The Insight Story

Fintech Companies are Revolutionizing B2B Payments

How Fintech Companies are Revolutionizing B2B Payments

For the last few decades, tech has seen rapid growth and development. However, most tech firms still complain that the infrastructure in place for B2B payments is only “somewhat effective.” While the process has become more streamlined of late, it still requires people to approve transactions, regardless of the size.  A big shortcoming of it is also that these kinds of services normally come at a cost. Being able to approve large transactions and make sure they have been made is something that small business owners have to do in-house as it is much too expensive to farm that work out to a specialized firm. That means this technology is largely inaccessible to smaller businesses and remains a luxury that only large, long-standing companies can afford.   This, however, seems to be on the brink of changing. Fintech companies have disrupted the field in many respects. Whether it is to use open finance regulations or simply improve the efficiency of an existing financial instrument, Fintech has made a massive difference in the finance world today. Therefore, it is realistic to expect similar changes to be made in B2B payment processes.   How Emerging Fintech can simplify B2B payment processes:  Make sophisticated safeguards more accessible  Harmonize the connection with third-party vendors  Automate approvals and lending processes  Read More: Europe in Russia’s Gas Crosshairs  Make Sophisticated Safeguards More Accessible  A well-established issue that comes along with handling one’s own B2B transaction is security. Trucking companies in Canada have complained of their entirely cash-based payment systems that make it difficult to pay for normal business expenses such as repairs, parking, cleaning, and other regular payments. Companies are left to wait on phone calls to ensure payments while also having to ensure that receipts are manually written and not lost in the process. Since these companies also do not have point-of-sale in general, there is no way to automate or speed up the whole process. They choose not to transition because of a lack of security, even when compared to simply keeping large amounts of cash on hand.   As a result, Fintech companies are coming out with automatic checks and balances that determine whether a payment should be approved or not. Furthermore, some payment processes can be quite complex, which means they become increasingly vulnerable to hacks and fraud. Although artificial intelligence has not reached the point of sophistication that it would be able to read and approve transactions on its own, Fintech companies have devised solutions that can facilitate connections between small businesses making payments and third-party verifiers who can ensure the payment goes through. This is something that is done at a fairly low cost as it does not require too much expertise once the platform has been created.  Furthermore, small businesses do not have the luxury of a strong or established reputation. Therefore, cybersecurity issues that are publicized can be extremely detrimental to the tangible side of the company. This also means that smaller companies are unable to compromise on payment processes as they cannot afford to take that gamble as to whether their payment vulnerabilities will be exploited or not.    Read More: Five Personal Finance Startups that are Revolutionizing Fintech  Harmonize the Connection with Third-Party Vendors  Automation in B2B payments is an ambitious goal to strive towards. If it is possible to accomplish it without compromising security, it would be truly game-changing for businesses around the world. However, a critical aspect to keep in mind is that different businesses handle payments differently. This means that certain businesses might use different platforms to make payments, while others might use unique payment structures to fit their/their clients’ needs. This means creating a blanket solution to automate B2B payment processes is hard to do without eliminating the disconnect between these businesses and third parties.   In addition to this, there is a lot of friction whenever a new fintech company tries to make a new solution, as there is no ‘one-size fits all’ process when it comes to B2B. Therefore, many countries have seen governments and Fintech companies coming together to mandate a single platform that facilitates all payment services. While not strictly B2B, India saw the introduction of a unified payment interface (UPI), which ensures that different payment methods like Google Pay, PhonePe, and PayTM can all work through the same technology. This also makes it easy for payees to receive their money in their own wallets regardless of what was used for the payment to be made. Similar streamlining has begun to emerge all around the world so that there are more opportunities for third parties to make general solutions.  Read More: Economic Whiplash: What is it and Four Ways to Avoid it  Automate Approvals and Lending Processes  As the world looks forward to the almost inevitable recession, many businesses must look to credit to ensure they can remain afloat in these times. However, dissimilar to normal B2B payment processes, lending processes have become increasingly automated over the years. Fintech has used smart contracts on the blockchain to ensure lending processes are fast and efficient without camouflaging any information or fees.    This has been attempted by companies in simple payments from business to business, but it is much more complicated and requires more criteria to be verified before a payment can be approved. However, if these processes were to be better automated, companies would be able to make and receive payments much faster. This would improve the general economic efficiency when making payments and could lead to widespread improvements to global economies.   The Big Picture  Specialized payments, like many other financial instruments, are difficult and expensive to afford. For decades, larger companies have had it much easier and were able to catalyze growth by not having to worry about trivial things like payments. A large backstop in global economies is that new start-ups must focus on multiple elements like wealth management and accounting that cannot be done effectively without paying for them accordingly. As a result, the growth of many small businesses is hampered, thereby slowing the economy. Removing these roadblocks on the path of small business is of paramount importance due to its repercussions on global economic standards.  When small business owners allocate more of their time to actually improving their products or services, the economy will see better and more innovative solutions coming into play as compared to those that have existed in the past. Small businesses have solidified themselves as a part of the backbone of the economy. Not only do they bring new and improved versions of existing products, but they also ensure that the bigger businesses are unable to remain complacent in their position. This brings more competition and a better environment for innovation and economic prosperity in general.   Therefore, investors must look to fintech companies to help eliminate or, at the least, alleviate the obstacles that these small businesses face.   With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.     A leader in Market Research services, SG Analytics enables organizations to achieve actionable insights into products, technology, customers, competition, and the marketplace to make insight-driven decisions. Contact us today if you are an enterprise looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.     

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Tech Innovations helping Businesses

How are Tech Innovations helping Businesses to Survive the Economic Downturn?

