Rebuild Your Analytics for a Post-Pandemic World

Foreword

Aftershocks from the global pandemic continue to disrupt markets—from a broken supply chain to a semiconductor chip shortage. The economic fallout continues to persist, despite the fact that it’s been nearly 2 years since the initial outbreak. With the inability to operate off of past behaviors and market patterns, it’s more critical than ever for organizations to be data- and insights-driven going into 2022.  

This Executive Outlook details 3 strategies organizations can quickly deploy to navigate unanticipated challenges with Intelligence Everywhere—ensuring that both strategic and tactical hurdles faced in 2022 are expeditiously addressed, based off of trusted data and insights.   

     
Data-driven companies are 58% more likely to beat revenue goals than non-data-driven companies and 162% more likely to significantly outperform laggards. 

- MIT Technology Review, October 2021 

    

The past 18 months have catalyzed a decade of change across every industry. Employees are connected digitally more than ever, and businesses have adopted new means of production, customer service, and workforce optimization. The end of the pandemic may finally be on the horizon given positive news on vaccines and antiviral pills from Merck and Pfizer – but the reality is that going back to business as usual isn’t an option. The coming year is likely to bring about third-order effects that will continue to challenge old assumptions. In order to stay ahead, and avert unforeseen problems, organizations need to double down on data-driven operations—with the ability to quickly react as the market landscape changes.    

 

There’s no starker example of how a data-driven organization overperformed in 2021 than in the auto industry. Sonic Automotive, one of the largest auto retailers in the US, had impressive highlights to share in its third-quarter filings. Revenue was up 20.6% to $3.1 billion, and income from operations was up 39.1% year-over-year—despite sharply lower inventory. Compared to 12,900 a year earlier, inventory only stood at 2,400 new vehicles at the end of Q3. Despite having a mere 1/6 the inventory, the company made more revenue and more profit—a testament to its culture of data that has empowered people to make smarter, faster decisions. Their teams could quickly understand market trends and had the ability to act on them.  

As organizations look to take on new challenges to grow their business in 2022, now is the time to consider key strategies to rebuild analytics capabilities and empower employees with precise skills. The following 3 strategies can help your people, teams, and departments maximize your investment in technology and analytics—while laying the foundation to navigate an uncertain year ahead.  

 


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One of the most consequential effects of the pandemic was a sharp increase in employee productivity. According to SHRM, survey data from 800 employers found that productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, even with employees working remotely. Every person has been asked to do significantly more in their day, and with a remote workforce logging the same (or likely more) hours, it’s no surprise productivity soared. Conversely, organizations considering options to fully return employees to the office in 2022 could experience a drop in productivity. Whether because of school drop-offs, commute time, elevator delays, or physically moving between in-person meetings, many workers will have fewer hours in the day fully dedicated to work. One solution to setting a new bar for workplace productivity lies in modernizing analytics applications to enable smarter, faster decision-making based off trusted, enterprise data. 

 

A decade ago, users were introduced to the concept of self-service analytics, as organizations rushed to ensure that their employees had the tools to analyze data with reports, spreadsheets, and visualizations. Since then, the most successful teams have realized that not everyone is a data scientist or an analyst—and hardly anyone has the time, the expertise, or the inclination to research every decision for the best data available. In 2022, information needs to find users, in context and in real time, with consumer-grade experiences as natural to access and manipulate as any app on your smartphone.  

This HyperIntelligence example demonstrates the use of cards in the Salesforce application.

MicroStrategy’s modern analytics solutions seamlessly inject intelligence right to the edges of the enterprise, putting it directly in the places where people already work to do their jobs. HyperIntelligence® Cards offer an elegant user experience: simply hover over highlighted text on the screens where people already work (websites, business apps, mobile devices) to see key metrics, visualizations, and even next-step recommendations. Embedded Analytics can add dashboards into existing web apps to infuse business tools with insights that delight users and skyrocket productivity. Organizations can also employ AI to nudge users to the most-likely next action in a primary business application via a seamless and intuitive experience—no user training required. Business value and analytics adoption go up, development costs go down, and users are radically empowered to make smarter, faster decisions.       

Take the first step… 

Identify a BU that has struggled to leverage conventional reporting. Increase analytics adoption by building and sharing a customized HyperIntelligence Card for this team.

Who are the key hires your business needs to recruit and retain in the midst of the great resignation

Demand for skilled tech workers accelerated in 2021, and executive teams should expect the same for 2022. Businesses will continue to struggle to fill open positions as well as retain existing talent. According to recent data from IT employment consultancy Janco Associates, the number of IT jobs in the US has increased for the past 13 months—and the numbers are expected to go even higher. Many IT organizations have open positions they are not able to fill because of a lack of qualified candidates. Remote work has upended the labor market, keeping unemployment in this sector at historic lows, and teams are now having to get creative in how they recruit and retain talent. 

