Karsh Hagan uses data to help clients better their business. Now, our resources have allowed us to manage multiple crises related to COVID-19.
SO WHAT DID DATA TELL US ABOUT COVID-19?
Data models, of course, can fail when a completely unprecedented situation comes along, like COVID-19.
Medical experts, researchers and analysts have all been looking back to past global pandemics and their outcomes to find similar patterns and trends that can help predict COVID’s outcome. Data sets from SARS, MERS, Ebola, even the 1918 Spanish Influenza are giving us clues as to what’s next.
By adding in economic crisis data from 9/11, the Great Recession, or maybe the Great Depression we can see a slightly better picture of COVID-19’s impact.
For a bit of help, human data analysts are using Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to process new information. There are some fascinating examples of how ML and AI are being used to discover more about the COVID virus, as well as vaccine development.
Without the right data foundation and tools, this type of groundbreaking analysis isn’t an option. And over 60% of companies are struggling to implement basic data and analytics tools. But don’t think for a second that data hasn’t been helping us solve this new crisis for our clients, regardless of where they stand from a data maturity standpoint.
OUR PLAN AHEAD TEAM HAS BEEN COUNTERING CRISIS WITH DATA
Since March, Karsh Hagan’s Plan Ahead Team has been gathering deep insights to help clients navigate any crisis and improve their business. Day by day, data has helped us develop new crisis messaging and campaigns for our clients, who needed clear answers. We did this by:
ASSESSING THE CRISIS SITUATION
We determined the current situation each client was in. Were they facing a crisis? Were they unsure why conversions have dropped? Had revenue decreased?
Then we developed a list of questions:
- When and where is the situation likely to improve or get worse?
- What are some possible outcome scenarios?
- Who are my customers right now and who will they be in six months?
- How can I retain more customers?
Then we asked:
- Do we need deep data insights to answer these questions?
- By not using data, what is the impact to the client?
COLLECTING KEY CRISIS DATA
While a client’s internal data is a prime indicator of success, it didn’t give us the full view. That’s why we went deeper to find potential internal, external, and industry specific data sources to answer our new business questions, including:
- Sales and CRM
- Media Performance
- Google Analytics
- Social Interactions
- Social Listening
- Industry Performance Benchmarks
- Health, Economic and Political Trends
- Consumer Sentiment Surveys
- Custom Surveys
- Focus Group Insights
- Vendor and Industry Partner Insights
MONITORING DATA FREQUENTLY
Once we had our data sets, built from various sources, we started regularly monitoring this data to note trends and patterns. And from frequent monitoring came fast solutions.
For instance, when the travel industry was ground to a halt by COVID-19, we started swiftly collecting, analyzing and interpreting indicator data on a weekly basis for our many travel clients. This informed their strategy, timelines, and messaging going forward.
LOOKING FOR TRENDS TO DEVELOP HYPOTHESES
As we tracked data for all of our clients in the early weeks of COVID, we started to get a sense for:
- Recovery timelines
- Likely scenarios and outcomes
- Potential target audiences
With data, we finally had strong hypotheses guiding our recovery planning and execution. Of course, nothing is set in stone.
BEING AGILE AND READY TO PIVOT
Seeing our current situation changes daily, consumer sentiment is shifting rapidly, too. With a data-driven approach to developing phased crisis management strategies, our Plan Ahead Team will be ready to switch gears as soon as our metrics do.
We’re always ready to pivot, because the only thing constant is change.
So once the crisis ends, and it will end eventually (as the data shows), it’s important to develop a long-term data and analytics strategy. That way you’ll be armed to tackle all your business needs, on top of the next crisis.