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Analytics strategies can help lift revenue: Survey

Strategies to capture the value of big data and analytics - increasingly vital to corporations in recent years - can help boost revenue.

A recent survey by Forbes Insights, in collaboration with consultancy EY, found nearly two-thirds of firms with well-established analytics strategies reported an increase in operating margins and revenues of 15 per cent or more last year.

In addition, more than half of the global executives who were polled said they intend to allocate at least US$10 million (S$14 million) to data and advanced analytics over the coming two years.

This comes as traditional process-driven organisations are being disrupted by a new generation of businesses that use data as a strategic asset, EY noted.

The report fielded responses from more than 1,500 global executives - including 73 from Singapore - from companies with at least US$500 million each in annual revenues.

"Companies have moved from pilot projects that originated in business units or countries to using data and advanced analytics at an enterprise level to rethink and reimagine their entire business to identify new opportunities," said Mr Manik Bhandari, who is EY Asean analytics leader at Ernst & Young Advisory.

He noted that Singapore is also racing to grow its own analytics capacity for the digital economy, with significant investments being made by the Government to improve market access and connectivity, human capital, infrastructure, data security regulations and intellectual property.

This, he said, would present opportunities for local firms to grow their analytics capabilities, particularly for certain sectors with "advanced data-capturing systems, such as healthcare, transport and security services".

However, more work needs to done to ensure data and analytics flow smoothly around the company, from one department to another.

For the Singapore respondents, the survey found that only 4 per cent of firms had achieved an enterprise-wide analytics strategy.

EY also noted that, in many sectors, the adoption of analytics tended to be unbalanced across the organisation.

"For example, in financial services institutions, retail banking services often lead in the use of customer analytics, while regulatory services could be lagging behind in analytic capabilities focused on anti-money laundering," said Mr Bhandari.

The survey further found that 44 per cent of Singapore respondents felt there was still a lack of collaboration between the IT, data and analytics and business teams.

Moreover, 47 per cent of Singapore respondents saw the lack of people with analytics skill sets as a challenge when designing data analytics initiatives.