Rise of the Centaur

Technical knowledge is made obsolete every year, yet mastery of technology remains essential for success in every business sector. Going with your gut and relying on instinct remains valuable, but truly talented leaders leverage every advantage they can find. Using technology to its fullest extent while applying your human insight will push you beyond your limitations and create a new, more powerful entity altogether: introducing the “centaur.” 

Is it a mutation?

Classically, the centaur is a half-human, half-horse mythological creature from Ancient Greece – embodying the wisdom and intelligence of mankind combined with the robust force and power of the mighty horse. Like the mythological centaur, we can retain our humanity while mounting the power of technology to become something exceptional. Technology is a wild beast that requires taming and constant attention to ensure you remain seated firmly on its back.

By using several technological trends poised to shake up countless industries, we can capitalize on the opportunities presented by harnessing technology. Two advances in technology which will be key aspects in helping you tame your centaur are Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

What technology powers the centaur?

Big Data

Data is an invaluable asset for businesses, but converting it into usable information can be complex and challenging, especially as data becomes increasingly vast. Big Data is analytics on steroids, shifting mentality away “from a knowing culture to a learning culture,” says Murli Buluswar, CSO of AIG.

The advent of Big Data drives the adoption of an objective mentality, which makes decisions based on concrete data analysis. Big Data allows you to collect vast amounts of detailed information your business can use to improve efficiency and customer experience. By analyzing how large companies use big data to better their operations, it’s understandable how its potential can impact your operations.

Artificial Intelligence

Humanity has gravitated towards AI for decades, but modern technology has now caught up to the imagination of novelists and filmmakers. Over the past few years, AI development has outperformed human intelligence in many tasks, from reading comprehension to playing video games, and driving cars. It doesn’t take an AI-powered supercomputer to realize AI will significantly influence the coming years.

Through a recent explosion in popularity, leveraging AI has become mandatory for staying relevant in the modern world. Along with managing inventory, automating processes, and providing customer support, AI is especially useful in analyzing Big Data. Harnessing the combination of Big Data and AI capabilities will aid you in your transformation into the centaur.

With new releases of AI technology coming at us rapidly, it’s becoming challenging to uncover the perfect technology for each business. With such a robust range of capabilities, from assistive writing and creative processes to automating repetitive tasks, the question isn’t whether AI can help your business, but how? Digital agencies are positioned to answer this question by experimenting, researching, and uncovering the best technologies as they’re released.

Where do sapiens come in?

Having oceans of data and a tool to analyze it is one massive component of the centaur; however, more crucial is being able to understand and respond to the needs and emotions of the humans formulating the data. This is where human insight comes in; when it’s time to process and turn information into strategy. 

Through market research, human experts can identify patterns in data. By understanding the context and meaning behind the information we can begin to develop a thesis about what the information represents. We can identify potential biases in the data and use logic to uncover gaps or incomplete details. 

Human insights and experience provide a critical perspective that completes the power of big data and AI, ensuring that data analysis and strategy are grounded in real-world understanding, context, and human values.

How can businesses embrace the centaur?

Embracing the centaur means leveraging new technology to become smarter, more efficient, and harnessing this newfound power to drive human connection. To leverage AI and big data and gain a market advantage we can do these four things:

1) Deploy information tools

Business intelligence tools have come a long way since the days of basic spreadsheets and pie charts. While spreadsheets are still great tools, far more advanced and full-service systems available today provide incredible data analysis and insight. CRM software packages are invaluable tools for harnessing the power of Big Data. They allow you to fully put to use the information you gather by connecting the dots of a customer's journey while providing you with a seamless platform to put that information to use.

2) Mine for customer data

Data mining uses software to analyze large sets of data and uncover patterns, allowing companies to gain insights into their customers and improve marketing, boost sales, and reduce expenses.

If you’re not regularly identifying ways to enrich your customer data then it’s crucial for you to take the steps now to ensure you have the whole story. Complete data can influence your decision-making process and business operations. Social media is a goldmine of customer data waiting for you to harvest. The information you can gather from social media networks has direct and indirect business implications. This data is essential for effective marketing campaigns. Knowing your market enables you to target ads at specific demographics, drastically increasing your ROI of marketing spend.

3) Master the art of analytics

Your data is only as powerful as your ability to understand it. You must master the art of analytics. Learning which data points drive value to your business is the first key to data mastery. There are plenty of analytics tools out there, but the strength of the information you glean from them highly depends on your ability to know what to look for. It is essential that you discover which data is the most critical for your business and then focus on those metrics. Understand the art of analytics with our user-friendly guide to digital marketing metrics.

4) Personalize offerings

All this data you’re accumulating can be leveraged for direct and personalized marketing. You can provide customers with engaging media and offers on items they quantifiably want to purchase. Truly personalized points of contact with your audience have an increased likelihood of conversion and also garner brand loyalty. The impact of effective personalization cannot be overstated. Such personalization is enabled through the skilled utilization of Big Data and AI.

Balancing technology and humanity for success 

Customers expect a lot more from companies as technology advances in leaps and bounds. As business leaders, we must rise to these expectations if we hope to remain relevant. To stay relevant, you must adapt to the times that demand ongoing technological transformations.

Embracing your inner centaur is all about embracing the power of technology while remaining in sync with human connection. Understanding that every decision you make ultimately depends on determining how to best serve your customer will keep you grounded and focused. Meanwhile, keeping one eye on the future will ensure you are prepared for whatever is to come.

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