Risk management: Navigating permacrisis in business

In today’s business landscape, leaders find themselves in a perpetual state of permacrisis, constantly grappling with various external pressures. Uncertainty has become the new reality – persistent supply chain challenges, surging inflation, and ongoing recession concerns. Business leaders share a common urgency to shift from reactive responses to proactive strategies that anticipate, prepare for, and address future crises.

The risk and uncertainty pervading today’s business environment leave no room for relying on gut instincts to ensure quick planning and critical decision-making. With data expected to grow to 221 zettabytes by 2026, more pressure is placed on decision-makers to wrangle with the data and unlock time to insight through decision intelligence to “see around corners” and thrive. Forward-thinking business leaders need to rely on accurate, real-time, data-driven insights to predict where the next crisis may occur, what impact it will have, and plan for the future.

Unlocking the value of data

Faced with the daunting task of needing to do more with less while simultaneously striving to maintain or increase revenue, business leaders find that real-time, data-driven insights are essential for making meaningful decisions under pressure. Recent IDC research commissioned by Alteryx revealed that 73% of organisations expect analytics spend to outpace other software investments.

This highlights the growing recognition of how technology can support better decision-making and reshape outcomes when they are most needed. While data is now widely seen as a lever for faster, more informed decisions, unlocking data is essential to the business-wide ability to use it as a course corrector. No matter how much data you have, it is useless unless the right people can access and leverage it. Those closest to the problem.

Technology is only an accelerant of any form of transformation. Only by upskilling and equipping people with the tools, skills, and data to surface data-driven insights in real time can decision-makers be empowered to better manage risk at all levels. Whether proactively finding patterns and correlations or revealing redundancies and anomalies in the data, each can provide the decision intelligence needed to quickly respond to or manage a changing business condition.

Leveraging quality data and predictive analytics to enhance efficiency and mitigate risks is industry agnostic. For instance, breakdowns in global supply chains have been a pain point for many businesses in the past few years – from understanding difficult-to-track customer demand to procuring finished products and materials from a network of uncertain capacity. Each suffers time-sapping, inefficient manual processes. Data and analytics can help keep the flow of goods moving to where they are needed, boost efficiencies along the journey, and even navigate an unforeseen crisis. Within the banking and financial industry, the ability to view and compare data sets can reveal various variables, trends, and pattern insights that can help to mitigate fraud and manage risk effectively.

Delivering the power of data-driven decision making

While the effective use of data and analytics is crucial for predicting and navigating uncertainty and disruption, many organisations still struggle to democratise data and empower decision-makers to harness it for informed decisions. So, what’s holding businesses back? We discovered that only a fraction (11 – 25%) of business decision-makers have access to data, with a mere 4.8% stating they effectively leverage external and unstructured data.

Recognising that successful risk management hinges on using data as a course corrector, leaders must unify data access with analytic enablement across the entire business landscape. This translates to equipping individuals with the right tools and capabilities, allowing all employees to utilise data and promptly make data-driven decisions. Ultimately, speed, agility, and decision intelligence are critical for mitigating risks while delivering on business priorities.

To ensure employees are empowered with reliable information and the ability to use analytics for timely decision intelligence, organisations can now embrace accessible cloud-based analytics to democratise data and bridge the skills gap. Domain experts – the people best placed to predict and prevent risk – can collaborate to analyse the data and gain the insights needed to see around corners and meet potential threats head-on. The ability to anticipate challenges and devise new methods to predict and prepare for significant threats is no longer a pipe dream; it’s a business priority, one that’s imperative for enterprises aiming to thrive in 2023. This demonstrates that upskilling employees with analytic capabilities ensures they can make data-driven decisions swiftly.

Harnessing data-driven insights for risk resilience

Data science and decision intelligence are deeply intertwined, with one fuelling the other. However, for decision intelligence to be effective, it must be supported by a strong foundation comprising data availability, diverse human intelligence, and accessible analytics. To achieve this, organisations need to cultivate a culture where decisions and strategies are fuelled by data and driven by employees at all levels.

Only by bridging the data science skills gaps will non-technical domain experts across every department feel empowered to develop analytical insights in real time. This data-driven culture of decision-making will enable businesses to navigate the perils of the permacrisis environment, reduce risk, and build resilience for long-term success.