Today the world is a new and different place than it was three years ago. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. It has severely impacted the foundations of society, from education to work, food, and entertainment.   The COVID-19 pandemic brought along unprecedented and sudden shifts that altered the course of economies across the globe. The pandemic led to nationwide lockdowns, empty trains and office buildings, negative oil prices, stimulus checks at an unprecedented scale, blistered growth in e-commerce, and much more.   Whenever a problem arises, the world responds to it with solutions. The same can be expressed for economic downturns. A recent Harvard Business Review quoted that despite the ongoing volatility, the current environment offers enterprises unique opportunities to invest in an innovation-driven future.  Everyone saw instinctive government investment in new vaccines, new policies on test-taking at universities, and reimagined ways of working across the globe. These transformations would have taken years without the immediate alarming urgency created due to the pandemic. Digital solutions to counter the challenges of the pandemic have arrived in myriad forms, ranging from digital wallets to artificial intelligence.  Then, just when COVID-19 was becoming endemic, Russia invaded Ukraine, thereby delivering another blow to the global economy. There is still a rising sense that a recession is growing. And if it does, will it cause innovation to slow?   Read more: A New Approach to Accelerate Innovation in Market Research  The answer is no, not necessarily. History holds proof that recessions have led to the creation of opportunities for innovators.  The rapid growth in innovation over the past few years in response to the pandemic is living proof of something fundamental. It is proof that 'Necessity is indeed the mother of invention as well as adoption.'   However, there is no denying the fact that economic downturns also put pressure on organizations to find efficiencies, optimize their operations as well as performance and improve their KPIs. As a result, a plethora of things takes place.  Investment options get tightly scrutinized. A clear business case becomes a critical criterion for a presented expense.  Companies often feel that they have done everything they can to achieve efficiency and yet are falling short of their goals. They start searching for new ideas that promise clear returns to drive down costs.  Economic downturns offer an impetus to industries to explore new ways of getting things done. This may involve implementing innovative tech that a company was earlier hesitant about but is now opening up to due to cost savings or necessity.  Technology developers have started shifting their focus to developments that show faster ROI to customers.  The economic downturn presents major opportunities for industry innovators. The crisis can be perceived as a good time to introduce game-changing offerings or simple and affordable solutions, or make bold, strategic moves. The resource scarcity that accompanies inflation or recession scenario can force innovators to accomplish things they should have been doing: prune prudently, re-feature to cut costs, grasp smart strategic experiments, or even manage the risks of innovating by sharing them with others.   Read more: Minimizing Financial Risk With Corporate Governance  The Pandemic Havoc and the Changes it Initiated  The specific pressures faced by businesses today vary by sector, industry, and region. However, the depth of impact from the ripple has been felt by all. The full impact of these headwinds is now advancing towards triggering a recession, thereby worsening the economic conditions.  Due to the downturn initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic, something as basic as the QR code became a permanent fixture in many businesses - large and small. The pandemic also drove the creation of new use cases for emerging technology. Many enterprises accelerated digital transformation to enable remote operating models while complying with social distancing mandates and limiting the number of people working in an office space. This enabled businesses to maintain their continuity, along with contributing to a safer working environment.   Companies involved in vaccine manufacturing started leveraging new innovations to respond rapidly to the pandemic. Vaccine makers began to quickly draw on a decade of mRNA vaccine research and put emerging theories to practical use. Once the vaccines were created, these companies began leveraging automation along with digital twins coupled with modeling technologies to track the development and manufacturing process of the vaccines.   In industrial environments, businesses and teams started implementing tools like our remote virtual office (RVO) platform to empower their project personnel globally to collaborate in a secure virtual environment. Tools like these enabled them only to reduce their travel requirements but also helped the teams significantly to maintain project schedules and costs, thereby reducing the risk.   The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to companies immediately pivoting to virtual meeting technologies that were not common before. Industrial companies that insisted on 'in-person' projects suddenly pushed operations into virtual checkouts. This rapid adoption of new innovation was purely driven out of necessity. However, it is unlikely that anyone will completely return to their old ways of operation.   Read more: Economic Whiplash: What is it and Four Ways to Avoid it  Differentiating with Digital Innovation    Economic crises cause businesses to reduce their investment, including innovation, where returns are uncertain and long-term. The 2008 financial crisis substantially highlighted the reduced willingness of firms to invest in tech innovation. However, the reduction in investment has not been uniform across industries. Many organizations increased their innovation expenditures in the face of crisis.  The drivers of innovation investment before, during, and following the pandemic have undergone tremendous changes. Before the crisis, incumbent enterprises were likely to expand their innovation investment, whereas, after the crisis, small enterprises and new entrants were willing to swim against the flow by extending their innovative-related expenditures.  To browse through crises, businesses need to identify the key actions that will be helpful in driving their competitive position. A few avenues businesses can explore include-  Automating processes to permanently downsize the cost of doing business.  Augmenting and automating activities with technology like artificial intelligence or robotics to reduce labor costs and shore up production. This will also help in freeing up scarce, high-cost talent, thereby focusing on value-creating activities.  Producing relevant digital solutions that will help in enhancing customer and employee experience.  In short, it is all about focusing digitalization on differentiating the organization’s cost and capital structure along with the products, pricing, value proposition, as well as risk profile.   Key Highlights  Economic crises compel companies to reduce their investment in innovation.  With inflation, scarce talent & constrained global supplies squeezing corporate performance, the possibility of a recession could lie ahead.   However, the drivers of innovation before and during the COVID-19 pandemic have been vastly different.  By employing creative destruction and technological accumulation, enterprises are expanding their innovation investment.  Investing in the right digital innovations at the right cost can help businesses sail through the negative impacts of economic pressures in the short term, thus building long-term competitive advantage.  Read more: Anticipating the Unanticipated: Balancing Business Resilience in the new age of Innovation  In Conclusion  During the continued economic downturn, businesses are investing in new life technology that holds the potential to automate technology and recipe transfer to manufacturing locations with a click. Biopharmaceutical companies are getting therapies safely and quickly to market. Even manufacturing facilities are organizing and equipping their facilities as well as operations differently.  However, for organizations, the barrier to incorporating the new and more efficient technology-driven processes is often the work process change or transformation that those processes bring along.   Concerns over employees not retraining to these new processes, or the potential elimination of positions, can cause hesitancy or resistance. However, organizations can quickly overcome this hesitancy by embracing the new reality of economic downturns as the need to sustain results becomes paramount.  In the end, every enterprise is striving to deliver on its value proposition, irrespective of the economic environment. This is driving businesses to integrate new innovations for quicker adoption. With the right investment decisions and business associations, organizations can come out of a downturn and gain a better place than before.  But will it be a hard landing or soft one? It is a question that only the future holds the answer to.  With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                 A leader in the Technology domain, SG Analytics partners with global technology enterprises across market research and scalable analytics. Contact us today if you are in search of combining market research, analytics, and technology capabilities to design compelling business outcomes driven by technology.      

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The Next Generation of Climate-Smart Agriculture

Explained: How Technology is Enabling the Next Generation of Climate-Smart Agriculture

