Amongst the many strange and cruel features of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the fact that both good and bad news always seem to arrive at the same time. Death rates might fall to new lows, while case counts start a rash climb; though hospitalizations may reduce dramatically in one region, they may increase dramatically in another. This month, McKinsey had some good news to report on many aspects related to the world economy, but also provided a sobering look at how variants—especially, the Delta variant, are bringing in fresh waves of bad news.

McKinsey’s Global Economics Intelligence executive summary for July states strengthening the global industrial activity and the return of consumer demand and growing trade momentum amidst the backdrop of a worsening pandemic wave. As the virus spreads amongst the unvaccinated, however, there is a good probability for a vaccine-resistant strain to emerge. Meanwhile, in poorer countries, vaccines are scarce, and most populations are little protected.

With the economy just on the path to recovery another fresh wave of the pandemic could prove disastrous. So, what can organizations do to protect their businesses?

Business Intelligence (BI) can Help

The Business Intelligence (BI) has been often flaunted and pushed as a game-changer especially during the pandemic crisis. Although most organizations are familiar with BI and agree that it should be operationalized throughout their company, yet the BI is not well assimilated throughout adopting organizations.

Based on a new survey conducted by Meidata for Sisense, BI and data analytics professionals remain positive about the role analytics will have during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-nine percent of 500 U.S. respondents state that they use analytics much more now than they did before the pandemic.

Data and analytics have an important role in helping companies react, respond and recover from the after effects of the pandemic and in helping organizations rebuild and reimagine their business models and supply chains, resilience, responsiveness, agility,” states Rita Sallam, a well distinguished vice president analyst and fellow at Gartner.

Small Businesses at Forefront of BI and Data Analytics

The report, named “The State of BI & Analytics Report 2020: Special COVID-19 Edition,” also found that smaller businesses with 51 to 2,000 employees had an easier time adopting new use cases for data during the pandemic. Sixty-eight percent of small businesses have reported using BI and data analytics for operations, while more than half have used analytics for finance (56%) and 50% for sales. Another 45% utilized data for products.

New Uses for BI and Data Analytics

Organizations have been utilizing data in new ways to work on the challenges. The report shows that 55% of businesses utilize data to improve efficiencies and forecast changes and outcomes. Another 45% rely on the data to predict these outcomes. “A broad range of analytics and data capabilities are being used by organizations for situational awareness and critical response, for categorizing the disease spread, to identify likely treatments or factors that make the virus more virulent for some patients, for medical resource optimization, for contract tracing, and for end-to-end supply chain scenario planning, among others.


The commitment of the top leaders influences the assimilation of BI through routinization and acceptance. Data can act as a survival tool for many organizations during the pandemic. With some businesses facing staggering revenue drops, use of analytics shot up to 40%, thereby directing organizations to become more efficient with the data collated to predict business outcomes.