Photo - (From left) Bernard Chiang, Managing Director, SAP Malaysia; Grace Ho, Managing Director of Asia-Pacific and Japan Marketing, SAP; and Sotirios Dramalis, Marketing Head of Southeast Asia, SAP.
Malaysia's Parkway Pantai has announced it has installed SAP systems to enhance and simplify the task of mining its data to deliver business insights and to help streamline its business practices, said the healthcare group.
During the recent SAP CIO Innovation Forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Parkway Pantai's assistant vice president (information technology) Harry Chan said the combination of SAP's Business Warehouse (BW) and other business intelligence tools has allowed its marketing and strategic department to perform simulations such as changes to the hospital's pricing strategy and to analyse the impact on overall company performance.
Chan said recently built infrastructure for data mining across different processes from lab turnaround times to daily revenue tracking by country to performance simulation via multiple intuitive formats to enable more informed decision-making.
The department is also able to analyse revenue based on multiple dimensions such as by Patient's Country of Residence, by Nationality, by Doctor's Specialties and by Procedure, he said.
Chan said that the hospital chain was "now looking to the future and planning to pull in information from more sources including unstructured data such as customer feedback in the social media space and make it part of its data analysis."
"Sometimes customers don't want to provide feedback in the hospital's official forms but will make comments about the service they received via social media," he said, adding that the hospital also used SAP Netbase to capture customer sentiment.
Photo - Harry Chan, Assistant Vice President (Information Technology) Parkway Pantai
Big Data is the core
SAP Malaysia managing director Bernard Chiang said that data was growing at a phenomenal rate and doubling every 18 months. "Big Data is the core of today's ICT trends and paves the way for the 'Internet of Things'," Chiang said, adding that Big Data has the potential to boost advancement in many sectors, which has prompted the Malaysian government to devise a Big Data Analytics (BDA) Framework.
He said that BDA could affect not only major interest areas such as business and finance, but other critical nation-building fields such as medicine.
"The government is in the process of rolling out various pilot projects in the public sector such as for crime prevention and price watch," he said.
"However, Big Data demands big computing resources, which can be costly," said Chiang. "Until recently, the Big Data concept of analysing vast amounts of data put a severe strain on technical resources such as servers and mass-storage devices as well as the lengthy amount of time needed for processing."
Fortunately in the current age of rapid roll-out of cloud-based services, the Big Data concept was now virtually accessible to all levels of business, he said. "SAP has put together solutions to simplify the task of managing and analysing Big Data even in real-time."
Chiang said that many companies today are faced by the complex spaghetti-like layers of legacy technologies and most businesses spend 70-90 percent of their IT budget just to 'keep the lights on' at the expense of delivering new innovations.
"As a result, simplifying the complex IT landscape is becoming a top business imperative for companies to accelerate innovation cycles," he said during his opening address.
SAP's HANA [high-performance analytic appliance] platform would help to simplify the IT stack by running transactional and analytical applications on the same set of data at the same time, boosting analytical performance by as much as 10,000 times, Chiang said.
"By running analytical applications on real-time data, HANA removes the need for complicated ETL (Extract Transform and Load) systems and processes which reduces IT investment cost with the added benefit of real-time insight. Importantly for the internet age and the rise of the Internet of Things, HANA can also process any unstructured data from any source ranging from machines to social networks," he said.
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