On 11th September 2018, Datacon East Africa took place at the Azure Hotel in Nairobi. An event aimed at developing East Africa’s Data Analytics community, it was an event where data geeks could get together and wax lyrical about numbers without having people’s eyes glaze over.
With 2 million datapoints already collected from the AgriPreneur program running in partnership with Syngenta Foundation India, Kuza Biashara participated in the conference to gain insights on how to leverage the data to improve the program.
Why Data Analytics?
The beauty of data analytics comes not from its ability to significantly disrupt one major element of business — though it can — but its biggest power comes from its ability to slightly improve several business elements at the same time to streamline processes, improve products, cut costs and generate revenues.
The data is there, our goal is to just make sense of it
Among the discussions that took place during the conference, it was clear that even though the skills of a data analysis are becoming increasingly important thanks to advances in technology, they’re quite rare in the African market. Even industries that used to be traditionally brick-and-mortar in the past are digitizing their processes so there’s a reservoir of data to tap into.
Take for example, the banking industry that used to revolve around physical banks with long cues and frustrating customer service. In one of the presentations, a quote was shared about how there will come a time when people will ask where the bank is even located because all banking transactions would have moved online and/or mobile.
Automation and digitalization has lead to immense improvement of financial services in the past few years, bridging the financial inclusion gap. An obvious example of this comes when you compare between new bank accounts opened and new users who registered to mobile money. The former showed an increase of 0.5 % while the latter showed an increase of 20 % showing that mobile money is quickly overtaking the traditional banking services.
This shows that as more people from the rural sector start to embrace technology, solutions need to be designed around their needs, which emphasizes the need for a shift from the mass market model where production happens at a mass scale and communication is also done at a mass scale (through the radio), to a more customer-centric approach where users are segmented and profiled, their individual needs are identified and solutions are built around that.
Being customer-centric is at the heart of what we do at Kuza. During one such market research, we noticed that more people from the informal communities we work closely with are using smartphones within the past 6 months. As the price of such devices go down, more people are able to own one. However, the way they use it is either for gaming or betting, which is neither healthy nor sustainable. That’s why we’re committed to deploying our training solution of packaging entrepreneurship and life skills into micro-learning modules that can then be accessed within informal communities. Instead of wasting both their time and money gaming or betting, through our programs we ensure they experience a shift in mindset and learn new skills to advance their lives. And the thing we’ve noticed having interacted with informal communities for over 6 years is that it’s not about introducing them to technology as much as it is help them internalize it because then they start thinking about it differently.
Also, collecting data helps us understand our demographic information so we’re able to customize solutions and micro-learning modules for them. This directs the development of new content as well any iterations of product development.
Which brings us back to the power of data and the power of technology. Whether it’s data analytics or technology, these are just enabling factors, but the most important aspect of any project or business is the human aspect that drives it, and is able to make the best use of it.
To learn more, go to kuza.one