ASEAN business leaders are now seeing analytics as the new approach to decision making, according to Accenture's latest research.
The research revealed that the majority of ASEAN business leaders (96 percent) are committed to the adoption of analytics or fact-based decision-making. In Singapore, 78 percent of the respondents described senior management as wholly or highly committed to analytics. Eighty two percent of them also said that their senior management has established formal data collection and sharing protocols, thus demonstrating their commitment to analytics. Besides that, 62 percent indicated that their organisations have appointed someone to be responsible for data management strategy.
ASEAN businesses are mainly using analytics to drive decision-making in growth focus areas. Most organisations are using analytics to evaluate new market entry (89 percent), develop new products and services (87 percent), and improve enterprise wide performance (75 percent).
Challenges of using analytics
While data collection is not a problem for ASEAN businesses, many are struggling to integrate the collected data in ways meaningful for analysis. According to the research, 73 percent of the respondents are struggling with data integration, and 67 percent of them find it a challenge to identify the outcomes required from data. These challenges thus hinder organisations from getting the full return on investments in analytics as they are not able to use the analysed data to drive actions and outcomes for the business.
The shortage of analytics professionals is a major contributor to the challenges mentioned above. To immediately counter this problem, ASEAN businesses generally retain managed services (68 percent) as well as invest in tools and software (66 percent).
However, the better long-term solution to the talent shortage is to start imparting the necessary skills and knowledge to students in educational institutions, said Dr. Athina Kanioura, chief data scientist of Accenture Analytics and global MD of Customer Analytics at Accenture. She added that students should be exposed to more open-source softwares, such as Hadoop and R programming language, as organisations are increasingly moving towards open-source solutions for flexibility.
To help students understand how to apply their technical skills to the business world, schools should partner with organisations that have successfully used analytics and/or can offer expert views on the topic. For instance, Accenture is working closely with Singapore universities such as the Singapore Management University and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. According to Nils Michaelis, ASEAN managing director of Accenture Analytics, the collaboration includes Accenture:
- Providing case studies that help with the school's curriculum development;
- Participating in community talks on analytics;
- Mentoring students on selected joint projects. In these projects, Accenture provides insights into real business challenges and offers data and analytics subject matter expertise for students to solve tangible issues;
- Offering internship programmes for students. By working alongside Accenture's data management scientists, students will be able to pick up relevant business skills and experience.
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