Singapore companies among the world's most prolific users of data mining

18 September 2014

 

Data mining and analytics is big business and Singapore companies are among the most prolific users of this data to drive business decisions.

According to a new survey by recruitment firm Robert Half, 96 per cent of companies are capturing customer details for use in data mining – the highest percentage of any country polled.

This captured data is used by 42 per cent of Singapore companies when making most of their business decisions, again the highest rate of any country surveyed. Another 34 per cent use customer data some of the time when making decisions. 20 percent are capturing customer data but are not using it yet.

The survey polled 810 Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) from a range of industries, including 103 from Singapore. Conducted across seven countries - Singapore, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom – the survey sheds light on the potential of utilising data to enhance marketing efforts for companies.

Ms Stella Tang, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said, “Data analytics is even more essential in today’s digital age when too many businesses are vying for the short attention span of consumers.”

“Understanding the buying habits of their customers will allow businesses to effectively target the right products and provide a better end-user experience to consumers. This is particularly prominent for online and social media platforms such as the marketing messages companies send across Facebook, Google and Twitter.”

Table 1: How would you characterise the maturity of your organisation in its use of data analytics and mining to drive business strategy?

 

All Countries

Australia

Germany

Hong Kong

Singapore

Switzerland

UK

Japan

We have an established function where data is used in most business decisions

23%

25%

18%

17%

42%

20%

26%

19%

We have an established function where data is used in some business decisions

35%

32%

36%

45%

34%

32%

40%

23%

We have the ability to access data to drive business strategy but have not yet implemented the process

28%

32%

27%

26%

20%

36%

24%

28%

We do not collect data to drive business strategy although we have the ability to do so if desired

9%

9%

11%

9%

4%

7%

8%

14%

We do not have access to the requisite data to drive business strategy

3%

0%

5%

1%

0%

3%

1%

7%

We have no resources to use data to drive business strategy

3%

2%

4%

2%

0%

2%

1%

9%

Percentage of companies capturing customer data

86%

89%

81%

88%

96%

88%

90%

70%

 

Setting up a data capture and mining system is not without challenges, according to the survey. Singapore companies struggle with the lack of data available (31 per cent), as well as too much data (29 per cent).

CTOs in Singapore find it harder to recruit skilled professionals than their counterparts overseas (20 percent in Singapore compared to a global average of 15 per cent).

While data mining is a powerful tool for driving business, it places additional pressure on a company’s IT employees to gather and make sense of the data.

The survey found 6 in 10 CTOs believe the workload of their IT staff has increased between 5 and 20 per cent due to the demands of data mining. Another 37 per cent of CTOs estimate the increased workload is between 21 and 40 per cent.

Table 2: What has been the most challenging aspect of implementing data analytics and mining initiatives for your organisation?

 

All Countries

Australia

Germany

Hong Kong

Singapore

Switzerland

UK

Japan

Too much data / inability to identify the right data

19%

18%

13%

20%

29%

24%

17%

13%

Lack of data available through existing resources

36%

39%

37%

43%

31%

28%

38%

33%

Lack of executive/ management support

22%

26%

21%

22%

17%

23%

17%

28%

Lack of skilled professionals to implement

15%

8%

19%

8%

20%

13%

18%

17%

Lack of budget to effectively implement

9%

9%

11%

7%

3%

12%

9%

9%

 

Ms. Tang said that data mining and analytics are skill sets that are increasingly in demand in Singapore.

“Singapore has always been at the forefront of using technology to drive business. It is no surprise that 42 per cent of companies are using data mining and analytics, now a core function in many IT teams, to drive business decisions.”

“That’s why we are seeing an increased demand for skilled professionals with experience in data mining and analytics. Robert Half has seen recruitment activity for these professionals increase by 18 per cent in the last two years,” Ms Tang said.

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Gabrielle Nagy 
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