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PIKOM: Highlights of big data Special Interest Group (SIG)
March 29, 2016 News

PIKOM had their second member’s forum meeting for the big data special interest group (SIG) last Thursday. The SIG was set up last October with the aim to educate the public on big data and currently has 112 members.

Every forum meeting features a guest speaker and this time they invited the VP of Fusionex’s Enterprise Practice Group Jacob Isaac to talk about using big data analytics to change the operation of businesses.

In his presentation, he focuses on how big data should be used to grow the top and bottom line in business and revenue, instead of looking at where cuts should take place. He told the audience that insights are important for businesses to find a competitive edge.

In the current market saturated with so many options and competitors, customers are seemingly promised with everything. However, there is a danger when so many are aiming for the same piece of pie – as Jacob told the audience, “It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for 1 negative experience. It is priority to not only focus on your products, but also getting closer to the customer.”

Jacob highlighted the importance of using data to anticipate and propose to customers what they might need. “With big data, you can maximise growth by exploiting opportunities using predictive analytics. Using mathematics and statistics, we can evaluate historical data patterns to predict future events. Not only can we forecast, but also use “what if” analysis to predict consumer behaviour.”

A surprising fact as noted in his presentation, only 0.5% of the world’s data is being analysed, and only about 10% of decisions are driven by data and analytics, with the remaining 90% being relied on gut feeling. Compared to decision making nearly 20 years ago, where executives relied on facts 12% of the time and gut feeling 88% of the time, Jacob believes that there needs to be more awareness in recognising and using the data optimally.

“If we don’t change and evolve, it will start to become a problem. We need to reinvent business. Collaboration is very important; instead of looking at competing against your rival, work with them. Look globally for change and ways to reinvent, not just within the same industry.”

He states that recently the focus has been on mobile applications – which generate a lot of data – however, they are often left unanalysed. “Creating mobile apps aren’t the challenge anymore – the analysis of the data generated by those applications is the challenge. People are not focusing enough on that, even banks, which deal with a large amount of consumer data.”

He concludes that Malaysia is still not a mature market, as the people still are not aware of what they need and what they are looking for.

Speaking with PIKOM’s chair for the SIG, Stan Lee, he expresses passion in developing the big data scene in Malaysia. “We are working with not only businesses, but also with universities. Very often what is taught in universities may not reflect on what skills are actually needed in the work place. We act as a bridge between these industries so that all these different group of people can discuss with each other and understand what is needed and how they can contribute to the big data scene.”

He acknowledges that SIG is still in its early days but they are making good progress. He hopes to engage more people in big data and get more interests to grow the industry in Malaysia.