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Imagine getting a claim from your car insurance company without a physical survey of the vehicle to assess physical damage after an accident. Pre-lockdown, this would have seemed impossible. But, the advent of technologies like image processing, video processing with Machine Learning models, allows surveyors sitting at home to remotely approve claims before policies are paid out.

In a brave new world, organisations can no longer be static when dealing with changing consumer behaviour or evolving workforce dynamics. Silos of data are out and democratization of data is the new mantra for businesses to resolve complex issues around external and internal analytics.

The first episode of a thought leadership series ‘The Future: Automated, Analytical and Advanced’, presented by Alteryx and Livemint is centred around the theme ‘Blueprint for Analytics Transformation in Finance’, where industry experts decode the impact of analytics process and automation in various applications and its Return on Investment (ROI).

The BFSI industry has been one of the early adopters of emerging technologies in India. Analytics and data science are increasingly being deployed in this data-rich sector to compete, stay relevant and accelerate business transformation.

“The number one thing that I see happening because of this analytical framework coming in is the push from the top to have a single source of truth. So far, people only cared about the multiple sources of revenue. They one key problem that we are trying to solve with analytics is how to give that single view which allows us to make the right decisions," said Aabhinna Suresh Khare (CDO, Bajaj Capital Limited).

Digital, today, is a critical part of any organisation’s growth story. “If you go back 10 years, we used to write a lot of automation software and write predictive analysis. Today, it is everywhere in our lives. You go to amazon and you start getting ads on what to shop," said Sanjivan Shirke (SVP - IT, Head-Information Security, UTI Mutual Fund).

The insurance industry, which had been talking about effective use of technology in its processes for a while now has accelerated its digitalization journey due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Across the board, technology has changed the way inspections are done. This holds not just for vehicles after accidents, but also for large plants located in remote places that would take days for a surveyor to reach. I think we have moved very fast on digitization as an industry," said Chakra Gampala (Head - Digital & Analytics, Tata AIG General Insurance).

In such a scenario, upskilling the workforce to better manage future analytics needs and save precious man hours wasted repeating mundane data tasks becomes imperative. Banks across the board are getting their employees onboarded on the new digital processes.

“We have upskilled our people and trained them on the tools and technologies available for analytics, amongst which the most popular one is python. We have built the models to get the right decisions for the top management to help with decision making," said Amit Saxena (Global Deputy Chief Technology Officer, State Bank of India)

Prasanna Lohar (Head Technology – Digital | Innovation | Architecture, DCB, added: “It’s very important for every bank to reskill their resources today, looking at how adoption of emerging technologies like AI, ML, blockchain is happening. People are an important element of digital transformation."

India is fast headed towards the era of branchless banking and online services. But C-Suite executives are facing a lot of resistance in adopting analytics. The main hurdle is getting past that first resistance from people and creating a snowball effect in the organisation.

“The resistance mainly comes from people rather than technology and I think that is the acceptance of change and innovation. The most successful offices that I have worked with have officers to focus on the early adopters, who are ok with change. They start their journey with mundane tasks. Then, once you are able to highlight that success to other businesses and it starts to take down some resistance and drive the transformation," said Jordan Barker (Solutions Engineer Director APJ, Alteryx).

In today’s highly competitive business environment, companies need more from data than just financial statements and reports. Data is being used to derive actionable operational insights and improve day to day decision making, real time.

“One part of it is giving employees better tools which drive overall intelligence at which the company operates, and this translates into customer experience. It’s a combination of technology, process, data and people that need to come together to deliver the right experience for the customer and we are learning in the process," Gampala added.

Analytics are being employed for smarter prediction of consumer behaviour by organisations that hold vast amounts of data that they have collected over the years.

“Prediction consumer behavior has been an age-old problem. The vast amount of data is lying both within the organisation and across different organisations that can access that data. The challenge is how to combine this 360-degree view of the customer by collecting all these data points and use them in your decision making. Enriching the data is also equally important so that it is updated when you need it," said Sanjay Kar (Head Analytics, Equifax India).

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