How data and analytics solutions can help businesses achieve ESG vision

Spending on big data and analytics solutions in ANZ is expected to reach $8.9bn by 2026 and register a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3% between 2021 and 2026, according to IDC. Businesses are increasingly investing in data management solutions to capitalise on the value of their data to streamline operations, maintain competitiveness, and improve ethical decision-making with the help of powerful AI-driven technologies.

How integral are data and analytics solutions for a firm?

This is helping to create more agile, sustainable, and intelligent enterprises across all industries. Today, sustainability is more than just a ‘nice to have’. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are now a cornerstone in modern organisations, and can mean the difference between success and failure as consumers and employees alike increasingly prefer to engage with businesses that align with their values.

As such, investing in AI-enabled, data-driven and global value-chain visibility solutions isn’t only essential to streamline operations. They also vastly improve the employee experience, better empower human workers to make strategic contributions to business success, and ensure meaningful change towards more proactive ESG compliance, according to SNP.

The benefits of AI-enabled, data-driven solutions for businesses are twofold. On one hand, artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) can help to eliminate time-consuming, manual tasks from the employee experience. This helps to streamline operations, reduce errors, and deliver more accurate business results, while simultaneously empowering human employees to dedicate their time towards other valuable, business-critical tasks.

This can create more fulfilling and rewarding opportunities for employees and empower businesses to better cope with change management. At the same time, it can also help to create a more targeted approach to targeting ESG priorities by turning insights into actions which can help businesses better realise their vision for a more sustainable future.

Why meeting ESG goals is more crucial than ever

Having strong ESG values embedded into a firm can help in attracting and retaining talent in this competitive market. By breaking down data siloes, integrating external databases, and assigning values for emissions accurately per product, businesses will be empowered to improve operations across the board, and provide sustainable options for clients. It also helps to create a culture of change within the business that is more aligned with ESG goals.

For the best results, organisations must combine the strengths of both humans and tech to achieve a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of their data and how it can help them to achieve ESG goals with the support of better-informed decision-making.

Businesses that use AI and ML in tandem with human employees stand to experience significant success. Humans still have a significant role to play pushing organisations towards more sustainable practices, including by managing their technology counterparts.

Using AI and ML to do the lion’s share of tasks frees up human employees to take over more meaningful roles and responsibilities in the business. The latest intelligent data solutions let businesses better understand the carbon footprint of their entire supply chain.

Harnessing this valuable information lets businesses make more meaningful changes in their operations, as well as report on critical information to employees and consumers. This can help businesses gain competitive advantage by demonstrating that they not only meet their ESG goals, but also align with the values of their employees and consumers.

Hitting both birds with one stone

Data is at the heart of businesses and influences their capability to shift with market changes. In a volatile market, it can be the difference between success and failure. The right data management solution helps firms to significantly improve operations, enhance employee experience, and meet ESG targets to make a more meaningful difference.

To achieve this, businesses should look for tools, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, that can effectively support large data volumes and assign values for emissions accurately per product to empower businesses to get the best out of their data. Businesses should also invest in the expertise of a skilled data transformation specialist to ensure they have the right data at their fingertips to create the most impact on their operations.

Having the right solution in place is a big piece of the puzzle; however, it’s not the end of the journey. Organisations should work with a data transformation specialist that lets them keep the best data and transform the rest for the best chance of success.

It’s essential to work with a transformation partner that has knowledge and demonstrated expertise in modern data management practices and the interaction of organisational data with enterprise solutions, such as SAP S/4HANA and a quantifying product carbon footprint.

Gerald Faust is the Managing Director and CEO Asia Pacific and Middle East Africa at SNP.