery and plays key role in effective management. It leads to transparency and success. If the importance of data is not accepted, it leads to confusion; confusion = failure. For instance, Indira Gandhi, during the Emergency, did not look at data and this led to her being asked to step down. So, governments and people need to adjust and train themselves to look at data.

In the ’90s, Nestle realised the importance of analytics, spending $6 billion and assigning 2,000 people to create data and handle analytics. The company had 500 factories across 140 countries with over 2.5 lakh employees. The creation of this team enabled to improve quality of available data, speed, and operational efficiency. In the 60s, Bennett Coleman went through analysis of data. To improve production, all the outlets were linked and data sent back which helped define consumer trends and improve working capital efficiency.

Carlo gave the instance about when he was running Waters for Nestle. In the US, they had huge operations with a $4 billion turnover with a seasonality factor. Good analysis of big data was crucial in order to program and plan to respond effectively to peak season demand. It is necessary to professionalise the management of data. Avoid data killing you. You have to manage data.

Marcia Tal, Founder, Tal Solutions LLC & Former EVP- Citigroup Global

Marcia Tal, Founder, Tal Solutions LLC & Former EVP- Citigroup Global

Marcia Tal, Founder, Tal Solutions LLC & Former EVP- Citigroup Global took the big data conversation forward with her talk on ‘Using data to create opportunities for growth’. She began by reiterating that application of analytics is how value is really created. It is empowering to find value inside your own organisation to identify and act upon for incremental growth in revenues. Albert Einstein famously remarked, “Vision without execution is merely hallucination.” It is our job as leaders in a world where solutions are complex and not easy to find to look at data.

Global trends:

  1. Globalisation: When we talk about ‘globalisation’, the words ‘integration’, ‘interdependence’ and ‘knowledge transfer’ come to mind. It brings opportunities for discovery within systems.
  2. Digitalisation: It complements globalisation and brings diverse information together to identify patterns to learn and discover.
  3. Urbanisation: Migration to cities is going up and cities are where the innovation is taking place in education, healthcare, and where growth and innovation are happening. Rise of the emerging market consumer will have an impact on economic growth and systems which will in turn drive innovation and growth.

Defining trends of Global Economy:

  1. Macro-economic factors
  2. Regulatory mechanisms – Companies have no choice but to innovate to operate within the framework
  3. Competitive landscape – How we play between competitors and partners and also engage with competitors as partners. The challenge lies in how we view intellectual properties and work together.

Reinventing the Game:
The movie ‘Moneyball’ is a great example of sophisticated use of data to change the status quo. It showed the use of statistics to change a game where it is not traditionally used. It is important, in this context, to note that:

  1. Information is exploding and explosive.
  2. Tools and technology are enabling
  3. The information is out there but the capability is not present. So it is paramount to focus on talent.
  4. Value creation from what was previously dismissed. A great example is that outliers are usually thrown away. But the hidden value was ignored. It has to be analysed in conjunction with other data.

Big Data Gap: Are we embracing learning fast enough?

  1. Less than 1% of the world’s data is analysed.
  2. Less than 20% of the data is protected although the amount of data requiring protection is growing faster than the digital universe
  3. By 2020, emerging markets will supplant the developed world as the main producer of the world’s data.

In this context, it is important to note that the more data we have, the more creative the ‘stories’ should be. But there information use should be morally, ethically used along with data protection which is key. According to Thornton May, Futurist, Executive Director and Dean of the IT Leadership Academy, there are 3 dimensions to big data – Value, Velocity, and Variety. Data sources have greatly increased with 85% falling in the category of unstructured data. We could only play in the structured data space due to lack of access and technological development. But the unstructured data space with big data is where you can play and where all the excitement lies.

Analytic Framework:

  1. Understand and analyse your business – do you understand your TG? What are the growth drivers? How can you make money? How does it relate back to my target market and the value proposition?
  2. Identify and decide strategy and tactics – what are your core competencies? The probability of success is greater if we focus on what you’re good at, decide high impact initiatives. Can you prototype and simulate impact and decide where to take risks and where to make changes?
  3. Design and develop roadmap – what are the offers that you put out into the market and to your target consumer? How quickly can you put products out in the market? How fast can you make changes in the organisation to produce and market these products?
  4. Enable and enact flawless execution – through infrastructure, customer experience, and real-time problem execution
  5. Measure and learn

Real-time analytics is very important because if you know the time between knowing that you’re losing money and acting on it, then you will be able to lessen it quickly. You have no right to exist if you don’t fully utilise data. Analytics is moving from niche to fundamental. Analysing spend pattern recognition allows access to broad profit-making opportunities within the organisation. Complex Event Processing (CPE) assumes great importance in this scenario. It is the ability to go up the proactive ladder to predict actions and take decisions way before an event takes place. This will enable increase in customer experience and satisfaction through constant real-time monitoring, predicting, and response.

Pitch Analytics in Action was powered by The Hindu Business Line. Dekhooh was Outdoor Partner for the event, CIOL.com was the Online Partner, Institute for Competitiveness was the Think Tank Partner, Marketelligent was the Knowledge Partner, and 24 Frames Digital was the Webcast Partner.

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