Reflections

The road to digital transformation

Having worked in data, design and analytics field for quite sometime (actually good number of years), anything and everything that I see and experience, goes through the cycle of observation and analysis (also introspection) and in a (sometimes ending) loop.

At times, there are interesting findings and repeat instance of such findings, takes it to next level of deep thinking and also, penning it down. While I kept my professional experiences out of my blog, but then why not here!

Digital transformation is one of my key areas of interest, and I do read about how organisations have envisaged and treaded the path, then less travelled and now the need of the hour. Digitisation of data and getting processes aligned accordingly are some of the key success factors in the transformational journey.

Often with digitisation, one of the first thing comes to (my) mind is no-paper and go green. Its easy. Or Is it really, easy said than done?

There are still so many organisations and so many processes which require data in printed format. Application forms for instance, be it for university, obtaining loan, getting Government aid, and the list goes on. Having said that the list has shrunk over the years.

What’s worth noting (and investigating) is that in many areas where the data is collected in printed form, the preceding step could be filling form online (and take a print) or fill the form and then the same gets punched in system.

And if you are dealing with a large organisation ,where your data has to move across their internal teams or siloed system, things get more interesting to analyse.

Something I recently experienced.

For some formalities related to buying a house, I had to fill a form and provide photocopies of my identity proof. I did that all very diligently.

After a few days, I receive couple of emails from the organisation, welcome email, payment confirmation, booking details etc. All were from different departments I presume, and each of the department had a different team to the backend-data punching and each of the department also had its own system.

The reason for this conclusion (or assumption) is my name was spelled differently (and that too incorrect) in the emails.

Further, my unique ID was also not captured properly. Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a unique ID given the Income Tax Authority in India, has a fixed pattern and structure. My ID punched in their system was not inline with the pre-defined structure.

The first thought in my mind was that how come this basic validation has not been included in their systems. Thats how one takes care of data entry errors. I informed them about the errors and subsequent emails had correct details.

Again a few days I received some communication informing something and yes, my name was correct but unique ID was still the old one.

Well, larger the organisation you deal with your experience could either be a cakewalk or an adventurous one.

While generalising this situation doesn’t make sense, as there many successful and smoothly working implementations of digitisation and the digital transformation. However, such experiences are common.

As a professional or products person (if I can say so), its our responsibility to design and make processes and lives simpler and efficient for everyone.

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