The existential problem of global warming, as well as the urge to decarbonize the largest emitting industries, like agriculture, has brought to the limelight the need to develop the strategies that can be employed to understand the impact agriculture has on the environment.  This is the time to make agriculture more sustainable, not only to lower greenhouse emissions but also to promote as well as incentivize the transition from conventional agricultural practices like deep cultivation of the field, lack of crop diversity, and usage of synthetic fertilizers.  However, the problem also works in reverse. Agriculture today accounts for a major part of the climate problem as it generates 19–29% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Without any action plan, this percentage is set to rise substantially, while other sectors are reducing their emissions. Additionally, 1/3 of food cultivated globally is either lost or wasted. Addressing food loss and waste today is critical to meeting climate goals as well as reducing stress on the environment.  While the advancements in the standard framework for the emissions from sourced components were a crucial step toward industry-wide approach standardization, this policy, however, does not lend itself to estimate improvement. It is not granular enough as it does not track the changes in practices implemented on farms.  Read more: The Sustainability Investments Revolution & its Impact on Climate Targets  However, what was previously not possible due to the lack of data and visibility is becoming attainable due to a range of technologies that are making monitoring agricultural practices and measuring their environmental outcomes possible on a global level. These technologies are not only captivating but are emerging as the key enablers for the next generation of climate-smart agriculture.  Farming, in general, is known to emit significant amounts of nitrous oxide and methane - two potent greenhouse gases. Due to this reason, climate-smart agriculture, or CSA, is gaining significance all over the globe in order to satisfy the set of climate challenges while generating food and energy in an environmentally sustainable manner.  What is Climate-smart Agriculture?  Climate-smart agriculture, or CSA, as per the Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO), is defined as increasing agricultural production in a sustainable manner by adapting to and constructing resilience to the climate and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. CSA is a strategic approach to increase technical, policy, and investment in the environment to achieve sustainable agricultural growth as well as food security in the face of the climate change crisis. Experts are of the opinion that a range of techniques can be employed to fulfill the goals of climate-smart agriculture. Enhancing the use of inclusive renewable energy sources for agriculture, like windmills, solar panels, and bio-energy-powered water pumps, can help in building energy-efficient food systems.  Resource-conserving technologies or RCTs like zero tillage allow farmers to cultivate wheat fairly shortly after paddy or cotton produce can help in preventing warmer temperatures that are damaging to grain development.  Reports have shown that the rise of recently developed variants, including heat, drought, and salinity tolerance is also an enhanced CSA technique. It is critical to recognize territories and crops that are vulnerable to climate change crises. So that these crop varieties can be relocated to a more suitable area, weather forecasting, along with early warning systems, can also assist in reducing the risks of climatic change. Administrators and scientists can benefit by employing information and communication technology ICT in the organizing of emergency plans.  Computer-aided crop growth methods can support as well as help to determine the potential impact of climate change on potential agricultural output. It can also be used as a vital resource for the innovation of climate-smart agriculture and mitigation strategies.   Read more: The Fight Against Greenwashing: Are Money Funds the Next Target?  Crop models qualify for the variability of environmental aspects, including water system and temperature, and they also simulate crop response through a combination of projected growth parameters like agricultural output. The climate-smart agriculture solutions strive to achieve three significant goals -  improved productivity  increased resilience   reductions in emissions  Achieving the Triple Win with Climate-smart Agriculture  Climate-smart agriculture, or CSA, offers an integrated approach to managing landscapes like cropland, forests, and fisheries, as well as to addressing the interlinked challenges of food security and the accelerating climate crisis. CSA seeks to simultaneously achieve the following outcomes:  Improved productivity: Production of better food will help in improving nutritional security as well as boosting incomes, specifically of 75* of the world’s poor who reside in rural areas and rely on agriculture as their source of livelihood.  Increased resilience: By reducing vulnerability to drought, pests, diseases, and other climate-induced risks and shocks, along with the improved capacity to adapt and grow in the face of longer-term stresses like shortened seasons and erratic weather patterns, will act as an added support to the farmers.  Reductions in emissions: Pursuing lower emissions for each calorie or kilo of food produced will help in avoiding deforestation from agriculture, along with identifying ways to absorb carbon out of the atmosphere.  Read more: TCFD: Exploring the New Regulations for Reporting Climate-Related Data  Reducing the Levels of Emissions  Companies working to reduce their emissions were employing general methods to account for those emissions, thereby attributing them to a distinct type of commodity sourced from a certain area; let's consider soybeans grown in Brazil. To yield an emission factor of soybeans in Brazil, a fixed set of parameters reflecting emissions from an average farm production would have been used. New innovative tools are enabling leading agricultural producers as well as food manufacturers to gain visibility into the circumstances and their impact on global food production. These technologies include:  satellite imagery  big data  impact models  Climate-smart agriculture explicitly seeks efficiencies and trade-offs between modification, food security, and mitigation. Several farming methods have been recognized to contribute to achieving both of these goals at the same time. These emissions can be estimated on a ton of CO2 of element basis and would be static irrespective of the weather conditions or yields and non-location-specific, meaning - the differences in management in neighboring farms or those in distant parts of the country could not be captured with this static emission factor method.  Key Highlights  The food security challenge is likely to become more difficult, as the world is still required to produce about 70% more food by 2050 to feed an estimated 9 billion people.  Agriculture accounts for almost 73% of India's methane emissions.  Farming, in particular, is known to emit significant amounts of nitrous oxide and methane - two of the most potent greenhouse gases.  Experts are of the belief that a range of techniques can be employed to meet the goals of climate-smart agriculture.  Read more: Green Finance: The Next Step to Align India's Climate Priorities    To Sum Up  Like many industries, agriculture is also seeking to decarbonize rapidly and at a scale. This is where technology comes into the limelight. Tech innovations like satellite imagery, big data, and impact models are uniquely being positioned in the framework to rapidly accelerate investments in order to measure and monitor the global food systems. Technology leaders today have a few options for getting started with these tech solutions in their organizations. They need to choose between investing in their in-house development of the solution or accessing it through a third-party provider.   Built on existing knowledge, technologies, and sustainable agriculture principles, climate-smart agriculture is distinct in many ways.   To begin with, it explicitly focuses on addressing the climate crisis.   Secondly, smart agriculture technology systematically evaluates the synergies and tradeoffs that exist between productivity, adaptation, and mitigation.   Lastly, climate-smart agriculture seeks to capture new funding opportunities to seal the deficit in investment.  With the appropriate investments and adoption of climate-smart approaches, agricultural production systems can gain a greater resilience that is vital in today's changing climate crisis and disrupted food supply chains.  These smart agriculture solutions are putting the limelight on the importance of sustainable agriculture practices, thus enabling the agriculture sector to lead through a more targeted adoption and implementation of programs to enhance the resiliency of global food systems.  With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                    A leader in the Technology domain, SG Analytics partners with global technology enterprises across market research and scalable analytics. Contact us today if you are in search of combining market research, analytics, and technology capabilities to design compelling business outcomes driven by technology.

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The Future of Insurance

The Future of Insurance: How Providers can Embrace Technology to Thrive in the Online World

Insurance has always had something of a negative perception around the world. Rather than something that people wanted to spend on, it was more of a necessary evil that most had to come to terms with. This ambivalence towards insurance is understandable as it has a reputation for staying antiquated and refusing to get with the times. However, as customer expectations rise and technology advances, it becomes increasingly important to foster innovation in the field.   In a survey done by PwC, 41% of policyholders claimed they chose to look elsewhere for insurance when they realized that their providers lacked digital capabilities. With technology making its rounds in facilitating convenience in different sectors, it is a fair expectation for consumers to have it to do the same in insurance.   Taking that into consideration, a big part of this reputation that insurance has is also dated. In reality, many insurance companies have adopted newer, more technology-based methods. Furthermore, the insurance sector has also seen a boom in AI-related services that make insurance fairer and more realistic for providers and consumers.   Read More: The Sustainability Investments Revolution & its Impact on Climate Targets  Open-Source Data Ecosystems  For decades, industrial equipment has come with in-built sensors that alert the user of any maintenance requirements and vulnerabilities. This has also been common in sports, where Formula 1 cars are equipped with hundreds of different sensors for the team to monitor performance and oncoming challenges. Similarly, professional Football players have seen the introduction of more advanced fitness trackers that can detect speed, heart rate, ball tracking, heatmaps, and many others to make practices and match performances easier to analyze.   Eventually, similar technology was introduced to consumer devices as well. Cars that we buy now often come with many sensors for the companies to perform diagnostics when there are issues. However, certain insurers have started to partner with these companies in using that data to get a more realistic estimate of insurance contracts and policies. This means that even if a car is old and worn down, if the user has taken care of it and had it regularly serviced, sensors in the car will be able to show insurance providers that the car is at low risk meaning that the policy buyer will get a more holistic analysis of how much they need to pay.   This is also being prototyped into being applied to health insurance schemes. Users with various health conditions can use health monitors to detect when their condition improves and whether a modification should be made to the policy itself. Some people have criticized having sensitive data shared with providers without one’s permission. However, it is clear that it is a small trade-off for a large benefit.  Read More: Five Personal Finance Startups that are Revolutionizing Fintech  A Database of Connected Devices  With all the different web services people use in a normal day, the databases they have on consumer data are massive. Companies like Google and Amazon are able to compile user data to provide general data insights for a wide array of different applications. For example, Google uses search data as well as analysis of popular YouTube content to aid in advertising in their AdSense service.  A similar application of data can be innovated in insurance. As technology develops at an extremely high rate, the world is constantly seeing the development of entirely new product categories. By utilizing this data, insurers can have a better idea of how valuable certain items are as well as how easy they are to damage. Furthermore, there are luxury options in just about everything, from shoes to even medical trackers. It is difficult for insurance companies to keep up with these changes, and it might be easier for artificial intelligence to create policies based on data that is readily available.   Almost all devices are connected to some larger databank, and it is time insurance starts utilizing that too.   Deep Learning Techniques for Optimization  For a long time, insurance agents had to look up the individual date on each customer. From that, they had to determine how much they were entitled to and how this could be serviced. For the future scenario, many experts have suggested adopting a more automated approach through artificial intelligence and a new branch of machine learning called deep learning.   Deep learning is supposed to be able to analyze, interpret, and make determinations based on data that is available. Many new customer service bots utilize this technology by looking through massive amounts of text data and human writing to respond in a realistic and normal way. Similarly, insurers can use this technology to serve clients. Not only would this be efficient, but it would make it easier to service a much larger volume of clients too. At the same time, reducing labor costs would mean that insurance would be made slightly more affordable to those who need it.   The better resource allocation would also be more economically optimal. This is because less money would be used in processes that do not require it. Moreover, when an economy experiences economic whiplash, insurance is less likely to be impacted as much because it has a more automated process that does not require the payment of a human wage.   Read More: Data & Analytics Strategy: Must-Have Crucial Elements for Decision Making  Caters better to Demand  In the past, insurance was used for a few things. The most common forms of insurance were health, home, and life. However, now it is normal to have auto, auto, and even travel. Although these are the main insurance classes, one can insure just about anything that has value. This means that insurance companies need to adapt to this and look at what products are most likely to be insured.   For example, in Monaco, insurance companies were able to use purchasing data and realize that jewelry items were a massive source of income for insurance. Using this data, they were able to see what kind of jewelry was most common as well as how much it was worth and whether there was a possibility for the pieces to appreciate. This made it more efficient for consumers who had just purchased a new piece of jewelry while the company was able to profit as it realized a gap in the market and was able to make it more accessible to the citizens.   Ensuring Growth in Insurance  With the new start-ups and methods that existing insurance companies are becoming more and more advanced, it is clear that this will help support the burgeoning of the insurance industry even further. Technology that has been used so far has made things more efficient and lowered operation costs on behalf of the insurer. This has made it much more accessible to everyone while also making it more frictionless for those who are looking for it anyway.  Insurance, as mentioned before, is often referred to as a necessary evil. Customers constantly feel like they are overpaying to insure an item because it is unclear why the cost is so high. However, with the help of new tech like artificial intelligence and machine learning, this might be the catalyst to help insurance shake this age-old reputation once and for all.   With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.    A leader in Market Research services, SG Analytics enables organizations to achieve actionable insights into products, technology, customers, competition, and the marketplace to make insight-driven decisions. Contact us today if you are an enterprise looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.     

