Using data to drive productivity


27 April 2015
Simon Davies of Salesforce

Singapore’s labour productivity has been a cause for concern in recent years. According to figures from the Ministry of Manpower, labour productivity contracted 0.8 per cent in 2014 despite local employment rates having grown by 96,000. To turn this around, businesses have been encouraged to adopt less labour-intensive processes and explore more innovative solutions instead.

At this year’s budget debate, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam promised more support for enterprises investing in innovation and research and development, citing the use of data analytics as one of the ways businesses can innovate.  Analytics plays a crucial role in enabling businesses to be smart about data in order to drive the much needed productivity leap.

(1) Internet of Everything

With trends like the Internet of Things and the proliferation of mobile and wearable devices gaining momentum in recent years, the number of touch points businesses have with their customers has increased drastically. The resultant mass acquisition of customer data through these mobile applications and shared data platforms will be one of the key drivers for the data analytics market this year, according to IDC.

With the right data analytics platform in place, businesses can ensure greater efficiency and flexibility in the way they respond to end-user requests and market opportunities. This would enable businesses to adapt to market changes more nimbly, thereby delivering greater customer satisfaction. It’s time for business leaders to start running their businesses from their devices and they need real-time analytics to do it.

(2) Power to You and Me

Increasingly, business owners are demanding more meaningful insights and information that would help drive strategic decision making with a shorter turnaround rate, in order to stay ahead of the competition.

This need has shifted the power of data from data scientists to key decision makers and users who are directly involved in driving the business, and would therefore be able to better identify information crucial to the business’ strategic direction. Consequently, businesses are turning towards platforms that are capable of delivering greater usability and flexibility.

(3) Increased mobility

With an estimated 1.3 billion of the world’s total workforce expected to be on mobile by the end of this year, 80 per cent coming from Asia Pacific, mobility is a trend businesses cannot afford to neglect. According to IDC, 31 per cent of retailers in the region have adopted mobile or wireless solutions in-store and in their customer relations system. Additionally, more than half of the transactions made between banks globally are completed via mobile devices.

With devices that are capable of delivering real-time updates and information on critical business operations regardless of location, enterprises can gain insight into minute changes in market demands or needs on-the-go. Sales and service staff can be equipped with information that would help them be more effective in their role, such as detailed customer profiles and usage habits, or provide remote troubleshooting or consultative assistance to customers from wherever they are.

With solutions that deliver real-time actionable insights, businesses can place their employees where they are needed most, gain a deeper understanding of their customers and the markets they operate in, and stay ahead of the curve with innovative solutions designed to meet their customers at their point of need.

The time to act is now. Businesses need powerful, real-time analytics, accessible on a mobile device and designed for the business user not the data scientist; and they need it to drive the productivity the government, and the country, is demanding.

  • Simon Davies is area vice president, ASEAN, Korea & Greater China, Salesforce.