We are facing a data revolution, say experts

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Industry experts from finance, tourism, retail, and healthcare are predicting that post-Coronavirus markets will be more data-driven than ever, says Omri Orgad, Managing Director, North America at Luminati Networks

Everyone knows that the ‘Coronavirus effect’ has made waves far beyond just the implications of social distancing.

Restrictions and lockdowns have brought most of the economy to a grinding halt and created a global economic crisis with long-term repercussions. Entire sectors, such as tourism, retail, manufacturing, and events are unlikely to return to their previous forms any time soon – if ever. Almost the entire physical world has now shifted online, taking the economy with it.

In light of this, even after the Coronavirus recedes and most sectors return to partial or full activity, that return will be to an entirely new world that was changed almost overnight by the virus.

With fluctuations in markets, economies and consumer demand occurring faster than the world has ever seen, businesses have become almost completely reliant upon online data – the most readily available and up-to-date information source.

In a crisis that is rapidly changing markets on a daily basis, the importance of up-to-the-minute online information and data has increased immensely. We predict that the need for such data will only continue to expand.

Below are a few examples from industry leaders that are experiencing this disruption first-hand.

Data collection

Or Lenchner, CEO of Luminati Networks, a leading global platform for online data collection providing services to tens of thousands of customers across the globe, notes that consumer activity in the online world has intensified in an unprecedented way, and in a short period of time.

“Online competition is increasing and the ultimate tool for maintaining business stability is access to up-to-date information,” he said.

“The old reality of waiting for reports and market surveys has faded for now. Today, we are living in an unpredictable market, where the desire for certainty is stronger than ever. The world has moved over to online activities and it’s going to stay online.

“Whole groups who had previously resisted going online are there now, and in a big way. Without a doubt, Coronavirus has subdued technophobia! And, as a result, the solutions for planning and strategising the future reside in the online arena.

“For businesses in every sector, data is the most essential tool for navigating a new and uncertain economic terrain. Data creates an island of certainty and clarity in a world where uncertainty is increasing every day. It offers a comprehensive, up-to-date snapshot that reflects real-time market realities, enabling businesses to prepare for every possible scenario and achieve success.”

Coronavirus has simply hastened the transition to online commerce that was predicted years before

Consumer E-commerce

Pini MandelPini Mandel, CEO of the online pricing platform Quicklizard, predicts that the shopping experience as we know it will disappear.

“We’ve seen a transition to online shopping, even among population groups who had avoided increasing their online activity until now, such as the elderly. Consumerism has clearly shifted to the online arena. Our data reflects that, and I expect that this trend will only get stronger in the future.

“Quicklizard reported an increase of 500 per cent in online global consumer activity, with 15 per cent of the elderly population more engaged online than ever. The dramatic increases in online consumer activity, combined with a demand for specific goods such as non-perishable foods, cooking utensils, and even specialty items such as tools for bread baking, has led to a record-breaking upsurge in the demand for those items, an increase of 900 per cent.

“These figures signal our arrival at a new consumer age in which planning and strategy must be data-driven. Without data-driven planning, the possibility of overcoming the existing and upcoming challenges in today’s market will be significantly lower.

“To compete effectively, every business must have the ability to predict specific market demands, introduce successful pricing and delivery schemes, and accurately forecast its needs for human capital.”

Mandel added: “We aren’t seeing stores and brands returning to the formats we’ve been accustomed to. Coronavirus has simply hastened the transition to online commerce that was predicted years before.

“The businesses that quickly got a foothold in online commerce because of Coronavirus won’t go backwards. Their new internet presence may even enable them to transform from local ‘neighborhood’ operations to global businesses with greater potential for success.”

It will take time before we hit the demand we saw before Coronavirus, but there is a need to travel

Tourism

In this sector, the affects were two-fold: while the industry has been largely unable to operate amidst social distancing and closures, its online activity is also dependent on technology companies whose activities were also halted.

TripStack Deputy CEO Pia Vemmelund predicted that the changes we are experiencing today will have a significant impact on the future. “Whether it’s in the way airports will be managed or on the security arrangements during flights, I think we will experience many more changes once we gradually return to routine operations.

“Airlines will now need to enter a new course that is different from the past. It is clear to us that in the near future, national (domestic) or regional flights will be way more popular. It will take time before we hit the demand we saw before Coronavirus, but for sure there is a need to travel.

“For example, if you look at Beijing, once the travel-related quarantine policy there was cancelled, with regard to flight destinations, we heard from a partner that the search volume for flights on major Chinese OTA’s multiplied by 15 times within 30 minutes.

“I think that in order to answer these dynamic consumer needs and the new reality that we anticipate, airlines will need to address data in their market strategy, which will allow for a more dynamic and flexible readiness.”

we’ve realised more and more the importance of having a holistic view of patient’s actual condition in real-time

Healthcare – Digital Doctors

Roni ShiloDr. Roni Shiloh is founder and CEO of Seegnal eHealth which developed Seegnal, a patient-specific digital platform to prevent Drug Related Problems (DRPs) at the point-of-care – the fourth biggest cause of death in the US.

He believes that health systems must leverage all available data to foster personalisation in care and a tailored understanding of each patient’s overall situation, as such comprehensive overview will streamline treatment and lead to optimal results.

“In recent years we’ve realised more and more the importance of having a holistic view of patient’s actual condition in real-time,” he said.

“In the post-Coronavirus world, players in the healthcare market that offer to maintain physical and social distance, such as telehealth, will have to leverage more varied data, and produce a smart and comprehensive overview of the patient’s actual condition.”

“Such an overview will enable optimisation in drug-based treatment (for Coronavirus and other diseases) and will thereby drive improvements in treatment outcome, decrease the number of hospitalisations, and more. Twenty-five per cent of polypharmacy patients, such as high-risk geriatric patients who usually take several medications concomitantly, are exposed to severe drug interactions (not necessarily Coronavirus-related).

“Every improvement in the care of such patients will reduce overcrowding of the healthcare system in general in a time when Coronavirus is putting it under particular pressure.”

direct marketing to customers that bypasses supermarket chains – has emerged in the agriculture sector

Trade and retail

“Businesses that responded immediately and showed greater flexibility as the crisis began transformed themselves from local businesses into online platforms with higher potential for success,” says Dr. Nimrod Kozlowski of leading law firm Herzog, Fox & Neeman.

“For example, B2C activities – direct marketing to customers that bypasses supermarket chains – has emerged in the agriculture sector. All of this is, of course, dynamic and alive on the network. Payment applications, credit and insurance products are also gaining strength in the wake of Corona.

“The cash economy has transitioned into one that is almost completely conducted by credit. As a result, demand for consumer credit products have sharply increased, and the same trend is prevalent in the insurance arena. Even in the world of finance and insurance, commerce is no longer handled on the trading floor, but online.

“We are also seeing changes in the world of travel and tourism. As hotel chains return to their activities they are beginning to advertise directly without intermediaries.”

Kozlowski added: “I predict that hotels will be bolder with consumers, conducting direct marketing and sales activities to ensure the booking of future trips, including the expansion of independent activities apart from their companies. This too highlights the need to have an up-to-date picture of the market through data.”