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  • Writer's pictureRoy Sasson

Working on your data-driven yearly planning? AI trends could shift what your metrics capture

Data, the fuel of modern business, can also morph into a mirage in the desert of long-term planning. Metrics that once served as reliable guideposts – clicks, conversions, deliveries, appointments, and so on – become obsolete as the sands shift beneath our feet under the influence of AI. This data trap affects businesses across sectors, from e-commerce and logistics to entertainment, healthcare, and finance.

Let's explore how the tides change in these diverse landscapes, with a few examples:

Healthcare: From Patient Volume to Preventative Health

Tracking appointments alone could paint an incomplete picture. AI-powered symptom checkers and virtual assistants might lead to fewer in-person visits, but proactive health management through personalized recommendations and education could result in better long-term outcomes. Focusing solely on appointment numbers could mask the potential of AI-driven preventative care.

Finance: From Transactions to Holistic Financial Health

Traditional metrics like transaction volume and revenue might not capture the full picture in an AI-powered financial landscape. Robo-advisors and automated budgeting tools could guide users towards long-term financial goals, leading to fewer transactions but greater overall financial health. Focusing solely on the old metrics could miss the bigger picture of user well-being.

Music: From Stream Count to Fan Engagement

Chasing raw streaming numbers might miss the deeper story. AI-powered recommendation engines curate personalized playlists, leading to shorter listening sessions but potentially higher engagement. A listener devouring genre-bending mixes might not rack up the same stream count as a repeat listener, but their exploration and engagement could be invaluable. Clinging to the old metric could blind you to the loyalty fostered by AI-driven discovery.

Insurance: From Policy Renewals to Risk Prediction

Measuring success solely by policy renewals might be misleading. AI-powered risk assessment tools could lead to fewer policy renewals based on improved risk prediction, but also potentially reduce overall claims payouts and improve customer satisfaction. Fixating on renewals could hinder the adoption of AI-driven risk management, ultimately harming both the company and its customers.

Sports: From Wins and Losses to Performance Optimization

Focusing solely on wins and losses might overlook the power of AI-driven training and analysis. Wearables and data-driven coaching platforms can personalize training regimens, potentially leading to fewer wins in the short term but improved player performance and long-term success. Chasing wins could blind you to the potential of AI-driven athlete development.

Wellbeing: From Steps Taken to Holistic Wellness

Tracking steps alone might not capture the full picture. AI-powered sleep trackers, mood monitors, and stress-detection tools could lead to fewer recorded steps, but a more comprehensive understanding of overall well-being. Focusing solely on steps could miss the bigger picture of mental and emotional health, hindering your ability to provide holistic wellness solutions.

E-commerce: From Micro-Engagements to Value-Driven Purchases

A 2% conversion rate might once have been cause for celebration, but with AI-powered chatbots and personalized recommendations, clicks alone paint an incomplete picture. What if users are engaging deeply with product pages, saving items for later, and interacting with virtual assistants before purchasing? These micro-conversions, invisible to traditional metrics, could be the seeds of future loyalty. Chasing the old "clicks" could blind you to the value these AI-driven journeys create.

Logistics: From Deliveries to Predictive Efficiency

Metrics like "deliveries per truck" might have signified success, but AI-powered route optimization and real-time traffic data change the game. Fewer deliveries, each precisely timed and efficiently routed, could be the new benchmark. Clinging to the old metric could lead to wasted fuel and frustrated customers.

Entertainment: From Watch Time to Personalized Engagement

In streaming services, watch time alone might miss the mark. AI-powered recommendation engines can curate diverse, shorter formats that keep users engaged but rack up less watch time. A user devouring curated documentaries might not be a binge-watcher, but their engagement with the platform could be invaluable. Sticking to the old metric could leave you blind to the potential of personalized experiences.

Charting a Course for executives through Shifting Sands:

So, how do we navigate these shifting sands and avoid data mirages? Here are some actionable insights:

  • Track the micro-conversions: Go beyond headline numbers and analyze smaller interactions, like product page scrolls, chatbot inquiries, and saved items, especially in AI-driven domains.

  • Develop new, AI-aware metrics: Traditional metrics might not capture the nuances of AI-powered experiences. Design metrics that measure engagement, satisfaction, and long-term value creation specific to your context.

  • Embrace qualitative data: User research, surveys, and interviews can reveal the "why" behind the data, helping you understand user perceptions and motivations in the AI-influenced landscape.

  • Foster a culture of data agility: Be prepared to Be prepared to adapt your metrics and strategies as AI evolves. Regularly evaluate the validity of your data assumptions and be open to new ways of measuring success in an AI-powered world. Encourage experimentation and pilot programs to test new metrics and identify what truly moves the needle. Remember, data should inform, not dictate.

  • Invest in human-AI collaboration: Remember, AI is a tool, not a replacement. Empower your teams to leverage AI insights while maintaining human oversight and ethical considerations. Ensure your people have the skills and training to interpret AI outputs, identify potential biases, and make informed decisions.

  • Focus on long-term value: While traditional metrics often focus on short-term gains, AI enables us to look beyond immediate results. Prioritize metrics that capture the long-term value you're creating for users, customers, or society. This might include metrics like customer lifetime value, brand loyalty, or social impact.

  • Build trust through transparency: As AI becomes more integrated into decision-making, transparency is crucial. Clearly communicate how AI is being used, what data is being collected, and how it's impacting outcomes. This transparency fosters trust and helps avoid potential ethical pitfalls.

  • Embrace lifelong learning: The landscape of AI and data is constantly evolving. Encourage a culture of continuous learning within your organization, ensuring your teams stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. This will equip you to adapt and thrive in this ever-shifting terrain.

Remember, data in the age of AI remains a powerful compass. By adopting a nuanced and dynamic approach, tracking the micro-conversions, developing new metrics, listening to users, and adapting with agility, we can navigate the shifting sands and chart a course towards success in a world where AI amplifies our capabilities and redefines the very meaning of measurement and progress.

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