Analytics and data science is playing a crucial role in most SMEs as well as large organisations. Companies deploy models, software and hardware of their choice, and that is why staying technologically agnostic is very important. Saurabh Kumar Sahu, managing director and lead, Applied Intelligence at Accenture India talked to Analytics India Magazine about helping organisations unlock the potential of data science, key tools and techniques, and the future of Analytics in India.
How is Accenture unlocking the potential of data science and analytics for its clients?
Today, organizations are dealing with huge volumes of data. At Accenture, we have a dedicated team that works on helping organizations extract the most out of this data using data science, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to transform their businesses. This work is done by our Applied Intelligence unit, which is a part of Accenture Digital. It helps businesses develop intelligent solutions that solve real business problems and allow our clients to do things differently and do different things.
What have been the benefits of shifting to analytics for your clients?
The use of data science and analytics have had a deep impact on our clients’ businesses. Our clients have been able to make better and more informed business decisions that in turn has helped them increase revenue and profitability.
One of the main areas of impact is customer experience. Our customers use our solutions to better understand customer preferences and behaviours, and use these insights to design hyper-personalised strategies to improve the customer experience. Using our deep experience of both organizational design and personalization, we helped Subway devise an operating model that would continuously optimize customer experiences through a dedication to scientific experimentation. Subway was able to test millions of customers using their digital channels, identifying opportunities to grow their remote ordering revenue at a pace to exceed a half-million dollars in the first year.
Another important area of focus is helping our clients scale efficiencies through artificial intelligence. We helped one of our banking clients implement an Intelligent Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer solution to help increase compliance while reducing operating costs. It reduced costs and false positives by about 60 percent which in turn reduced human intervention. It also helped them scale the business better.
What are the various analytics tools that you deploy for your clients?
Accenture is a technology agnostic service provider. We service clients across the spectrum and offer a mix of consulting, systems integration and operations services. We have invested in the Accenture Insights Platform, a cloud-based platform that embeds our IP applications in as-a-service solutions that are organized around major industries and functions. What the platform essentially does is it takes care of the heavy lifting, data ingestion, making sure the data is in the right way, applying machine learning, creating the visualization, creating workflows for apps etc., so we can get to client outcomes faster and we can accelerate. AIP is our acceleration engine and allows us to scale.
Kindly share analytics success stories in various industries, which have been facilitated by Accenture?
Globally, we have developed solutions in diverse areas such as pharmacovigilance, water management, customer interaction and Intelligent Revenue Growth. We have engaged with clients across industries, geographies and functions. Some of the success stories are given below:
- Accenture helped a European telecom operator design an in-store analytics solution that increased customer conversion rates and improved the customer experience. The solution consisted of deploying smart videos for in-store data capture and creating visual dashboards based on the captured data. The solution was installed in around 550 of the client retail stores within 13 weeks. The data insights from the dashboards helped the telecom operator strategize and implement ways to increase its customer conversions by approximately 15 percent.
- In the automotive sector, Ducati Corse, the racing department of Ducati Motor Holding, needed a faster, simpler and more accurate way to pinpoint the best bike configuration possible for every race. Accenture helped Ducati develop an innovative application that uses Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to simulate bike performance based on a number of track and weather conditions. As a result, the Ducati Team today can make more intelligent decisions. To date, around 4,000 sectors of race tracks and 20 different racing scenarios have been analyzed, with a wider roll-out of the solution
- In the healthcare sector, Boston Scientific and Accenture developed a data-driven digital health solution to help improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of treating chronic cardiovascular conditions. The cloud-based, data-driven digital health solution for hospitals is known as ADVANTICS™ Care Pathway Transformation. The solution makes use of the Accenture analytics insights platform, which provides insights into care coordination and patient population health patterns. It presents the client with opportunities to improve the consistency and efficiency of care coordination. The solution also helps improve the care a patient experiences from hospital stay through post-discharge care and in-home support.
- Accenture is engaged with one of India’s leading travel services company to drive sales growth through analytics. Accenture’s strong capabilities and extensive experience in the area of customer analytics and sales transformation is helping the client grow its holidays business at more than 18% annually. This is being powered by targeted and customized marketing campaigns focused on customer propensity to travel. Accenture is bringing its extensive experience in sales transformation to drive omnichannel growth powered by analytics.
- In India, Accenture worked with The Lodha Group a real estate major to bring the benefits of big data analysis for lead conversion. Using Accenture’s Big Data tools at two of their key projects in Mumbai. The Lodha Group recorded a 50 percent jump in lead conversions as they were able to prioritize their efforts and resources.
What does your role at Accenture involve?
As the lead for Accenture Applied Intelligence in India, I am responsible for enabling Indian businesses to achieve disruptive strategic outcomes through innovation in analytics, robotic process automation and artificial intelligence.
How has Accenture’s growth story in the Analytics sector been so far?
Analytics is a big area of focus. Revenues from “The New” technologies now contribute approximately 60 percent of our revenues, and analytics is an important part of this. Today more than 19,000 people globally are focused on Applied Intelligence, including more than 3,000 data scientists and engineers. We also have 900 patents in this space in place, and we’ve used this IP to build 250 apps and solutions. Over the last couple of years, we have also been recognized as a leader in this space by the industry analysts, including Gartner, HfS Research and IDC.
What kind of knowledge and skill-sets do you look for while recruiting for an analytics role?
For analytics to truly add value to a business, data science skills need to be combined with a strong understanding of the business context and needs. It’s hard to find one person with both abilities, and hence we look for people with deep analytics and data science skills on one hand, and strong vertical domain or functional expertise on the other. A person’s agility or their ability to stay in step with new trends or emerging technologies is also an important aspect.
What are the most significant challenges you face being at the forefront of analytics space?
It’s a dynamic and rapidly evolving market, so innovating to stay ahead on every front is an ongoing focus and a challenge. Another challenge is that while analytics is the technology of the day, and every organization wants to make the most of it, their levels of data maturity vary, and so does their ability to harness the benefits of analytics. Having this conversation, and encouraging companies to build long-term roadmaps based on their current level of readiness can be hard.
What is the roadmap for Accenture in the analytics sector?
What makes Accenture different are our solutions, talent and platforms. We are constantly investing in intelligent industry solutions for specific industries and analytics applications to accelerate our ability to deliver value to our clients. We will continue to invest in building IP and talent, so we can partner with our industry groups to find new opportunities to accelerate client value.