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The Digital Workplace

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The Digital WorkplaceWe recently had the opportunity to work with the data team of one of the greatest data-driven insurance companies on their transformation to a digital workplace. The initiative started with their executive team, who recently identified a window of opportunity to increase their overall market share by selling new insurance bundles to households, which would drive overall customer retention and profitability. 

However, their operations team was challenged in executing this strategy due to an unexpected misalignment on the incentives that were needed to drive this change. When their insurance agents received their paycheck, their commission was lower than what they expected. The difference was because of varying definitions of the term ‘household’ across the organization. As a result, agents stopped selling the new insurance bundles. 

After days of back-and-forth email communication on the meaning of “household” and no resolution, the executives realized they had a data definition issue. So the data team jumped on this opportunity and put in place a metrics definition and certification process, focusing on clear definitions and their communication throughout the organization.

After this initial success, their data team now plans to use this project as a foundation for future change. Change is inevitable, especially in the future of commerce, where agility and creativity is paramount. And to address this change, there are a number of directions their data team can explore. Here are some relevant examples.

Data for Everyone, Everywhere

What if we can make this information available in the way people consume information nowadays? And what if this makes them more productive every day? Two years ago, we started spending more time on mobile relative to any other device. In a couple of years (see e.g. Microsoft’s strategy), the virtual workplace will be fully operational with conversational interfaces like Siri and Alexa, which can automate responses to daily questions. Siri, what does “household” mean? With mixed reality technology taking shape, we’ll soon be able to virtually augment reports, contracts, systems with suggestions on how to interpret the information that we’re looking at every day. 

Data Usage as the new Data Lineage

What if we start leveraging data about who’s using reports or who’s asking questions about data? If 10 people raise a question on what a household means, we can predict potential misalignment. By making critical data more social and reliable, we can increase agility significantly. For example, if Erica knows that John created a report based on pricing data that Mark entered into the system, she can immediately involve the two in a meeting to discuss the new insurance bundle discount schedules we plan to propose to management.

Collaborative Case Management

Important data problems span across different business functions and create friction. And innovative companies are using collaborative communication tools like Slack to solve everyday issues in real-time. What if an agent has another issue with a bundle in the future? Bring it straight to the experts through collaborative case management. Business silos waste time; collaboration is paramount in the digital workplace.

Every business is becoming a digital business. I’d love to hear how you’re creating a digital workplace, which accelerates productivity, agility, and collaboration for all.

Maarten was involved in many early customer engagements. He’s currently responsible for sales operations, which is building out the structure and processes needed to successfully scale the global sales organization. Prior to that, he was responsible for business development in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.