Microsoft released findings from its first Asia Data Culture Study 2016

Microsoft released findings from its first Asia Data Culture Study 2016

From L-R: David Chmelar, CEO and co-founder of iPrice; Michal Golebiewski, Chief Marketing & Operations Officer, Microsoft Malaysia; Takeshi Numoto, Corporate VP, Cloud & Enterprise Marketing Group at Microsoft Corp; Dr. Karl Ng Kah Hou, Director, Innovation Capital Division, Multimedia Development Economy Corporation (MDEC); and Dr Dzaharudin Mansor, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Malaysia.

According to Microsoft Malaysia’s first Asia Data Culture Study 2016, 85 percent of Business Decision Makers in Malaysia felt that it was important to drive an agile business that is data driven, yet only 44 percent are starting to embark on having a limited digital strategy or have limited digital strategy in place.

In a roundtable presentation, Dr. Dzaharudin Mansor, National Technology Officer at Microsoft Malaysia said that according to IDC, 60 percent of enterprises in Asia should have a digital strategy by 2017. With Malaysia at 44 percent, the country’s position is close, but it has not reached the goal yet.

He then outlines the benefits, the challenges, and what enterprises are looking for when adopting the digital transformation. While the beneficial if not critical edge that digital adoption brings stays largely the same, what companies are looking for and the challenges in making digital adoption a success sheds light on how to address the issue.

Dzaharudin lists data visualization, predictive analytics, real-time analytics, cloud data storage and IoT as the top five most wanted capabilities of digital adoption. It's challenging, however, comes in the form of skillful professionals, data governance and collaboration, and data agility.

Dr. Karl Ng Kah Hou, Director of Innovation Capital Division at the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) said that MDEC has put into action plans to address these challenges. Because the future of the nation is data, said Ng, MDEC aims to produce, through its programs, 1,500 Malaysian data scientists by 2020. He added that other programs under the Big Data Initiative all aim to address the challenges posed.

Takeshi Numoto, Corporate VP, Cloud & Enterprise Marketing Group at Microsoft Corp, in turn, addresses the capabilities that enterprises look for in digital adoption and how Microsoft through its suite of solutions could provide them with what they are looking for.

Closing the round table discussion was David Chmelar, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, iPrice. He presented the challenges his company faced as a data-driven organization. There is too much data, said Chmelar. iPrice is a one-stop shopping destination for SouthEast Asia. The site correlates the products offered by partner sites from all over the region and helps users find the best prices on offer.

He said that one of the biggest challenges was to move away from intuitive decision making and go towards decisions based on data analytics. It is a change in the way of thinking and the way of doing things but results in better decisions.

This transformation must happen across the organization, not just the higher ups. He gave the example of how his marketing staff has to learn to analyze and fully utilize the data available to them to function effectively.

The final challenge is having good tools to make sense of the data. iPrice uses data freely available from Google to analyze consumer patterns to, for example, predict trends and get ahead of it. Since the amount of data that they have to comb through is large, tools that could help make sense of it all helps iPrice makes decisions faster.

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