Formula for a better future: Data Analytics and ESG

If ESG data is everywhere, how do you know what to look for? Modern analytics can be the tool you need to find your ESG hotspots – if your data is up to the task.

Analytics spot patterns that humans can’t.

When dealing with ever-increasing volumes of data, data analysts may find themselves playing catch-up in order to extract every insight they need to influence informed, business-critical decisions.

This is doubly important when it comes to ESG. Not only are your claims on environmental, social and governance-related aspects of your business scrutinised by investors, consumers and your own employees, but ESG reporting also requires more of your colleagues – even those previously unfamiliar with data - to use and interpret it.

Compliance matters for ESG. If you don’t know where to look for insights, or if you approach data with an idea of what you want it to tell you, you’ll find yourself being misled, and with gaping holes in your ESG findings.

Modern analytics solutions provide insights on ESG data: eliminating human bias and removing the traditional barriers to entry. Here are three ways in which such solutions stand out.

But before you engage in more advanced ESG initiatives you need to know where to look for ESG data. If you don’t know where to start, download ESG unchained: A guide to finding your ESG hotspots.

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Spot ESG pain points and highlight successes faster

Believe it or not, ESG data is everywhere. If you don’t see it, you might not be looking hard enough.

The transition to a hybrid model of working has taken wellbeing concerns from office spaces to homes, where employers still have to remain compliant with Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) standards. This also holds true for environmental issues: even if a team works entirely remotely, hard data will be needed to convince ESG regulators that your WFH practices are sufficiently sustainable.

The growth in scope of ESG will require businesses to turn over every stone in search of ESG data. Advanced analytics take the pain out of this process by delivering instantly readable insights from every relevant data source.

This allows everyone – not just data specialists - to access a central data framework, recognise what the data is telling them, and to act on it swiftly.

Make participation in ESG reporting seamless by democratising data

As we’ve touched on, making data available and readable for everyone involved in your business (including your supply chain partners) is an incredible advantage.

For many businesses, data is handled by a dedicated team. Counterintuitively, it also resides in siloes, held by different departments. This makes the task of gathering data from multiple sources as laborious as eventually interpreting it.

That also goes without mentioning how steep the learning curve can be to onboard people to your existing data or business intelligence platforms.

This is why data can become synonymous with ‘hassle’ to some people. Decision analytics, such as those provided by the Pyramid Decision Intelligence platform, are critical to empower everyone from your C-suite to your front line to take ownership of ESG reporting. Converting data into actionable insights allows users up and down the business to pinpoint ESG hotspots, create instant reports and build a culture of proactive data use.

Don’t get caught out by ESG reports – be ever-ready with the right analytics

If ESG data is everywhere, and it simultaneously exists in siloes, it can be bewildering when the time comes to make decisions based on that information. A certain Schrodinger comes to mind…

Hiccups, panic and a lot of deferred deadlines can be avoided by having your data and analytics ready to go at any time. A decision intelligence platform can centralise all of your data by collecting it from its various sources and automating report generation with AI, eliminating the need for deep technical knowledge. Moreover, this aligns every business unit’s role in reporting, ensuring that no two reports overlap or produce contradicting data.

Whether external regulators are assessing your ESG performance, or internal stakeholders need ESG data to deliver powerful PR, it’s important that what that data says is accurate, reliable and consistent. In combination with other data management priorities, robust analytics and decision intelligence will lead you to a culture of data excellence.

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Think data-first and future-proof yourself for the ESG revolution

As we have hinted at earlier, ESG is a concept in transition. From a disparate range of regulations and initiatives in both the private and government sphere, it is fast becoming a robust framework of legislation that requires compliance, rather than suggesting it.

Far from being a nuisance, however, fulfilling ESG criteria shows believers in your business (and the critics) that your ship is being competently sailed.

Nevertheless, as ESG takes shape, you will have to be ready to provide data that is ever more precise and far-reaching in its scope. Your understanding of your entire value chain – not just what goes on in your workplace – will need to improve to meet requirements, such as ‘Scope 3’ carbon emissions.

With analytics, insights and decision intelligence on your side, you are putting data first and creating a setting in which you can deliver this information with minimal disruption and maximal impact. These tools will help you kickstart a data transformation that will empower your colleagues to be proactive with data, and understand its power to drive change.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or ready to get started with advanced ESG analytics, our guide can help you understand what you need from your data to make your ESG goals a reality. Download our guide ESG unchained: A guide to finding your ESG hotspots, below.

ESG Unchained: A guide to finding your ESG hotspots