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2022 FIFA World Cup Controversy

2022 FIFA World Cup Controversy: Should Migrant Workers be Given Compensation?

Ever since FIFA announced in December of 2010, the football world has remained confused as to why they would be an appropriate host for an installment of the World Cup. With the tournament being the biggest sporting event in terms of viewership and earnings, it was a call that was hard to defend following the announcement. Although FIFA remained insistent on holding the tournament in countries that do not have massive football fan bases, many critics were concerned with the consequent lack of football-related infrastructure.  With very few stadiums in general and almost none that were capable of housing a world cup match, it seemed a task too mighty for anybody to achieve in the twelve years between the announcement and commencement of the tournament. However, shortly after the announcement, Qatar began one of the most ambitious and sophisticated real estate projects ever undertaken. Aside from the impressive and cutting-edge stadium plans, Qatar quickly realized they would require a substantial number of new workers to facilitate the construction of a project of such scale.   With this came the many problems and issues that eventually snowballed into globally discussed human rights violations. Along with this rose question of the conditions that these workers worked under and whether they should be paid extra compensation for their troubles.   Read More: Europe in Russia’s Gas Crosshairs  An Overview of the Current Situation  With the FIFA World Cup fast approaching, Qatar will have eight stadiums ready to use for matches. An important fact to note about the state of these stadiums is that seven of them were built so that they would be able to host the matches of the tournament. Aside from constructing seven of the most cutting-edge advanced stadiums, Qatar will also need to fund the development of multiple large training grounds for teams to practice on between matches, as well as several residential and hotel options for traveling fans. According to statistical analysis, Qatar will require a peak supply of 130,000 hotel rooms or rental spaces, which is a lot for a country of less than three million. Qatar had about 34,000 rooms available in the spring of 2022. Although the tourism body remains insistent that they will be able to house every visitor when the world cup does eventually come, it seems like a tough job with a mere two months left before the tournament begins.  An important aspect to understand about this whole story is the kafala system. Since the country required thousands of migrant workers to help construct the many different facilities required, it began contracting agencies that would bring in these workers. However, Qatar is one of the many gulf nations that employ the Kafala system of guardianship. Essentially, this means that the employer of these workers has control over their legal and citizenship status. This unchecked power has proved to be very problematic, normally leading to vast exploitation, non-payment of wages, and no place to speak up because of the fear of retaliation. It also means that employers can avoid any legal action as there is no real framework for workers to report issues. Workers are paid little to nothing and are made to work in extremely unhealthy conditions of heat, dehydration, and are not provided with sanitary and safe living quarters. Often referred to as modern-day slavery, these workers are also not allowed to leave the country, with the employers holding on to their passports to prevent this.  As a result of this system and the environment that the workers are made to work in, the Guardian estimated that around 6500 migrant workers have perished as a result of the terrible conditions that they were subjected to, with many coming as suicides as well. However, Qatar has vehemently denied these allegations claiming these numbers are vastly inflated, and many of those that have died are from pre-existing conditions. It has been clear that nobody is willing to take culpability despite many parties being at fault for this.  Read More: Navigating the Great Resignation: Types of Talent that are Driving it  Human Rights Watch (HRW) Calls for Compensation  In response to the terrible conditions, the Human Rights Watch (known as HRW hereafter) has been at the forefront of this protest against the Qatari authorities. The HRW has called for FIFA and Qatar to address claims more realistically rather than cowering behind legal loopholes that the Kafala system provides. They have also called for compensation for the workers that remain in Qatar today, along with the families of those who have perished. The HRW suggested compensation of $440 million, equivalent to the tournament participants' total prize pool. However, FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino, have been evasive in their language and not committed to any financial reparations as such.   Many suggest that FIFA and the local authorities should take this proposal seriously. An argument that HRW and its proponents in this have made is that this world cup will make much more money than the requested compensation package. Although the figures are estimated figures, the previous 2018 installment of the World Cup held in Russia generated about $5 billion, with almost three billion coming from broadcasting rights. The Qatar World Cup will bring in even more, with Bloomberg estimating that it will bring between $18-20 billion in terms of benefit for the Qatari economy. With all of this being considered, the proposal from the HRW (although still a massive sun) seems like a small amount to pay since these workers have been offered essentially no pay anyway.   Naturally, as is the case with many gulf countries, there is no framework in place to bring the people responsible for certain crimes into the legal light. However, as the world cup draws closer, the controversy will only become clearer in public view. With already many big players and teams calling for Qatar and FIFA to act in combating further human rights violations from taking place, it is likely that media attention on this will only continue to increase.  Read More: Emphasizing the 'S' in ESG: How can HR Leaders Put ESG values in Context  FIFA’s Response  In general, the response by FIFA has been too lukewarm when compared with the severity of the violations that have occurred in Qatar. Aside from prevaricating, they have also stood behind acknowledgments of the issue rather than outlining a clear plan for betterment. Furthermore, they have claimed that they are a convenient scapegoat and that they cannot be to blame for the acts of a sovereign nation.   The main issue with the response is that FIFA remains responsible for awarding the host duties of such a large tournament to a country that ultimately did not have the facilities to enable a smooth preparation for the tournament. Although it is true that many previous worlds cup hosts have also built new stadiums and other amenities and technologies for the express purpose of ensuring the tournament run smoothly, it has never been demonstrated at this scale, or even anything close.   When deciding which country should be awarded such duties, it is expected that a reputable body like FIFA will exercise due diligence to ensure that the host country would not be cutting corners when building the new stadiums.  The Current Situation  As of August 2022, Qatar’s Workers’ Support Fund has paid out an estimated $164 million to more than 30,000 migrant workers as reparations for the conditions that they were put in without pay. This is an unprecedented and significant step in this story and is still to be commended on the government’s part.   However, it is also clear that this is far from enough. Qatar has also failed to provide several laborers who have not been paid or an estimate of how much it would take to pay the remaining workers. Overall, there are two sides to the argument, and it is difficult to see an objective solution as to whether FIFA should offer compensation to these workers. However, considering what they have gone through and the likely massive profits that FIFA stands to make from this tournament, it seems as though it would show good faith and genuine concern from their side instead of the current shallow and quasi-superficial response that they have shown.   With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.    A leader in Market Research services, SG Analytics enables organizations to achieve actionable insights into products, technology, customers, competition, and the marketplace to make insight-driven decisions. Contact us today if you are an enterprise looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.   

