Infrastructure refers not only to roads and bridges, but also to data. Effective and efficient use of this core business asset will help organizations move forward.
At a time when the Indian government is looking to expedite its key projects and initiatives, and corporate India is grappling with risks ranging from regulatory to geopolitical, leveraging data will pave the way for an effective and efficient way of doing business.
In today’s world, infrastructure refers not only to roads, buildings and bridges, but also to data. Right from using application-based maps to planning everyday travel, to taking important business decisions and fighting against modern-day slavery, data has become the lifeblood of the industry.
Data, when analyzed in its entirety, can yield unique and powerful insights. Indian companies such as Flipkart, InMobi and Ola (to say nothing, of course, of the likes of Amazon and Uber) have leveraged data such as users’ details, behavior and preferences for growing their business by leaps and bounds.
Proactive risk management
Many economies, including India, are grappling with deep-rooted “red tape-ism” and corruption, which impacts the ease of doing business in a big way.
Having the right data tools and capabilities can help preempt and address these risks. There are a number of existing data resources that the government and corporations can tap into, to track companies as well as individuals and their ecosystem. These databases can be used effectively to flag off “risky” entities, Politically Exposed People (PEP) or individuals with a history of financial crime. In addition to this, such data pools can also be used to track any ongoing litigation/ cases against companies and individuals, thereby giving a holistic view of the entity they are engaging with.
Unearthing corruption is usually limited not by the lack of data, but by the difficulty in comprehending the true meaning and connections in the data as a whole. A periodic check leveraging connected data can help them be informed about who they are liaising with, and facilitate ease of doing business.
If we look specifically at India, apart from the perspective of managing risk, is also pivotal in ensuring the success of the transformational GST law. A robust data-based tax infrastructure will make transitioning to the new tax regime seamless for corporations and other businesses.
Internationally, environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are playing a key role in facilitating fundamental country credit analysis. We are living in times when responding to issues like climate change and executive remuneration can be as important as traditional financial metrics, when evaluating corporate performance. Issues such as diversity, human rights, business ethics and corporate governance are at the forefront of public and political attention, and investors are increasingly differentiating their priorities using ESG criteria. Given this, trusted data can be of immense value for investors to assess a country’s or corporation’s ESG health and commitments, and help them make informed decisions.
A version of this article originally appeared in Forbes India.
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