According to HBR, “the most obvious solution to upping employee retention, is creating more effective training and development programs.” Brilliant, highly motivated employees are attracted to employers who invest in them, challenge them, and push them to succeed beyond their comfort zone. In 2022, attracting and retaining top quality employees necessitates access to a catalog of sophisticated, career-defining educational opportunities that can be completed either on-demand or in a live, virtual group session.  

Who are the key hires your business needs to recruit and retain the midst of the great resignation? CIO.com lists Mobile App Developers, Systems Analysts, and Cloud Architects among the most in-demand jobs. Empowering these roles with enhanced educational offerings is a win-win for the business, achieving higher levels of employee engagement while empowering key personnel to expand their reach and effect greater changes across the enterprise than previously possible.  

For MicroStrategy customers, the courses below are advanced educational offerings that developers, analysts, and architects can pursue as they mature their career. Organizations new to MicroStrategy have the ability to trial the platform free for 30 days, during which they receive access to the entire catalog of live and on-demand courseware. This catalog features 50+ multi-level courses, available in multiple languages, covering a full spectrum of topics related to enterprise analytics.

     

Take the first step… 

Schedule an introductory meeting with your HR and Training Teams to map out how your organization plans to upskill employees in these critical positions.

Analysts

2021.143: Dossier Design Workshop (4 hours)

Enable your people to quickly create, share, and maintain intelligence applications to run your business in a rapidly changing landscape. 

Architects

2021.912 Advanced Project Architecting (2 days)

Effectively deliver the support and capabilities needed for enterprise and departmental analytics as data models evolve for your business.  

Developers

2021.512 Advanced SDK for Customizing Branding (2 days)

Developers can easily improve a look-and-feel, or extend data availability beyond dashboards with APIs. Learn how to create your own URL for custom navigation using the URL API. 

Learning to cope—as an individual, family, or community—in an environment of unknowns has been a stressful exercise during the pandemic. Everyone struggled with questions like how will travel be restricted? Will schools remain open in the event of an outbreak? What is the proper etiquette when visiting neighbors? These questions are unnerving, evoke strong opinions, and often times lead to conflict. Similarly, every business continues operating in an economy of unknowns, having to develop contingency plans for any number of scenarios. How will the next public health scare affect the organization? What critical products or components will fall below inventory levels? What social movement or political development will merit a change to operating procedures? 

To effectively navigate these challenges with data-driven solutions, in 2022, every company needs to invest into a technology that’s not only efficient and effective in today’s landscape—but tomorrow’s as well. The best way to future-proof and achieve this end is to have the architecture and infrastructure built for agility: a cloud-based analytics platform. Whether your organization needs to build a productivity app in 2 weeks’ time, has to rapidly scale that app to tens of thousands of users, or needs to migrate its infrastructure from one cloud service to another—having such agility ensures that your organization isn’t held back due to technical limitations.

For companies considering a cloud-based MicroStrategy solution, the fully featured platform can be deployed in an organization’s existing cloud environment or in the MicroStrategy Cloud™: a managed cloud service built on a single tenant reference architecture. It optimizes and streamlines management of a deployment on each organization’s cloud infrastructure of choice—increasing scalability, performance, and security while freeing up your IT team to focus on building data and analytics solutions instead of maintaining and upgrading environments. When your organization’s solution has been iterated on and is ready to scale, the MicroStrategy Cloud seamlessly scales to tens of thousands of users, no matter where your data resides. And as the first fully containerized business intelligence and analytics solution in the world pending FedRAMP Certification in 2022, organizations have 100% confidence knowing their data is secured under the highest-grade controls and best practices the BI and analytics industry has to offer.  

     
In 2022, every company needs to invest into a technology that’s not only efficient and effective in today’s landscape—but tomorrow’s as well. 

    

Take the first step… 

Consider an analytics or productivity application your organization could move to the cloud and set a deadline for performing a cost/benefit assessment.

Summary

Prepare your organization for a data-driven 2022. Whether it’s modernizing your analytics applications, upskilling and engaging core team members, or deploying agile productivity apps on the cloud, navigate the obstacles in the year ahead with data analytics to make smarter, faster decisions.   

If you would like to speak with a MicroStrategy expert to discuss apps and solutions for your unique post-pandemic business challenges, use the link below to get started on your journey to Intelligence Everywhere.