27 May 2021

The light side of Data: the irreplaceable value of the human side (even in IT)

Despite this scientific value, we should never lose sight of the fact that behind data, there are human beings.

The Light Side of Data

This is the age of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence – Everything is measurable and can be tracked by numbers and KPIs that allow us to understand the performance of our campaigns, thus constantly improving our strategies’ performance.

The intrinsic objectivity of data is invaluable for all of us who work with these large numbers every day, as without it, it would not be possible to calculate ROI. However, despite this irrefutable scientific value, we should never lose sight of the fact that behind the screens, behind the purchase of a product or a service, there are human beings.

Does this mean we need to take a step back and review our processes?

Of course we don’t. Technological and scientific progress should always be encouraged and supported, as evolution has always been essential for our existence on Earth, which is why it would make little sense to oppose it. The potential and advantages that are hidden in data are now a reality and accompany our lives every day, simplifying them in many ways. Just think, for example, of smart parking, restaurant reservation apps and, if we stick to a context that is more current than ever, vaccines, visits, tests and so on.

At this point, I would like to focus on a verb I used before, namely “simplify“. Let me explain: suggestions, notifications, everything that these tools put under our attention with the aim of performing a certain action in the best possible way, should not become by default the most correct choice to follow. In fact, upstream and downstream of every process related to technological solutions is a human being, who should be supported, and not replaced, by these tools. This is why when talking about Artificial Intelligence Solutions, we should think of something that makes the lives of the workforce easier (eliminating automation or streamlining certain operations), without taking their place.

Choose a technology that improves the way you work without overwhelming you

We are often faced with ethical-technological debates that discuss the positive and negative aspects of new technologies. However, I again want to emphasize that we as users make the real difference. According to a McKinsey report on tech for good (a term that indicates a community’s willingness to address social, economic and environmental challenges through collaboratively and ethically built technology), “Companies can harness the benefits of the current technology wave by adopting an approach of enlightened self-interest. At the company level, a workforce that is better trained, less stressed, healthier, and happier will also be more productive, more adaptable, and better able to drive the technology adoption and innovation surge that will boost revenue and earnings. ” The benefits and advantages obtained from the correct use of data become tangible even when we deal with something as seemingly abstract as customer relations. Let’s suppose now that alongside the individual’s personal ability to know how to relate to their counterpart, there is a tool that can support you in implementing a concrete multichannel strategy, using a single metric to measure customer activity and interactions with companies and their products and services. The result? A more holistic, integrated experience, high Engagement but most importantly, happier customers.

The Light Side of Data

So what to do? Find your balance!

Within some contexts – especially in the pharmaceutical one – when  structuring a marketing campaign, for example, it is important to keep in mind that you are not simply selling a product and talking with stakeholders, such as physicians, but first of all interacting with people.

We talked about this in our recent podcast “Customer Engagement: how to match customer expectations with strategy” (listen to it here) together with Fabio De Luca – CMO of Angelini Pharma, where we discussed the creation of messages that touch the extremely personal and subjective sphere of health. Since this is such an important topic, reducing everything to KPIs only risks to become misleading. It is however interesting to understand how we can intelligently leverage technological tools and solutions to build relationships and spread messages with a strong scientific and ethical value (as you might know that there are very strict rules regulating this field and safeguarding each of us).

This does not mean that the effectiveness of the strategies put in place should not be measured. On the contrary, it is important to remember that today there are valid tools that support companies, optimizing processes and increasing customer engagement through personalized and automated Customer Journey.

But what does it mean then? Simply that data is neither Dark nor Light and that the fact that it can somehow facilitate all our operations, should not replace our ability to think and choose to make a difference.

Elisa Valentino – Social Media Manager

The Light Side of Data
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