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Fintech in the US

Fintech in the US: The Top 8 Players to Look Forward to in 2022

Technology and advancements in relation have been some of the most important factors of growth in civilization and society today. Many of the main innovations that have become staples in most peoples’ lives come from Silicon Valley in the US. This is because of a variety of different unique aspects, it has essentially become the perfect incubator for new tech-related start-ups by becoming very efficient at connecting promising and innovative new solutions to well-funded venture capital funds or angel investors.   This has fostered a very effective environment for fast growth in the space while also stimulating general competition from around the world in the same field. This has been great for the global economy and has stimulated companies from otherwise technology giant countries, including Germany, Japan, and South Korea, to keep up with the technology and has stopped space from stagnating.   Naturally, with the boom of financial technology (known as fintech hereafter), it seems intuitive that some of the biggest companies originate in the US, with a few exceptions from other countries like China. All of these companies have revolutionized the fintech market in some way and have seen great success in doing it. So, what are the biggest fintech companies in the US today?  Read More: Four Ways Traditional Finance is being Disrupted by Open Finance  8. Ripple  Ripple is a global company that aimed to rethink the previous SWIFT system that facilitated secure international transfers and currency exchange. It utilizes blockchain technology to authorize and verify transactions to ensure the highest levels of security and integrity. This is also important because it is efficient in handling both fiat currencies as well as cryptocurrencies.   Aside from that, Ripple has also partnered with governments in the MENA region (the Middle East and North Africa) to make a low-cost and time-efficient remittance system. The platform will leverage RippleNet and other new technologies to facilitate efficient growth in the region and further boosts lower-income citizens in having access to technologies that would otherwise be too expensive.   However, aside from their successes, it is also important to keep in mind that the American Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) is currently carrying out an investigation into Ripple for allegedly selling unregistered securities back in 2020. This might be pivotal in their future success, but as of now, the outcome of the case is unclear, and the success of the company remains.   7. Chime  Chime is one of the biggest personal finance applications in the US. They encourage you to create a virtual ‘Chime’ card that can be used on platforms such as Apple or Samsung Pay using the NFC tag capabilities that most new flagship smartphones are coming equipped with nowadays. This also enables users to take full advantage of services such as Fee-Free overdrafts, better ways to build credit and improved FICO scores, along with 60,000+ Fee-Free ATMs at major US retailers like Walgreens and 7-Eleven.   It generally provides a value proposition of little or no fees for features that the bank would normally charge you. In the past, often, one would have to ask employers for an advance on their payment if they needed to meet an urgent expense. However, the bank made it so that at a low fee, that could be made possible. Chime makes it so that the fee is no longer required and runs on a low membership-based system. An interesting and new solution to many decades-old problems.   Read More: The Emerging Blockchain-Based Tokenization: What Investors Need to Know About it?  6. Square   Unlike the previously mentioned companies, Square is designed expressly to assist businesses in their operation. Square helps businesses set up loyalty and rewards programs to ensure recurring customers while also helping with banking and lubricating loans, savings, and payments that would otherwise cause stress. It also helps in the overall management of employees and can automate tedious tasks like payroll allocation, timecards, and attendance through their application.   One of their main revenue streams is their hardware. Square also sells different contactless hardware solutions to speed up and make payment situations more seamless. For example, they developed the ‘Square Terminal,’ which is essentially a more developed and modern version of a point-of-sale device. It has faster and better touch screens while also ensuring data security and no secret fees for the business to pay. It can also be customized to have things like Menus built into it so that ordering and payment can all be made through one device for waiters. They also employ a variety of other hardware options based on the type of business which is much more developed than anything else that is available in the market right now.   5. Fiserv  Having worked with companies like Microsoft, Adidas, and Google, Fiserv is one of the biggest companies offering financial services to companies. Accounts processing and digital banking are their main specializations, while they also overlook processes like payments, network services, and e-commerce that are often difficult to navigate as a company.   In general, Fiserv has not been particularly revolutionary. However, they have provided massive-scale versions of financial services in new and innovative digital ways for large companies. They now employ over 40,000 people and are one of the biggest in the fintech industry.   4. PayPal  Arguably one of the most recognizable companies on this list, PayPal is a digital payment service. It creates a secure and easy way to pay for things online without any hassles. Most online merchants come equipped with PayPal capabilities which also speed up transactions. These transactions also go straight through the connected bank account without requiring users to transfer money into a separate PayPal account, like other payment services might ask for.   It also supports direct P2P transfers between two PayPal users, which is very easy and fast. Furthermore, these transfers do not require long banking numbers or swift codes, but instead, just the person’s associated email ID.   PayPal also supports business accounts in which they can create accounts that are entirely used for business expenses which is also taken into account during tax forms and corporate tax rebates in case one is applied for.   Read More: The Evolution of 'Data-First’ Strategy: What does that mean for Businesses?  3. Intuit  Intuit is a publicly listed company that specializes in financial software for businesses and individuals. As the name suggests, they create innovative but intuitive solutions to common problems through their impressive software. For example, TurboTax is a modern solution to filing one’s tax forms every year. It starts with a detailed survey based on your income and lifestyle. This is then automated into creating a tax return for the user.   Other than its business tax form counterpart, Intuit has also created QuickBooks, which creates a holistic financial record of a company while connecting multiple different accounts. This helps accountants from tedious data entry jobs and ensures no worry of human error when doing so. Intuit has many other solutions but just leverages innovative technologies and applies them to finance in an efficient and creative way.   2. Mastercard  Mastercard is a company that issues credit and debit cards all around the world. It manages to occupy around 30% of the total market share and helps transactions in many different scenarios. Mastercard accounts can be used in P2P, B2B, and normal sale transactions and ensure quick and secure remittances regardless of where the transaction is being made.   Aside from its basic functions, the higher-tier Mastercard, such as the World Elite, provides a wide array of other services. For example, it provides a similar concierge service that is afforded to American Express Platinum customers without exorbitant fees. These cards also afford users access to hotels, airlines, and other services at lower costs and sometimes completely free. It also provides access to airport lounges all over the world and general ease of access to baggage, immigration, and security checks.   1. Visa  Like Mastercard, Visa is one of the top-ranked companies that issue credit and debit cards. However, it manages to occupy close to 60% of the market share when it comes to point-of-sale and card transactions around the world. If that is not already impressive enough, Visa was also one of the first companies to widely popularize the contactless-payments methods that the world has become so used to today through NFC tags. This has improved the speed of point-of-sale transactions and improved efficiency at brick-and-mortar stores.  Visa provides a tier program for their credit cards in which users are provided with a plethora of opportunities. For example, Visa has its own vetted list of luxury hotels around the world in which users can stay for an allotted number of nights per year. Visa also provides similar airport and concierge privileges. Visa offers unique services such as emergency medical, or legal assistance in most major countries around the world, eliminating the need for insurance in that respect. It also provides cashback on many large retailers, among all its other benefits for its users.   The Fintech World in the US  Considering that the majority of the biggest fintech companies are based in the US shows how well they have managed to do in the last decade or so. Naturally, certain eastern societies are not as forward-thinking when it comes to financial services and processes, and it is understandable that these companies come from western civilization. However, it is important for global development as these fintech companies help alleviate the effects of deadweight loss by making a more efficient economy.   Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, these companies are also expanding further into untapped markets such as the middle east to provide solutions that they have not seen before. This means that these benefits can be reaped by more people and could mean a better effort against the massive divide in terms of income inequality.   Overall, this list paints a picture of a bright future for fintech. If these technologies remain secure and efficient, countries around the world will continue to adopt them and realize the advantages of these innovative and unique solutions.   With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.     A leader in Market Research services, SG Analytics enables organizations to achieve actionable insights into products, technology, customers, competition, and the marketplace to make insight-driven decisions. Contact us today if you are an enterprise looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.

