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Digital analytics key to growth: Asia Pacific CEOs

Divina Paredes | Nov. 10, 2014
Using data to forecast demand and social networking are top technologies utilised by businesses in the region, according to PwC survey on Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members.

Businesses in the Asia Pacific economies are utilising technology in a variety of ways, but the two standouts are using data to forecast demand and using social networking to reach customers and make decisions. This includes making use of integrated systems, data from the networks and customer feedback.

These are among the main findings of the PwC study New Vision for Asia Pacific: Connectivity Creating New Platforms for Growth, that was released at an economic leaders' forum of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Beijing.

Among respondents, those who believe they're on top of their information foundation and, at the same time, are more responsive to changing demands, are far more likely to be 'very confident' of revenue growth in the next 12 months (63 per cent) than the average of their peers in APEC (46 per cent).

"We are all in the midst of transformation, in which information and speed are key drivers of success. We are competing, not only on the quality of our services, but also on the speed at which we provide these services," said Noppadol Dej-Udom, group chief financial officer of Thailand telecommunications business, True Corporation Plc, one of the executives quoted in the report.

"Enterprises will need more and more connectivity and a better flow of information to survive in this digital era or they will be replaced."

PwC's International Survey Unit conducted the APEC CEO Survey 2014 between June and August 2014 covering 635 CEOs and industry leaders across 39 nations with operations in APEC economies. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, is the premier economic organisation in the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1989 by 12 economies, its 21 member economies today account for 55 per cent of global GDP.

Those who believe they're on top of their information foundation and, at the same time, are more responsive to changing demands, are far more likely to be 'very confident' of revenue growth in the next 12 months than the average of their peers in APEC.

The survey points out while many businesses are jumping on social media, they aren't quite sure what to do with the data yet with only 12 per cent being 'very confident' that they're profiting from their investments in social networks.

"In terms of using data to forecast demand, it's a more positive story. Half of executives surveyed say their ability to forecast market demand for products and services is improving. Greater use of data to fortify predictive models plays a role," says Craig Rice, PwC NZ strategy and markets partner.

The survey finds data-driven changes are having an impact with 57 per cent of executives saying they are more confident of their abilities to respond to changes in the marketplace, and half say they are more skilful at forecasting demand. These executives are more likely to be "very confident" of growth (67 per cent) than their peers.

 

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