Majority of Firms in Singapore Not Equipped to Derive Insights From Data

Singapore businesses see analytics as pivotal, but more than half are not equipped to derive insights from data. This was the conclusion of a study that surveyed more than 3,000 businesses globally.

Commissioned by data science and analytics firm Alteryx, the 2019 Data and Digitization Report (pdf) looks at the impact of data analytics in digitization projects across six of the most digitally advanced countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 500 of the business respondents were from Singapore.

Benefits of data

According to the report, half of Singapore's business leaders are actively developing their data analytics capabilities. Over 57% of Singaporean businesses consider themselves early or mature adopters, with a further 17% in the advanced stages of their data analytics journeys.

Businesses here agreed that data analytics helped increase productivity (62%), provided more value to deliver deeper insights (48%), helped uncover savings and efficiencies at work (48%) and enabled a better focus on strategic aims by identifying key information in data (47%).

These benefits were most apparent in the manufacturing and logistics industries, and as many as 71% of respondents acknowledged that data and analytics improved productivity. Business leaders are also seeing benefits across the board, with 70% observing a breakdown in silos in their organization.

Some challenges

It is not all a bed of roses, however. Concerns about data privacy, security and governance posed a significant issue for one third (32%) of respondents.

Technological and cultural challenges still need to be addressed, too, with nearly one-third of respondents acknowledging that data quality remains a significant challenge to building an effective data pipeline.

A shortage of trained data workers is another challenge. This is particularly the case for medium-sized businesses of 100-259 employees (37%) and 250-500 employees (31%). For large enterprises of over 500 employees, the more pressing issue is a shortage of data scientists, with only 35% of all large enterprises maintaining a dedicated team for analytics work.

“There is no doubt that data is key in driving success in the minds of Singaporean business leaders. Every data worker, regardless of technical acumen, wants to the ability to easily find and understand what information is at their disposal; have the flexibility to prep, blend, enhance and analyze data from more sources and easily operationalize analytic models through a collaborative and governed platform,” said Celine Siow, regional vice-president, Asia Pacific and Japan at Alteryx.

“At Alteryx, we continue to make our platform easier to use for all data workers, while extending its ability to handle more sophisticated data science outcomes for trained data statisticians in order to create an analytics-centric and data-literate culture.”