In a rapidly changing business environment, businesses are under pressure not only to comply with constantly changing regulations but also to modernise their processes and systems. The purpose is to help reduce compliance costs, improve efficiency and effectiveness, stay competitive and drive innovation while looking for better ways to serve their customers.
Against this backdrop, businesses will become more successful based on how they use data, analytics and collaboration in the new analytics economy. Recently, this has been the thrust of conversations at the SAS Road to Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence.
Other topics that have been treated at the forum include the path to digital transformation – how to prioritise data, analytics and automation processes, and using analytics to accelerate your organisation’s path to value as well as demonstration of practical examples on how AI has improved customer experience and how innovation, through analytics, is possible.
Seeing that we are in the analytics economy where data, people and machines work right to accelerate the pace of innovation, critical business decisions must be made via data analytics instead of gut feelings and guesswork.
For instance, at SAS, the leaders in business analytics software and services help organisations across the globe to transform their data into deep and well-defined insights. Insights that provide fresh perspective on your business, helping to identify what is working, fix what is not, and innovate in ways that keep you ahead of the competition.
“Our solutions turn large amounts of data into knowledge you can act on, and also empower business leaders to capitalise on new opportunities and be seen as strategic business advisers by using analytics to align the marketing process with the customer journey,” the Vice President, SAS Africa, Desan Naidoo, says.
He adds, “We want to avail businesses operating in Nigeria with solutions that help them to achieve a customer-centric business strategy with an integrated decision management approach —underpinned by Artificial Intelligence capabilities such as machine learning and cognitive computing.
“Our platforms address critical challenges across marketing — including planning customer-centric strategies, gaining insight from big data and analytics, optimising omni-channel customer interactions, and understanding the customer’s digital experience.”
A keynote presentation from Neil Harbisson, referred to as the world’s first ‘cyborg’ artist, who is visiting Africa for the first time, has been received with rapt attention. With a fully functioning antenna installed in his skull to help him ‘hear’ colour and paint sounds, Neil decided to merge with technology in order to sense more realities with the natural world.
“Humans have limited number of sensors, but if we merge with technology, we could have more sensors that will enable us to understand and unfold the real beauty of nature. We can add new senses and additional organs to extend our bodies’ capacity to experience the world. In effect, we can redesign ourselves.
“Our current evolutionary step is to merge with technology and take an active part in the birth of our future selves. I work with artificial senses, which I call AS,” Neil says.
The Senior Business Solutions Manager, Advanced Analytics and AI, SAS, Larry Orimoloye, has recently been encouraging organisations to adopt AI as it is transforming businesses by enhancing current analytical capabilities to better understand customers and deliver the best experiences like never before – and fast enough for business differentiation.
For him, AI also sets new targets for organisations and helps them to make informed decisions based on the outcome of its data analytics.
“AI has increasingly refined the ability of machines to study data in order to detect patterns that allow computers to organise information, identify relationships, make predictions and detect anomalies.
“Today, modern applications of AI have already given us self-driving cars and virtual assistants and our solutions have helped us to detect fraud and manage resources like electricity more efficiently,” Orimoloye says.
He adds, “AI will help organisations improve their marketing effectiveness, increasing digital intelligence by integrating web analytics data with multi-channel data to gain a comprehensive view of the customer for better personalisation and engagement.”
He further noted that contrary to envisaged fears that emerging technology like AI will put many humans out of jobs, if well applied, AI will create more jobs and help enhance business efficiency.
“Mundane tasks can be operationalised by robots that will intelligently carry out these tasks without fail, while previously assigned personnel can be upskilled into more productive assignment, without losing their jobs, and add more value to the business of the organisation,” he says.
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