Digital & Innovation

Upskilling our people to support clients in creating truly amazing user experiences for their customers.

Creating your biggest business asset

At PwC, we believe that sincere and good experiences together with trustful relationships keep customers coming back and people engaged, turning them into true fans and believers of your brand. Creating truly amazing experiences requires the right space, to inspire creativity and collaboration, the right people, to view solutions through multiple lenses, and the right approach, to turn ideas into results.

That’s where our Experience Centre (EC) and new Experience Consulting team come in. Open for just over a year, the physical location of our PwC Europe EC in Belgium has already served as a proving ground for a wealth of inspirational ideas and concepts.

Located on the ground floor of our PwC Brussels office, the EC exists to deliver innovation through Business (B), eXperience (X) and Technology (T) to help simplify the transformation journey of any organisation, including our own.

CKV Rudi Deruytter client case study: Broadening a board’s digital base

Broadening a board’s digital base

In closing the annual audit with CKV, the family-owned niche bank for savings and loans, a general discussion around innovation and digitisation arose. The PwC team suggested it might be helpful to the bank if the firm’s board of directors spent time in the EC to help them grasp the advantages of digital for CKV.

"The EC team was very well prepared and the exercises we went through were really eye-opening. We held a brainstorming session to help us step back and take a look at what we really need. We identified a number of areas for change and considered how we could develop further in these specific areas. And all against a background of looking at how the world, regulatory environment, people, etc. are changing. That really brought it home to the group that CKV needs to change too," Rudi Deruytter, CEO of CKV, says.

Read the full client story

A place where the tech-savvy come to play

The EC also serves the home of PwC’s Makerlab, a group of internal tech-savvy enthusiasts who come together to explore and play with new technologies and investigate new use cases for clients.

Explains Jochen Vincke, Partner, PwC Belgium, “Realising how rapidly the technology landscape’s evolving and that there are likely many new use cases that could add real value to our own and clients’ businesses, we convene in the EC outside of business hours to “play” with different technologies and explore them further. As such, the EC serves as an ideal place to cultivate creativity, work together and generate revenue. Importantly, it also demonstrates the firm’s openness to new ideas and that helps us attract the new digital natives we need.”

Makerlab has already developed a large number of proofs of concept (PoCs). Those destined to meet client needs have enabled much more productive conversations with those clients.

Devising engaging solutions

The Experience Consulting team was born from our investment in greater UX capabilities in the form of our acquisition of the Human Interface Group.

Explains Floris Ampe, Digital Services & Innovation Leader, PwC Belgium, "our clients look at three things in their transformation agenda – the Business, the eXperience (for users – be it customers, citizens, employees, suppliers, etc.) and the Technology.We now have a team in place that are true business consultants building genuine insights into end customers and can devise engaging solutions beyond simply the aesthetics of a mobile solution or the technical user experience of a service. And we do this together with our clients, in co-creation."

Doing more with D&A

In May 2019, we upgraded our Data & Analytics (D&A) Academy that introduces non-data scientist professionals across the firm to new ways to think about data. D&A Academy 2.0 brings an exciting new twist to the original content; up-scaling participants’ digital skills by introducing them to design thinking and agile methodologies and teaching them to apply them.

"We talk a lot about data and how we can use it, but need to make sure we create dashboards that add real value to clients. During the D&A Academy 2.0, we learned to interview stakeholders at the client and really listen to what they’re looking to achieve. We then thought about what a dashboard should look like and include on paper, before moving on to Microsoft Power BI. I think it’s a great way to learn to think differently and approach our use of data in a more powerful way," enthuses Pauline Kort, an Experience Consultant with PwC’s Experience Consulting team.

Conceptualising innovative ideas

Seeking to take these results further for a broader audience, we launched our innovative PwC Data Studio in November 2018. The PwC Data Studio helps turn D&A Academy results into tangible new service offerings.

A secure data portal, PwC Data Studio enables us to bring Microsoft Power BI data visualisation and analysis live to clients. The platform has been specially designed to be simple and easy for clients to use; they can even upload data sets to refresh their dashboards.

Taking bigger technical steps

Building on the solid foundation of the D&A Academy, we launched our first round of the Alteryx Journey in December 2018. Alteryx is a quick-to-implement, end-to-end data-crunching and analytics tool that empowers users to break data barriers and deliver game-changing insights to solve business challenges.

It helps users automate time-consuming tasks and adjust analytic queries, perform predictive, statistical and spatial analytics in the same workflow and prepare, blend and analyse data from spreadsheets, data warehouses and cloud applications. 

Affirming our advanced role

In FY19, PwC Belgium won a number of awards for our expertise with emerging technologies. In January 2019, our PwC chatbot experts won a Chatbothon organised by trusted Google Cloud Premier partner Fourcast. In May 2019, our recruitment chatbot, Tenzing won a CUSTO BOCA (Best of Content) award in the category “Highest Conversion Response”. 

Putting our advanced skills to use In Belgium’s first-ever hackathon contest, held by the Flemish Government, PwC’s team placed second – and was the only contributor to address a challenge faced by the Flemish Government’s department of culture, youth and media.

Together with Ghent University’s Semantic Web Technology department, we held our own data democracy hackathon in April 2019 that brought together hackers, privacy enthusiasts, companies and start-ups to discover the options and opportunities that a decentralised web would present. Specifically, the event offered a first glimpse of a possible future for organisations struggling to comply with the EU’s GDPR, a challenge a decentralised web could help solve.

PwC chatbot experts won a Chatbothon
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Axel Smits

Chairman & Territory Senior Partner, PwC Belgium Email
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