In our recent podcast, the third in a C-Series for Resilience Planning in a COVID economy, Chris Wheeler, Prevedere VP of Partnerships, and Tony Cioffoletti, a founder, CEO, board member, and advisor, discuss the critical role both internal and external data plays in resilience planning.
Over the last year, some industries were clear winners, and others faced more challenges as a result of the pandemic. However, even across these industries, specific companies were more equipped to handle uncertainty than others, and it all starts with data. Businesses that were already leveraging data properly throughout their planning models were generally able to find solid ground more quickly following the initial disruption of COVID. Other companies that were less digitized and relied less on data analytics struggled to make informed decisions amid the quickly changing landscape. Cioffoletti explains this is because “if you don’t have good information about how to change and react to the way things are moving today, you fall behind. You can almost look at it where companies that have digitized or went through digital transformation. They panned out better during the age of COVID”.
Successful resilience planning goes beyond digitization. Companies will need to combine internal and external data insights, identify leading indicators relevant to their business, and align these insights with their business planning process. While this means curating and analyzing a lot of data, Cioffoletti urges that it’s not always just about the amount of data but also the quality and relevance of the data at the right frequency. Businesses have to first narrow in on their specific needs to incorporate the right external data. This is critical as external data provides visibility and context beyond what internal data alone can provide. This is especially necessary in the age of COVID when the business environment is continuously changing.
After narrowing in on the right data and identifying key indicators, it is important to break down data into its most relevant form for consumption. This can mean different things across different audiences, even within the same company. For example, business executives may want to identify trends and visualize the data on dashboards quickly. In contrast, other business units may need to work with every line of data possible. Understanding the most useful way for each business unit to properly consume information is a critical step towards maximizing the power of raw data.
Building the right data infrastructure and creating proper resilience planning tools is critical for success in times of uncertainty. Moving forward, it’s important to have access to the right data and tools for resilience planning when you need them, so you don’t waste time building from the ground up during a crisis. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic will not be the last black swan event that businesses will face. However, companies that properly harness the power of data will be more prepared and more resilient when the next crisis hits.