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Australia, Singapore emerge tops in data readiness index

Organisations in Australia and Singapore are among the most advanced in the Asia-Pacific region in harnessing data to achieve key business outcomes

Organisations in Australia and Singapore are among the most advanced in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in making data central to their business through the widespread use of data analytics, a survey has found.

According to the data readiness index (DRI) developed by technology analyst firm IDC, Australian firms earned the highest average score of 3.54, followed by those in Singapore with a score of 3.52.

The study, commissioned by Tableau, also placed organisations in three bands – leading, developing and lagging – based on their ability to harness data to achieve key business outcomes.

Just 20% of the 700 organisations in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea that took part in the study made it into the leading band, with a majority in the developing category (66%) and 14% in the lagging category.

Singapore had the most organisations (52%) in the leading band, where they tend to do better in areas such as governance, collaboration and employee data skills. Such organisations produced an average of 90% better business outcomes than laggards, the study revealed.

“Organisations in APAC are at an inflection point of their digital transformation. While many recognise the critical role data plays in this strategy, they are struggling to become truly data-driven,” said JY Pook, senior vice-president of Tableau APAC.

“To remain competitive and realise the business benefits [of data analytics], organisations need to adopt a holistic and tailored approach to drive data readiness,” he added.

Chris Marshall, associate vice-president for analytics, big data and artificial intelligence at IDC APAC, said the DRI captures an organisation’s ability to harness data to achieve its key performance indicators.

“We see big differences in DRI across functions and industries throughout Asia. The factors that drive DRI, such as skills, leadership, technology, governance and process, also vary widely. These reveal some valuable lessons for business leaders about the initiatives to prioritise in particular circumstances,” he added.

This was demonstrated during an industry event in July 2019, where organisations are clearly not at the same stage in turning data into critical assets. Some are still ascertaining the business value of their data, while others are already using data to improve their operations.

Speaking at the ConnectGov Leaders Summit in Edinburgh, Singapore Exchange (SGX) vice-president and head of data science and visualisation Sigrid Rouam said just 5% of the company’s data is being monetised, while the global average among its peers is 30-40%.

Rouam said SGX is now looking to grow that figure by providing new data services, such as data visualisation, to external customers, effectively extending the value of its data beyond internal use.

At SP Digital, the digital services arm of Singapore utility provider SP Group, data has always been critical to its operations, enabling it to control and manage the country’s critical energy infrastructure.

About three years ago, the company embarked on a digital transformation initiative, which, among other areas, includes building a data lake to house all its data, according to SP Digital CEO Chang Sau Sheong.

Read more about big data analytics in APAC

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