Use data to improve product and service offerings

Kehad Snydewel
The Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) recently embarked upon the National Housing Census across the country.
This cannot have escaped anyone’s attention, and across the breadth and length of the Land of the Brave, every inhabitant was counted. The data collected, collated and analysed forms the basis for future socioeconomic planning to shape our country far into the future.
Some questions asked may have seemed unimportant or irrelevant, but they are not. The data they can distil from the answers will build a complete picture of where Namibia stands and how its development is going.
The census information collected gives planners, both inside and outside of government, an accurate picture of how many people live in the country, their living conditions, and access to essential services. Enabling to channel resources in terms of education, healthcare, housing, transport and so much more. Furthermore, census information assesses the National Development Plans and Sustainable Development Goals.
This got me thinking that our businesses should look within their own data. Vast amounts of product, service and customer data and information is collected daily by corporations and organisations in Namibia... but what is done with it? Is it just seen as a burden taking up space on servers, hard drives or in the Cloud?
Namibian organisations should realise the digital gold they possess and start leveraging their data. The collected information can be analysed to improve products and services and the bottom line or improve service delivery in governmental institutions. Understanding your clients' habits, needs and it easier to cater to them.
Simple example
A simple example: if a clothes shop knows that specific sizes sell out the quickest because most Namibians wear those size trousers or shirts, then more of those sizes need to be ordered. A shop can anticipate what will sell out and not be left with outsized clothes or petite clothes that the average Namibian cannot fit into.
This type of analysis of data works in financial institutions, insurance companies and healthcare companies. But Netflix and Amazon also use it. The collective term for these activities is Business Intelligence (BI) or Data Analysis, and it is one of the primary drivers of most organizations across the globe.
Companies can offer their clients services and improved products by using algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and simple number crunching. The data being stored can be put to good use and contribute to the bottom line or improved service delivery. This is still in its infancy in Namibia, and yet it is not only large institutions or organizations that should be embracing data analysis. A small bakery which knows which muffins sell out the quickest will start making more of those muffins to sell. This will positively influence the bakery’s bottom line.
Green Enterprise Solutions, a Namibian ICT service provider, offers Business Intelligence and data analysis services. Having specialised knowledge in this field is becoming an essential staple for companies and institutions that want to elevate their business and organisation. Namibia is collecting and analysing National Census Data and information and using it to improve the country. Namibian businesses and institutions can do the same for their organisations.
*Kehad Snydewel is the managing director of Green Enterprise Solutions.
** Opinion pieces and letters by the public do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial team. The editors reserve the right to abridge original texts. All newspapers of Namibia Media Holdings adhere to the Code of Ethics for Namibian Media, a code established jointly with the Media Ombudsman.