Leverage data to understand changing trends

Access to data-driven insights can help businesses and governments better understand real-time trends for effective political and strategic decision-making, in a rapidly changing business and social environment.

The world has gone through an unprecedented time marked by prolonged lockdowns and an increased need for social distancing. It has changed the way we live, travel, work, shop and do business.

Many of these changes were short term. Strict and sometimes restrictive protocols during the peak of covid-19 slowly loosen towards a “new normal.”

Some changes, however, are here to stay. Masking and social distancing are still necessary, and the benefits of minimizing human contact have become entrenched in general behavior. This is reflected in consumption patterns that drive potential long-term changes, changes in the workplace, and change in a host of other areas of business and governance.

For all companies too, this period has been a testing ground like no other, forcing them to pause, observe, understand and react in innovative ways. Organizations are still grappling with the slowdown caused by covid. The challenge has been twofold: tackle the downturn in business, while ensuring that they are at the forefront of digital adoption, meeting the demands of their systems and technological infrastructure created by the attraction of digital payments. .

look for answers

This is a one-of-a-kind phase, when almost everyone is looking for answers to new questions and patterns that are not easily obvious. The need of the hour is timely and relevant information / data. It’s by staying up to date with current trends, such as new patterns of consumer spending and emerging fintech solutions, that we can harness the data-driven insights that businesses and governments around the world can use.

Covid-19 has also precipitated a rapid move towards contactless and digital payments. With the rise of e-commerce, new era payment options such as QR codes, UPI, pay by account, contactless cards and wearable devices have seen rapid adoption. According to a study by Mastercard, 49% of Indian consumers prefer to use less cash for payments. Contactless payments in India have grown 15-fold in the past 18-20 months, with 77% of study participants saying they’re here to stay.

Consumer spending habits have also changed dramatically. Before the pandemic, more than 31% of spending was on items such as clothing, accessories and 24.14% on consumer electronics, while groceries accounted for 17%. Today, consumers spend almost 45% on groceries and food.

In terms of emerging technology trends, covid-19 has accelerated digital adoption and the transition to the cloud, with 90% of business decision makers saying it has been ‘higher’ to ‘significantly higher’ than expected . Another key trend is an increased interest of organizations in cybersecurity, data analysis and cyber fraud than before.

With the shift to working from home, India experienced large-scale reverse migration as people returned to their hometowns to work virtually. The pandemic has also seen an increase in professional transitions, with the post-pandemic transition increasing by 3.4%. Today, flexible work options that don’t affect the volume and quality of work are the new normal. Additionally, with employees being more open to joining smaller startups, this poses a greater challenge in terms of attrition and talent shortages in some areas.

major health problems

The pandemic has also raised major health concerns, and as local governments grapple with this crisis, they rely heavily on technology to provide virtual medical services. In addition, travel was clearly one of the most affected sectors, and the gradual recovery of business now takes on a more secure, contactless and digitized avatar. For example, transport authorities around the world have tried to reduce cash and physical tickets, especially when traveling locally. This trend has now accelerated.

The role of data analytics in how we rethink and reconfigure business processes and policies has been recognized over time. However, this difficult phase has shown the world that harnessing data-driven insights can dramatically improve our understanding of consumers and the resulting changes in industries, governments and the world.

Data may be the most valuable currency in the new reality that continues to unfold. It’s time to unleash its potential for growth and global improvement by business leaders and governments around the world.

Rajesh Chopra is Director and Senior Vice President of Data and Services for Mastercard – South Asia.

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