Fighting “Choice Overload” with Analytics and Design Thinking

Design Thinking


We live in a world with a seemingly endless amount of options. Conventional wisdom would suggest that having lots of choices is good, right? As it turns out, when change is necessary and the choices for where to begin are endless and equally attractive, taking that first step in the right direction is a daunting challenge. This is especially true in the world of digital transformation.
It feels like a new digital solution comes on the market every day, brimming with fancy bells and whistles that are supposed to miraculously turn your teams into digital ninjas. However, when faced with so many options, not only do these solutions begin to feel less attractive, but decision-makers also run a greater risk of buyer’s remorse. This is referred to as choice overload.
Here are just some of the options companies face when considering their own digital transformation: machine learning, user experience, cloud computing, social media, and the list goes on. While these are all vital tools for creating an effective digital transformation, they won’t serve any real purpose unless teams have a sharp and focused view of their mission.

Blending technology & business with customer-centric analytics at the core

The key to finding your way through the dizzying array of solutions is to focus on customer-centric analytics. It’s important to understand how to most effectively blend technology and business, thereby shifting from silos to integrated teams. This means having the right customer analytics at your disposal. Now you’re probably wondering what those analytics look like?
Each company is different, but the steps to focusing on the right analytics are the same regardless of your business. First, map your business’ value stream. This entails documenting and analyzing your processes for creating your product or service. Then consider the pain points. Is customer satisfaction low? Is your app underperforming in the marketplace? Are you finding it challenging to enhance products or services quickly enough?

Next, you’ll want to focus on where your value stream brakes down. What is keeping you from getting new products to market faster, for example? Perhaps your developers and operations teams aren’t working as collaboratively as they should. Now that the analytics have helped you find the potential root cause of your problem, this is a good time to begin testing new approaches – but without making huge financial outlays. Testing and failing fast are good things - they help us to learn fast.
Instead, create an MVP – or minimum viable product – that you can easily test with a subset of your customers. For example, is your app failing to get the level of adoption you had hoped. Speak with your intended audience, and try a stripped-down version of your app based the feedback you received. Consider testing it with a small group before rolling it out to all your customers. This allows you to test quickly, learn even quicker, and ultimately deliver better results in less time and with a smaller investment. Imagine spending three months creating a new MVP rather than 10 months trying to roll out a completely new app – only to miss the mark again.

Design thinking helps break down silos

Incorporating customer-centric analytics in your digital transformation not only leads to a more holistic understanding of business needs and objectives, but it also fosters design thinking, which incorporates creative solutions and experimentation to resolve complex challenges.
It’s important to remember that design thinking is not only an internal exercise, but also a process of understanding and integrating the customer’s voice so that it’s reflected in your business. Afterall, a common principle by any business is to build everything around customers and constantly aim to improve.  By hearing the voice of the customer and demonstrating that you value their viewpoint, new initiatives have a much higher likelihood of success. In fact, in the very near future co-creation of products and services with customers will be a reality, We will not be making products “for” customers, rather we will be making products “with” customers.
Think of organizational change like climbing Mt. Everest. It doesn’t happen overnight. But it does require teamwork - not to mention more organizational consensus and alignment across silos. If you want to reach the summit, focusing on customer-centric analytics and design thinking makes it easier for teams from business strategy, marketing, operations, and product design to influence a truly integrated initiative.