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Data-Driven Work Environment

The Rise of a Data-Driven Work Environment: What Do Enterprises Need to Know

Data has emerged as critical evidence to assist organizations in making informed and influential decisions. Today being a data-driven enterprise is not a choice but a necessity. Yet, to unlock the powerful potential of being recognized as a data-driven organization, it is important to develop a data culture - a culture that is habitual company-wide and employs practices of utilizing data to make decisions.  A wide range of organizations have varying maturities of data culture and data offices. How organizations leverage their data culture to create centers of excellence and how their data office teams play central roles in driving company-wide innovation is critically important.  A strong data culture is a critical milestone in this exciting journey of evolving the data and analytics department, the data office, that is emerging as the become catalyst for disrupting the industry. In this era of big data, building a robust data culture indicates that the organization puts data at the very core of its decision-making.   Data culture is not a movement, a trend, or a new age-sounding fad. Instead, it holds the potential to eventually dissipate so many others. In the coming years, data culture will saturate every level and every role of your organization.  Read more: The Evolution of 'Data-First’ Strategy: What does that mean for Businesses?  Why Data Culture Matter?  While in the early days, business leaders often relied on instinct and gut feeling to make crucial decisions.  However, those scenarios are now changing. Today, such leaders do not really exist in a company with a healthy data culture. Instead, a data-driven business relies entirely on accurate and timely data to reveal insights people can utilize to guide their decision-making.   Organizational culture is now accelerating the application of analytics, amplifying operational power, and steering companies away from risky outcomes.  For leading and lagging companies alike, this emergence of incorporating a data culture is an omnipresent reality of modern organizational life which indicates that a healthy data culture is becoming increasingly important.   The Three Critical Pillars of Data Culture  For effective decision-making, a data culture depends on relevant, insightful business information to make informed and guided choices. And organizations can accomplish all of this by integrating the three pillars that support any transformational change in an organization – people, processes, and technology.  People: They understand the significance of data and employ it to identify the underlying issues within the enterprise  Processes: The collective course of action employed to address as well as solve the business problems identified by the people  Technology: The tools that are integrated to put the course of action into motion  Data cultures mandate a different perspective and mindset than the people are probably used to. Hence the chances of them experiencing some hurdles and frustrations along the way are high. It is, therefore, important to nurture this new state of mind in the employees across the enterprise. Make sure to emphasize business intelligence and employ data-driven decisions throughout the operations.  Read more: It's Time to Put Marketing at the Data Table. Why?  Incorporating A Data Culture Requires Organization-Wide Buy-In  A data culture mandates data and analytics thinking at all levels across all departments. Solving an organizational problem starts with asking questions and identifying desired outcomes before turning to the data.  The people in the organization must be willing to learn, adapt, as well as experiment to succeed in being data-driven. A growth mindset can only be cultivated and nurtured if an organization has a helpful framework that introduces the concept clearly so that everyone uses the same language and continues championing it.   To cultivate a data culture, efforts must go beyond executives making data-driven strategic decisions. Establishing a data office or an AI transformation project that involves shaping the habits of everyone in the organization is equally vital.  However, achieving a data culture requires D&A to be ingrained in the day-to-day activities of all the members. It requires people to perceive and approach problems with a data-driven mindset. Everyone should think about how they can estimate initiatives and objectives for a data culture to function. Data culture empowers organizations to make data available at the right time, in the right form, and with the necessary context to drive influential business metrics. In addition, data culture can only thrive on experimentation as part of the constant journey of leveraging data to make better decisions.  A Data Culture Mandates Context and Patience  To be part of the exciting data evolution in modern business, business leaders need to understand   What is a data culture?  How are data and analytics offices changing?  Why is it vital for businesses to establish and maintain a healthy data culture?  To build robust data solutions, business leaders must be able to understand the context and gain a sense of what is and what is not going to work for their people.  A common mistake industry leaders and executives often make - are they assume that by starting one or two data projects, they can become a data-driven organization. Unfortunately, data transformation can rarely be achieved by adding something to existing structures. How an organization operates typically does not change overnight. However, this fact should not be overlooked.  To foster and grow a data culture, an organization must inculcate a deep understanding of the existing culture, strategic changes, and a clear path to adoption, as well as ongoing meaningful communication about the 'why' of nurturing a data culture.  Read more: Big Data Analytics in Finance - How Is it Enabling Financial Institutions to Drive Profitability?  Evolving the Data and Analytics Metric into a Center for Data Excellence  Data and analytics operations are continuing to evolve. Today, the D& A organizations are centralizing their operations along with the company data, with an aim to include improved architecture and data lakes. However, the next stage involves determining business objectives and desired results that demand data. By cultivating a data office or a data culture, businesses can advance their data activities across all departments, leading to a thriving data culture.  Organizations can transform their data office into a staging ground for tackling and solving impossible problems. However, driving a company transformation must incorporate governance as ethics, fairness, and regulatory compliance, particularly surrounding data, must be ensured.  With data culture gaining prominence, the next-generation data office will emerge as a center of excellence, thus taking on a broader responsibility and bringing the real potential to mature data organizations.   Data Culture Drives Decision Culture  Organizations today are striving to build a culture that clarifies the purpose, enhances effectiveness, and increases the speed of analytics efforts. Data Culture plays a vital role in being truly data-driven. To build a strong data culture, organizations must establish themselves as data-driven. Organizations must embrace the characteristics to get the most value from their data and identify the common trends across data-leading organizations - then, they can be deemed as the strong industry contenders with strong data cultures.   To create a competitive advantage, organizations must stimulate the demand for accumulating and assembling data from the grassroots.   By putting an effective data culture at the core, organizations can avert future risks arising from the unavailability of data.  Data acts as a cultural catalyst. Organizations can deliver greater value to their end consumers by creating a breadth of the best data and analytics assets available.  Research shows that data-leading organizations—the ones with strong data cultures—are likely to experience positive outcomes, such as:  Greater competitive differentiation  Faster speed-to-market outcomes  Improved profits  Higher employee satisfaction  Read more: Data & Analytics Strategy: Must-Have Crucial Elements for Decision Making  Data Culture to Support All Strategic Decisions  All strategic decisions in an organization lead back to data. Hence it is important to start with an organizational environment and habits that encourage and enable its people to think about data. The evidence is clear with the evolving big data landscape: Data can no longer be considered a purely IT function. It has now advanced by leaps and bounds and become a part of all business areas, and organizations must treat it that way.  With data and analytics changing, organizations that evolve along with it will stand to gain a tremendous amount of long-term value. Will organizations be able to join on this journey of building or growing a center of excellence? Or will they stick to the traditional operations that can drive them out of the race?  With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                   A leader in Data Analytics, SG Analytics focuses on leveraging data management & analytics and data science to help businesses discover new insights and build strategies for business growth. Contact us today if you are looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.    

