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Besides strategic planning, analytics is increasingly used for daily tactical business decision making, according to Terry Smagh, vice president sales, South East North Asia, QlikView. He shares with CIO Asia the impact of analytics on CIOs in the region.
1) Can you talk about the role of analytics in the CIO landscape?
A commonly used application for analytics is the study of business data where companies look to predict and improve business performance.
This can be anything from a retail store predicting which shoe model to sell at which store during what time of the year to an enterprise company predicting when is the best time to rollout their latest solutions. Interestingly, analytics can also be considered recession proof as most companies will use it to analyse and predict where best to cut cost in dire times.
In my opinion, the future landscape in Business Intelligence will see business users become more aware of how they can make better decisions with data.
In the past, many business decisions were made on "instinct," but today business schools and management training courses emphasise more and more the importance of making evidence-based decisions.
In the long term, this trend will make data analysis skills and business discovery software part of every decision-makers' toolkit. That is one of the reasons I find the future of BI so exciting - it is becoming a mainstream subject that every business can benefit from.
This is especially so in Asia Pacific, where markets are both highly diverse and highly integrated. It's perhaps the most fascinating region in the world to be analysing business data.
2) What are the trends from the analytics space that are going to impact the region's enterprise IT and CIOs?
Managers and executives are turning to BI and analytics to make daily, tactical decisions about their business. Just a few years ago, analytics were mostly used in Asia Pacific for strategic planning.
But now many managers, for example in retail, use QlikView first thing every day to understand the state of their business and to make immediate decisions. This has been a key focus to increase the use of business intelligence and business discovery products.
Another important trend in Asia Pacific, just like the rest of the world, is the growth of mobile computing, particularly with tablets and smartphones.
In the US and Europe, tablets (especially iPad) are important because senior executives are adopting them as useful devices to use when travelling.
However, in Asia Pacific, smartphones are more important as they are the most common "connected device" - many smartphone users have no other access to the Internet.
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