Investor Watch: Businesses Becoming Data Companies

In our special Investor Watch column, we bring you insights on leading indicators that signal trends towards every company becoming a data company.

As industries across the spectrum face disruption, the savviest enterprise leaders recognize the power gained from becoming a digital player. In fact, more and more companies are leveraging data to deliver new digital services to customers, achieve market dominance, and boost investor confidence.

The banking industry exemplifies this trend. Banks today are becoming more and more comfortable responding to consumer expectations by leveraging data and analytics to digitize services. With technology like artificial intelligence, companies such as Credit Suisse now deliver seamless and personalized banking experiences. Improving the customer experience is key for banks—and this is also true for the transportation industry. 

Ryder System, Inc., was once known as a truck rental and leasing business. But with supply chain innovation and the emergence of automation, the transportation industry is moving toward a logistics-as-a-service business model. This is where Ryder’s business sits today, positioning the company as an industry leader in new product innovation to drive future earnings potential.

As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, the traditional retail industry must also evolve. Digital retailers have modernized the shopping experience by offering a wide selection of goods and allowing consumers to make purchases on-demand. Grocery chain Kroger is remaining competitive by innovating both its physical stores and digital offerings in an effort to redefine the shopping experience.

The automotive industry is also no stranger to changing customer expectations and the power that new technologies can have on business success. Toyota crystallized its commitment to moving from a traditional manufacturing organization to a tech company by focusing on mobility through connected services and strategic partnerships. In time, the arrival of autonomous vehicles will have a tremendous impact on mobility as the industry moves towards an on-demand and data-driven service.

Underpinning all enterprise businesses are payroll and HR functions—also ripe for disruption. ADP is at the forefront of using data- and cloud-based solutions to improve speed and accuracy, and to support customers who are dealing with increasing regulations and the rise of the gig economy. These innovative digital solutions will continue to result in improved data management and superior quality, which are more important than ever.

Data Company Spotlights

Credit Suisse Group

Credit Suisse, the Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company, is committed to offering its customers a better banking experience. The bank has adopted new technologies, including the addition of nearly 600 robots to automate processes, a global IT service-desk chatbot, deep-learning capabilities for ecommerce surveillance, and distributed ledger systems that facilitate money transfers across the bank’s global financial ecosystem.

Credit Suisse leverages state-of-the- art infrastructure and technology for continuous integration and automation across its software development. Additional developer tools are empowering software and data teams to improve coding output and quality, along with enabling a faster time to market. The investment bank is creating growth through a digitalized, omnichannel, accessible, and compliant experience, as well as driving transformation by engaging clients through a seamless mobile offering.

Ryder Systems, Inc

Ryder is a Fortune 500 company with $8.4 billion in annual revenue, more than 800 maintenance locations, and nearly 280,000 vehicles. The company is positioning itself as an industry leader in new-product innovation to drive future earnings potential. One of Ryder’s core strategic priorities is to drive growth with three new products and capabilities: smart warehouse, RyderShare, and Ryder Last Mile. 

Ryder’s smart warehouse delivers advanced automation, flexible and scalable operations, real-time visibility, and a customer-centric experience. It features state-of-the-art robotics, autonomous vehicles and drones, sensors and automatic identification tools, and wearable technology like smart glasses and ring scanners.

RyderShare is a cloud-based solution that provides real-time information on load and tracking status, carriers, destinations, and more, to help plan for future shipments. Ryder also expanded Ryder Last Mile, a home delivery and installation solution, to strengthen its e-commerce fulfillment capabilities, reduce delivery times, and bring appliance delivery and installation to new markets. 

Toyota Motor Corp. 

Toyota has been doubling down on its efforts to transform how customers experience mobility. The company launched a global “Mobility for All” campaign during the 2017 Winter Olympics to announce its evolution from an automobile company to a mobility company, focusing on “giving all of humankind the freedom to move.” 

The company’s core strategy includes building a Mobility Service Platform (MSPF) to better understand, use, and care for vehicles through connected services; accelerating business innovation by promoting the use of big data; and creating new mobility services through strategic partnerships with companies such as SoftBank, Uber, Grab, and Kinto. 

Beyond manufacturing and selling cars, Toyota is leveraging its Mobility Services Platform, a cloud-based digital ecosystem, to expand its value chain and improve customers’ lives with new services. These include ride sharing, car sharing, remote delivery, insurance pricing, fleet management, logistics, rental experience, and more.


Kroger competes in an ever-changing retail business and aims to redefine the grocery experience in ways that drive sustainable advantage. Kroger is focused on transforming its growth model by strengthening the physical and digital experiences for customers, and by growing a strong ecosystem of partnerships (Alibaba Group, Microsoft, Ocado, Walgreens, Instacart, Nuro, and Home Chef) that generates alternative profit streams.

At its latest Investor Conference, Kroger announced that it will invest $800 million to redefine the customer experience by leveraging the company’s stores, distribution network, scale, and data. By combining its food expertise and data analytics positions, the supermarket brand aims to create highly relevant customer experiences, delivered both digitally and in-store. Kroger is also developing talent in conjunction with its continued efforts to rebalance pay and benefits while focusing on performance incentives, career opportunities, and training.

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. 

ADP offers an end-to-end suite of human capital management (HCM) solutions, including payroll, HR, tax compliance, benefits administration, and more. The company’s strategy involves three core pillars: a seamless, cloud-based solution; Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) service; and global asset management. ADP has clear objectives around accelerating product and technology innovation, enhancing world-class distribution, focusing on operational excellence, and strengthening talent and performance culture.

The company has grown a complete suite of HCM solutions, including Next Gen platforms; freelancer management tools; Wisely™ digital pay to provide on-demand payments for workers; and ADP Marketplace, which includes more than 250 apps and 6,000 paid subscriptions. The company has also gone all in on data with applications such as DataCloud, a platform that brings insights from 30 million workers to ADP customers.