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The Future of Consumer Interaction

The Future of Consumer Interaction: The Role of Tech to Enhance Consumer Experience

Major industries have witnessed a massive digital transformation in recent years. Today consumer expectations and demands are setting the pace of progress in the consumer-driven market. Companies willing to take this digital leap of faith can better serve their customers and leapfrog over long-standing competitors, and drive change.   Digitization is revolutionizing the healthcare experience for consumers. The recent innovation is designed to complement the overall driving experience of a consumer. Digital technology is assisting organizations across different domains to improve their operations, revenue, compliance, claims, and underwriting efficiency, along with sales productivity and speed to market.   While digital innovation is becoming a norm in many industries around the world, the pandemic expedited the urgency to reposition to digital and – out of necessity – pushed many organizations into it faster than expected. Digital transformation is now enabling healthcare companies to meet new customer expectations along with enhancing work structures and improving their processes and profitability in this new world driven by new working norms.  Read more: Wearable Tech: A Promise to Revolutionize Healthcare  Organizations need to adapt to colliding forces to stay relevant as well as competitive in today’s marketplace. With emerging technologies, raised customer expectations for better experiences, and shareholder push to create loyalty gaining center stage, organizations are being forced to take into consideration the following:   How to improve customer as well as employee experience to create enduring relationships and sustainable value?   How to generate better outcomes for the patients and stakeholders, along with driving purposeful growth?   How to stay relevant and updated with the ever-changing customer needs and expectations?   Ways to eliminate friction points for customers to drive a more relevant, personalized experience  How to integrate technology and data to automate and orchestrate operations across all channels to improve customer experience?  Digital Revolution in Healthcare  Today a new term is entering as well as circling the healthcare lexicon. And that word is "consumer," as recently pointed out by Harvard Business Review. The article presented a clear differentiation between the term "patient" and "consumer."  While a patient is a term applied to a person who is receiving healthcare, a consumer is an individual who makes all the decisions about obtaining good care or service and then proceeds to obtain it.  In the past, healthcare providers were more focused on patients and the quality of the technical aspects of care instead of the consumers. This led to the creation of an almost denigration of the consumer aspects of health and healthcare, such as convenience, low cost, and friendly. However, healthcare is progressively moving to value-based care, where reimbursement elements are being tied to outcomes and patient satisfaction and where providers will be held accountable for the health-related decisions of consumers.  This shift in focus from the patient to the consumer is transforming healthcare, and healthcare payers are leading the way in many cases. Many healthcare organizations are now focusing on ways to incentivize people to stay healthy, which can be considered the ultimate in consumer satisfaction.   Read more: With Subscriber Rate Declining, What Does the Future Hold for Netflix?  Solving the Issue of Prior Authorization  Technology is often integrated into operations to enhance consumer satisfaction in healthcare. One such example of this is the rise in online medical portals where patients can check their lab results, make appointments, keep track of their medications, and much more. Patient or consumer satisfaction declines when low-tech processes are still predominant, like prior authorization, which is a paramount requirement by both government and commercial healthcare payment plans.   This is burdensome because archaic technology is still dominating the prior authorization process. As per the report issued by the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH), only 26% of prior authorization requests were converted into electronic in 2020, whereas an overwhelming 74% were still handled via telephone or fax.   In addition to the direct cost of obtaining and managing prior authorizations, there are consequential capacity utilization costs. To avoid downstream denials for the high-cost diagnostic and treatment services, healthcare organizations often require prior authorization. Health systems routinely reschedule patients if the authorization has not been received 48 hours before the appointment schedule. However, it is rare for the organization to fill that slot on such short notice, due to which expensive equipment and highly trained clinicians are left idle.   While the impact of healthcare operations is significant, the negative effect on patients cannot be underestimated. It is usually stressful for patients when their physician orders specialized care, like MRI or CT scan. Add to that the frustrating as well as the confusing process that is created to obtain prior authorizations, which leads to delays in patients’ access to necessary care.  Read more: Anticipating the Unanticipated: Balancing Business Resilience in the new age of Innovation   Existing digital advancements are assisting professionals by providing:   Improved mechanism for documentation that aids in minimizing the back and forth, thereby saving time and improving customer satisfaction   Mobile tools offer real-time photo submission mechanisms for claims. The input controls within the apps help in driving completeness.   Biometrics, including well-implemented voice analytics, also aids in improving security for customer ease and operating efficiencies.   Marketing tools with built-in data analytics help in gaining insight into customer inputs and behavior, thus making it easier for organizations to identify customer needs and the possible opportunities to launch new products.                                   Monitoring ranges from telematics to smart devices. They offer critical decision-making data. These can include real-time driver behavior data for smart monitoring and application.  Aids in process streamlining and automation of manual processes for cost management and profitable growth.   When healthcare payers decided to move their insurance claims to a digital format, they were commended for undertaking that transformation. Now doing the same for prior authorization will likely do wonders for the patient as well as consumer experience. Replacing outdated technology at the heart of prior authorizations will be the first big step in reforming the process, thereby making quality healthcare more accessible to all. And the good news is that many forward-thinking healthcare providers are now paying the way.   Summing Up the Pulse  Healthcare industry professionals, as well as leadership, need to outline a framework using technology to handle prior authorization. At the same time, most of the advanced tech tools required to make this process more efficient already exist, and technology that does not can be easily worked on incorporating. However, even in such cases, the challenge lies in changing the ingrained habits and already existing traditional standard operating procedures in the healthcare system.   Read more: The Metaverse: How is it Revolutionizing the Way We Shop?  Here are a few tips to support the adoption of new technologies along with fostering the adoption of change management in an organization.  Identify the underlying, bite-sized pieces of the overall change to focus on. Leadership must understand the necessity for enterprise-wide systematic changes. However, when rolling out modifications, it is vital to start with smaller steps to get the employees on board.   Facilitate clarity regarding the new tasks as well as behaviors that are desired.   Leadership must proactively verbalize that innovation is the need of the hour. It is important to explore ways to reward ideas that employees contribute to and design annual performance evaluations and goals around innovation. Employees will be able to respond to their performance evaluations.  To improve the electronic exchange of health care data as well as to streamline processes related to prior authorization, the healthcare industry is seeking solutions. In fact, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has started working to change the existing policies for government-sponsored healthcare plans to reduce the use of fax technology across all programs and bring in a digital revolution.  With CMS leading the way, perhaps the year 2022 will likely bring in technology that will allow organizations to open a prime bottleneck in the existing healthcare system.   With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                   A leader in the Technology domain, SG Analytics partners with global technology enterprises across market research and scalable analytics. Contact us today if you are in search of combining market research, analytics, and technology capabilities to design compelling business outcomes driven by technology.      

