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CIO Conference 2013: Grappling with the data tsunami in Singapore

Tao Ai Lei | March 27, 2013
This year's CIO Conference was literally awash with data, as speakers highlighted the challenges and strategies that organisations need to adopt as they face the inevitable data tsunami.

Big Data Everywhere
Raymond Au, Director, Big Data & Analytics, Oracle Asia Pacific took the stage next to talk about "Big Data for the Enterprise."

Raymond Au
Photo: Raymond Au

He cited IDC research that found that many companies in the US have over 100 terabytes of stored data, and many have more than 1 petabyte. Possessing this volume of Big Data would require Big Data analytics.

"The question is whether organisations are prepared for data analytics," said Au. He noted that customers now make purchases through multiple channels, so organisations need to respond and integrate these diverse channels to provide a seamless delivery and fulfilment experience, to ensure cross channel optimisation. Useful data can be gleaned from customer horizon scanning and social media, to discern what customers are saying about an organisation.

"This is the opportunity for you to bring all this data together, internally and externally, and push out something effective," said Au.

Next, Au said that organisations need to be aware of customer sentiments, to be cognisant of negative sentiment as soon as possible in order to react appropriately.

"Companies can't rely on reading their customers based on call centre calls," remarked Au. The reality is that 70 percent of marketers have little understanding of social media conversations happening around their brand.

Analytics can also have an impact on product design, as data collected from machines can be used to predict failure and minimise downtime, instead of relying on the manufacturer's maintenance schedule.

The Changing Role of IT
Next, not one but two International SOS representatives took the stage: Richard Davies, CIO, and Jonathan Kidd, Business Projects and Process Re-engineering. They highlighted the synergy and mutual respect that the IT and business teams need to have for each other to ensure project success.

Richard Davies
Photo: Richard Davies

Davies quipped: "Who do you think works for IT and who works for business? Both of us!"

They presented on International SOS' concierge platform Project Symphony, which aimed to provide a seamless and significantly improved customer experience, whether the customer interacts with the organisation through phone, mobile, or online.

"No matter where a customer calls from, the experience should be the same. Also the history of all the customer requests are available to be viewed by any relevant Centre even though they contacting a call centre from another country," said Davies.

For project success, change management is critical, as well as choosing the right people for the project, and allowing for complementary skill-sets within the team.

Jonathan Kidd
Photo: Jonathan Kidd


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