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Business Insights from Analytics

T.C. Seow | Sept. 27, 2011
No longer an exclusive subject of data experts, business analytics is gaining enough traction to warrant a closer look by CXOs.

No longer an exclusive subject of data experts, business analytics is gaining enough traction to warrant a closer look by CXOs.


In May this year, Bloomberg BusinessWeek Research Services conducted a global survey (sponsored by SAS) of 930 business professionals to determine the state of business analytics in their organisations. While business analytics have become widespread, with 97 percent of survey respondents reporting some use in their organisations, the vast majority of companies are not yet using the more sophisticated analytical capabilities available. According to the survey, less than one in five businesses have adopted technologies that capitalise on evolving sources of information (such as Web data, social media and unstructured data from text and video).

As in the rest of the world, organisations in the Asia-Pacific region have warmed to the idea of making use of their data for insights. While most are still at an early or emerging stage in their use of analytics, some organisations have embraced business analytics to harness data and turn it into valuable insights and to make better business decisions.


Banks, Historically

The biggest area where data analysis has been routinely applied to derive business insights is the financial services industry, where business analytics tools have been used for detecting fraud ranging from illegal money laundering to credit card fraud and loan defaults. 

"Banks have had a head start in the use of analytics for two main reasons," said Piyush Gupta, CEO of Singapore-based DBS Bank, at the SAS Premier Business Leadership Series Conference held in Singapore last August. "One is partly due to regulatory requirement for risk assessment, and the other is to improve on customer service. Historically, the credit card departments are large users of analytics for customer acquisitions and risk assessments."

The China Guangfa Bank, the first Chinese bank to issue credit cards, is also one such bank that has embarked on using analytics. This emerging bank faces big data challenges. For example, it must manage credit risk for its rapidly growing credit card portfolio, with more than 12 million cards issued. China Guangfa Bank has a broad and scalable analytics platform to meet its data analytics needs.

"Analytics are crucial for China Guangfa Bank to help manage and derive value from huge amounts of data on customers, operations, credit risk and more," said Dr. Yachen Lin, CRO of China Guangfa Bank Credit Card Centre. "SAS provides us with a strong and proven analytics framework to meet our ever changing data analysis needs, help differentiate our bank from competitors and enhance our marketing effort."

Korea's automobile insurers are getting slammed with fraudulent claims. The country's Financial Supervisory Service reports a one-year increase of 30 percent. Unfortunately, most insurers do not respond effectively - either because they lack enough claims investigators or because they base their predictive models on existing industry statistics.


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