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Data Privacy Emerging as an Immediate Enterprise Priority

Why is Data Privacy Emerging as an Immediate Enterprise Priority?

Over the span of the last decade, the rise of privacy-conscious consumers and emerging data security regulations are compelling enterprises to prioritize and plan their data management programs. This has propelled data privacy to garner center stage and become an enterprise priority.  Data privacy today is a priority for enterprises to manage and address proactively. With consumers' increasing concern about how their data is collected, processed, managed, as well as shared, organizations are exploring new avenues to employ measures to safeguard this collected data. While this paradigm shift began a few years ago, it is equally important to recognize its influence on purchase decisions that have changed.  Data privacy demands an enhanced focus and efforts for organizations to get it right.  Why is Data Privacy Important?  Today the opinionated notion of data security and privacy programs as cost centers is facing the heat as well as rethinking. While these programs do not seemingly contribute to the profits generated by an enterprise, the unfavorable effects on the topline when such programs fail are observable in many examples, be it in terms of lost consumer loyalty or revenue growth.  However, data privacy and security are fundamental to building and operating a successful enterprise that will stay sustainable in the long term.   Security and privacy are interdependent. Enterprise leaders are supporting as well as implementing such programs as a priority to be managed with proper investments of capital and resources.  Read more: What Is Data Democratization? How is it Accelerating Digital Businesses?  With the significant amount of data growing exponentially, there is a new paradigm shift in how businesses perceive data privacy. This phenomenon is pushing the data management practices and technologies that were widely employed a few years ago ineffective, compelling enterprises to rethink as well as reinvent their data management strategies and deploy emerging technologies to prepare and overcome future challenges.  Until recently, the mindset that organizations had about data was ' the more, the better.' But companies and regulators are now recognizing the consequences of having too much of a good thing. Collecting and retaining too much data leads to a whole host of problems, like:  The more the data, the more it costs to store.  The more the data, the greater the potential risk of a security breach.  When there is an abundance of data, it is harder to find what is needed.  The traditional 'keep everything' approach to data leads to now violates the new and emerging data regulations.  Organizations need to determine what data to keep and for how long. While this will require careful analysis and reconciliation of the regulatory requirements, it also demands new policies and system capabilities like data-driven disposition and retention to help the enterprises effectively manage their day-to-day task of data minimization without losing valuable or relevant information.  In a recent survey, Gartner stated that the average annual budget for privacy for large organizations is expected to exceed $2.5 million by 2024.  With the rising popularity, there has been a rise in the number of laws and regulations in the vanguard of this paradigm shift.  Today, the general population is growing more concerned about their data and its security. Recent news has shone a spotlight on the misuse of consumer data. Many organizations collecting consumer data—especially if they share it with vendors or third parties—may be at risk of their data being misused at multiple levels. This significant reputation damage is likely to result from data breaches.   Therefore, organizations should understand and employ measures to avoid reputational risks that extend beyond noncompliance with the myriad of data security laws and regulations.  Read more: A Brave New World – Fascinating Real-Life Applications of Data Analytics  How are Enterprise Leaders Navigating this Shift?  Often, it is probable that enterprise leaders think of revenue growth and profitability along with long-term sustainability in a way that is obvious and straightforward. This is surprising because enterprise leaders often tend to carry with them decades of operational and strategic experience to deal with technical complexities.  Today, the picture is changing. Enterprise leaders are recognizing the limitations of this view and employing ways to tackle any business problems. With an enhanced perspective, they are bringing in a shift, as enterprises are now letting go of their unwillingness to disrupt themselves. This first-order thinking is what connects the dots between the organization's goals and strategies to broaden the business activities that should be undertaken.   But with this approach, businesses often struggle to realign their business priorities along with the growing changes. Businesses tend to fail to deeply evaluate the effects of second-order and third-order changes in their operational landscape, thus transforming their outlook on how to approach a strategy to achieve their goals.  However, change should be embraced, as each change brings in opportunities and strategic levers that enable enterprises to innovate, improve, and grow.   With the data landscape changing rapidly with technological innovations, businesses are experiencing a rising variety of data regulations and consumer concerns. Enterprise leaders now understand the risks of relying only on experiential strengths, which can often be reflected as a weakness. This presents new challenges that must be addressed by organizations with a combination of experiential knowledge moves. By overcoming these challenges, businesses can create growth opportunities and sustainable long-term business viewpoints.  Read more: Big Data Analytics in Finance - How Is it Enabling Financial Institutions to Drive Profitability?  The Rising Popularity of The Data Privacy Landscape  Data privacy is a complicated component in this digital-native landscape. Yet, the current data privacy landscape presents an opportunity for enterprises. Businesses that can understand and embrace the ongoing data privacy wave and implement the structured processes along with training their people, developing optimal strategies, and leveraging innovative technologies for better data privacy governance are likely to gain a competitive advantage that will position them to grow and disrupt the markets they operate in.  Enterprises need to accept this change in thinking and consider data privacy a regulatory and compliance risk concern to gain a competitive edge. In brief, enterprises should assess the following imperatives to prioritize their data privacy initiatives:  The Shifting Data Economy Paradigm   Business environments increasingly rely on data to optimize their operations, develop new offerings, and provide efficient value delivery. However, to survive and thrive, businesses need to evolve their data management strategies and leverage data initiatives to acquire growth and sustainability.  The Significance of Data Privacy  Consumers and regulatory authorities today are showing their concerns regarding data privacy and how enterprises manage and secure their data. Enterprises need to first understand their consumer expectations and establish clear guidelines to communicate how the data privacy cycle is controlled.  The Rise of Data Compliance  With the increasing focus on regulating data management worldwide, a growing number of overlapping and contradictory compliance requirements across geographies are also on the rise. Enterprises are employing measures to overcome compliance challenges by integrating technology and compliance-oriented data management platforms that are not only capital-efficient but also time-efficient.  The Future of Data  The future of business will involve dealing with more data, indicating that enterprises need to progressively integrate components to articulate the effectiveness of their data management as well as their future readiness to provide a meaningful growth outlook.   Read more: Data & Analytics Strategy: Must-Have Crucial Elements for Decision Making  Getting Ahead in the Race of Data Privacy   Motivated by the rising popularity and visibility of data privacy risks, organizations are seeing an opportunity to gain a comprehensive and coordinated approach. Data management today overlaps with all the capabilities and functions of organizations. Data management programs must include data security and consumer data privacy as fundamental components, as they are instrumental in the success of an enterprise’s topline.  Due to this shift, enterprises need to prioritize their data privacy initiatives and proactively address consumer concerns to better position their strategies for a competitive enterprise advantage. However, by incorporating this approach, businesses can effectively tackle data privacy and use their data privacy capabilities as a potential source of benefit to get ahead of their competitors.  Ultimately, the path for businesses to effectively manage data privacy risk is through making it a high priority within their organization. But one uncertainty still prevails - Are they ready to take that critical first step?   With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                       A leader in Data & Analytics, SG Analytics focuses on leveraging data management & analytics and data science to help businesses discover new insights and build strategies for business growth. Contact us today if you are an enterprise looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.   

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