A country like Malaysia can be considered as having mixed phases of development and exposure on almost all fronts. The brick and mortar businesses were thriving prior to the pandemic and due to the government-imposed Movement Control Order (MCO), the adaptation to peddling their wares online was almost an overnight move.
No doubt, the entire world is going through an accelerated phase of adopting technology in their processes; be it a cog in a supply chain or as the forefront of a monolithic brand. With that said, other industries have long inculcate technology in their daily work routines. And this begs the question: Are we making informed decisions at work? More importantly, are these decisions backed up by legitimate data? Or it has always been a mix of gut-feel and gigabytes of information?
Let’s dive a little deeper and have a conversation on the importance embracing this paradigm shift and why it is high time we adopt a culture of data-driven decision making:
Improved Customer Experience
Long gone are the days where you would be focusing purely on the executive buy in of the upper echelons of a typical company or businesses. These days, hierarchies are flatter and designations are merely to denote the functionalities of the divisions in order to achieve one common ground: maximising business revenue.
Businesses are steadily empowering their associates to make choices at the workplace. This is an attempt to prevent any form of bottlenecks that might either hinder the progress of a sale or to present a seamless experience to their customers. Because of this, every role in a company must understand and treat data as an asset and the most efficient way to do this is to also inculcate a culture of learning and development. Before one can adopt, they must adapt and attempt to understand the subject matter at hand. Ultimately, this results in a smoother business flow end-to-end.
Attracting and Retaining Talents
To achieve success in tandem with using data, the users themselves must be capable to do so. Hiring is one option but often, leaders tend to overlook their existing people in the process to acquire a new talents. Upskilling and Reskilling are buzzwords that have held their momentum and on the rise in the learning and development scene. To date, more and more companies (big and small) are jumping on the technology bandwagon. These actions are even more reassured by the involvement of conglomerates, small-medium enterprises (SMEs), universities, research companies and government-linked companies.
While it takes time for Malaysia as a whole to weave technology at grassroots level, employers can do something today by effectively identifying skills gaps and addressing them by sourcing for defined and reputable training and development courses. The swift yet sound action to take almost immediately would be to engage in a training solutions provider who is adept in maneuvering through the current landscape that is peppered with big data and technology elements. As it is, we cannot afford to lose amazing talents at a critical time simply because we did not bother to grow with the flow.
A good point to note: we have a good blend of generations in the workforce. Understand what makes them tick and a recipe of relevant work experience in the older generations + tech-savvy millennials should equate to achieving an equilibrium which can only propel the brands in Malaysia forward.
Human Resources will continue to pivot their functions as the years go by. From handling the people which in turn translates to the business and the brand and managing growth of the associates (both in development and in number), HR has come a long way indeed. Understandably, no division of a company can truly run away from incorporating technology into their business operations. HR started with files and folders and morphed into management systems which relied on the input of humans in order to generate desired reports. This is the current vision but we all know there are underlying desires on improving the status quo.
As it is, data resides in every possible nook and cranny of a business. Be it in Excel spreadsheets, Keynote presentations or even balance sheets piled up in the store room. Truly, it is what we do with the data available that makes all the difference. We have been dependent on our information systems and reports to project actionable next steps. But there is more to it than just spotting trends and patterns. Deep learning of data can range anywhere from descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics and predictive analytics. We can fully harness this by deploying a roadmap that makes everyone in the company a data champion.
Inculcating a data-driven culture at your organisation will take time and effort— it’s a long-term game, and not an overnight achievement. The people themselves will continue to be the most difficult aspect of an imminent cultural change. If you focus on the key points outlined above, you should reach a tipping point where the data champions in your business eventually outnumber those who do not advocate for its utilisation.