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The Power of Data

Digital Transformation

The Power of Data

Every webpage or app you visit seeks permission to collect information and user data under the pretext of understanding you better so that they can provide you with a better experience, going forward. Aware of the power of data, companies dedicate entire teams to collect, analyse, and garner insights that will power their growth strategies. The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.

Data has helped companies make informed decisions, plan better, develop predictive policies, and stay prepared in the face of adversities, with a higher degree of precision than ever before. 

With so many proven and potential benefits, including the ability to confirm known drawbacks, discover new ones or to prove a hypothesis - it is no surprise that data science has found a place in strategy boardrooms across industries. Two such industries drawing from data for unparalleled growth are Facility Management and Food Services. Together, forming a diverse ecosystem, they use data to become more powerful and set the stage to track their business better. These industries have a keen focus on high quality but also feel the need to optimize costs to thrive in the competitive marketplace. 
 
The food industry is very fragmented. On the demand side, customers crave great food experiences, but also expect their food to be safe and affordable. To live up to these expectations and simultaneously drive their own growth, food providers use customer data (like recent purchases, order frequency, etc.) to balance priorities suited to different customers. This data can be further used to offer a thorough view of the industry across consumers, products, trends, and competitors - and consequently deliver a competitive advantage. As an industry that is competitive, dynamic, and afflicted by low customer loyalty, revolutionary practices, and constant innovation are imperatives that data-driven insights can deliver.

Leveraging this trend in order to enhance the services provided to our clients, Sodexo uses consumer data to ensure freshness and good quality of food, reduce waste, provide useful recommendations and a customized menu as a food service provider. Additionally, this has enabled us to understand our customers even better and develop new solutions suited to their needs, such as a health tracker. 

The Facility Management (FM) industry is also evolving constantly. While traditional workspaces still exist, the future is all about efficient space utilization, minimal contact, flexible office spaces, and ad-hoc area management among several other trends. As a result, workplace management is more diverse and radical than ever before, and data-backed analytics are the only way to understand the trends, issues, requirements, and opportunities in the sector. Analytics for the FM industry sources data primarily from the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices paint a robust picture of a workplace and thus drive smarter decision making. Assigning a measurable value to something is the first way to improve upon it. Therefore, higher the number of IoT devices, the more quantified an office ecosystem is. The path to a better workplace, and even planning for one, becomes clearer and more concise with data. 

The current pandemic has made efficient workplace planning necessary, now more than ever. With a limited number of employees coming into the physical workplaces, rotational shifts and split teams, hotdesking is one aspect of the reimagined offices. With smart AI powered- dashboards and area management solutions, hotdesking in order to achieve cost reduction, efficient utilization of workspace can be made easier while still maintaining the employee experience. 

Simply stated, data is not complicated. Think of it as somewhat similar to your local shopkeeper keeping aside an item for you based on your preference because it is a win-win situation for both: A) You feel like you get preferential treatment and are likely to come back and B) They realize that they are more likely to make that sale than their nearby competitors. This sale becomes a routine for them - one small part of their revenue ensured. But this behaviour of keeping track of user interaction becomes costlier and impossible with scale, which is where data comes in. In today’s world, data is more of an imperative than an option and the most prudent path to growth.
 
~ Ankur Arora – Digital & Innovation Lead, Sodexo Onsite

September 12, 2020

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