African indigenous businesses (AIBs) are in the nascent stages of becoming data-driven and innovative through data analytics. The data-driven agenda looks promising in industries like manufacturing (distribution), health, agriculture, and online platforms like social media, with enterprises deriving economic and symbolic value from descriptive, diagnostic, and predictive analytics. These data-driven activities tend to be often directly or indirectly enabled by the quest of multinational companies, who as business partners or collaborators of AIBs seek to mutually maximise value-generating activities. Thus, these multinational companies play a key role in creating awareness of the value of data and providing the motivation, and sometimes the technical and human resources, to enable AIBs to develop data analytics capabilities.
Concerning constraints, there is generally a lack of awareness regarding the value of data. AIBs are challenged in providing auxiliary resources and processes for a data-driven agenda (i.e., recruiting the right skillsets, acquiring logistics, paying for software licenses, and meeting regulatory standards, among others). Further, some are yet to scale above existing digitalisation barriers.
This brief was authored by Richard Boateng, Adedeji Adeniran, and Sone Osakwe