Today's Digital Miners

Today's Digital Miners

I guess by now everyone of us who have read an article or two on digital should know what the four "SMAC" components are. This particular read is about my take of Analytics and by no means a concise version of Gartner's opinion on analytics. For those of us who are attached to a Malaysian local GLC or a local MNC, let me ask how far have we led your companies into the world of analytics. Our answers might differ depending on how our business operates for example from a B2B or B2C perspectives. Due to intense competition, market share dominance, customer acquisition and retention our B2C counterparts seems to be a lot hungrier for analytics. So, how about the B2B companies, or companies that don't need to compete? How is the appetite for analytics for them? In any case, I think the appetite should be high no matter what. The reason for this is because data is an asset that is just waiting to be mined and insights to be discovered. Okay, now let's put that aside and take a look at how analytics is done in some if not most companies.

Here's a scenario - business provides requirements, ICT interprets and builds the formulas and cubes and a dashboard is born... in about 1 to 3 months maybe. Is this a typical scenario and is this analytics or merely reporting? I came to the realisation several years ago that Business Analytics is more than what used to be coined as Business Intelligence; a codename for fancy reporting. With the advancements of technology and simplified end-user software, analytics is not just limited to the confines of IT coders and data scientists. As how Air Asia puts it, now Everyone Can Do Analytics. If you have Gen-Y folks in your organisations (perhaps already 40%-50% of them in your total employee population) they are perfectly equipped with computer skills, general & specialized intelligence and the curiosity to do analytics for anything they can think of to do their jobs easier and better. In business speak, that's productivity. 

So how does ICT folks like us help introduce this concept of Business Analytics. First and foremost don't over complicate things as though only IT can do it. The analytic tools that's available today costs a bit more than nothing and are perfect for anyone wanting to do either basic analytics for a start or advanced analytics at a later stage. Learning these new tools could be overwhelming at first but for the curious mind there's tonnes of YouTube videos out there that can be put to good use (by the way, MS Excel is not an analytical tool...period). We in IT can help by connecting these tools to the myriad of data sources and configuring them so that they can be used in a collaborative manner - the power of many. What's important here is that we are empowering our business to start mining data and discovering critical business insights. Insights that can improve the top and bottom-line, insights that can spark an analytics revolution in our companies. At this point IT definitely becomes an enabler to business. A simple idea that might just work.

  • Johan Affendi
    Johan Affendi
    Business CIO

    Johan Affendi Business CIO – Corporate, PetronasJohan has always worked in IT throughout his career spanning more than 20 years.He became the CIO after 15 years in his profession working at four different organisations. Johan is part of the Petronas CIO Council, which is chaired by the Group CFO. The CIO Council is represented by the Petronas Group CIO and Business CIOs for Upstream, Downstream, Corporate and Project Delivery and Technology. Johan has a Diploma in Business Studies, a Degree in Management Information Systems and a variety of professional IT certifications such as ITIL, COBIT, PMP and TOGAF

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