Sami Suominen

By Sami Suominen

Digitalization brings about huge amounts of data and changes the business, the world, and the structures well known to us. Decision-maker, change-maker – which one are you? Are you struggling to play catch-up or are others benchmarking you and carefully following all your movements?

The business environment is changing rapidly and continuously. Even if your industry might still be safe from its effects, change is lurking just around the corner. In a multilateral and networked world, cause-and-effect links are ever harder to perceive while attempting to make smart decisions. But how to successfully pilot your business forward in the midst of change?

This question has probably been discussed ad nauseam, yet it is still topical. What if things change again right away, what if we head in the wrong direction and our competitors are miles ahead of us? 

Participating in change will speed it up further

We are often driven to do something “because everyone else is doing it”. But with all the possibilities of digitalization, it may be difficult to decide which way to go. On the other hand, constantly observing others and making moves speeds up the change even further. Or would it, perhaps, be a better idea to sit back and wait for things to calm down again, and let others make all the fuss? The problem with that is that those calm times never existed – change is always present. Digitalization has just accelerated it.

Along with digitalization, consumer behavior is also transforming. Competitors offering faster, smarter, and more customized services through several channels can trample all over you if you fail to keep up with them. But how to optimize complex processes and how to understand random-looking consumer behavior? In this race, the human brain, unfortunately, is stuck on the starting line while other algorithms spur each other on the track.

Analytics and AI are today’s production lines

As a result of industrialization, artisans were overrun by a superior competitor: mass production. Are you the lonely data cobbler who still tries to understand the business without algorithms and analytics, while others speed past you with their computing power? Digitalization is the industrialization of our time – yet its momentum and impacts have been estimated to be even more colossal. To keep up with the competitors, you must admit that you need computerized help. And quickly.

Analytics and AI are today’s production lines, where data is processed and refined. If you could process the data collected from your business on a first-rate production line, what would you like to get as a result? Maybe the refined knowledge could boost your business or totally revolutionize it. A regular factory manager doesn’t need to know which way each cogwheel spins. They need to understand the process and the outcome. Roughly speaking, this also applies to data analytics. Leave the technical details to top professionals and focus solely on your baseline and desired outcome.

Whether you make decisions or changes, you’ll need AI and analytics

Naturally, AI and analytics alone won’t save you unless you know what to do with them. Those who know how to utilize data to boost their business or transform it have been dealt a winning hand. By and large, analytics and AI can be applied either to decision-making or change-making.

Decision-making is undoubtedly already familiar. Your business can be further developed and fine-tuned with AI and analytics, for example through predicting customer flows and steering demand. All decisions won’t necessarily revolutionize your business, but they can remarkably improve profitability.

Change-making requires a dash of courage and trust in AI and analytics. You can lead the way to change by basing your business on AI and offering something that wouldn't be possible without analytics. The AI-based transformation is at its best when you don’t notice it at all. Customer experiences become individualized, you’re contacted at the right time and with the right questions. On the other hand, as an active player, you always end up where you wanted to go in the first place – as if someone had known what you needed beforehand.

Digitalization expands the amount of data exponentially. Luckily, we don’t have to cope with all the changes without computerized help. Decision-maker or change-maker – whichever you want to be, in the age of digitalization, you need to rely on AI and analytics for support. It’s high time you started applying them.

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