It goes without saying that big data will be a game changer for businesses and governments around the world. The rate of investment and proliferation of big data adoption transcends across industries and the enablers for business success are being re-written thanks to rapidly evolving analytics capability. From predictive analytics and cognitive computing to machine learning and AI, the future for governments and businesses within the data driven economy is filled with opportunity and promise!
For the Asia-Pacific region, organisations are slowly taxiing onto the runway of big data and analytics maturity. Most are yet to take-off with full scale implementation and the vast majority are currently taking an ad-hoc and opportunistic approach. For cities such as Hong Kong, rooted as one of the world’s leading hubs for financial services and home to an array of data rich industries including banking, communications and media, transport and logistics as well as a burgeoning start-up scene, the opportunities to capitalise on these data assets are immense.
There are however 3 key challenges that need to be collectively addressed to develop the foundations for future success.
1. Leadership and Vision
Organisations and businesses in the region need to demonstrate leadership and visionif they intend to reap not only customer focused benefits of data but also top line growth and bottom line results. For instance, Hong Kong with its mature economy and competitive business environment relies heavily on the economics around investment and ROI when making commercial business decisions. With industries such as financial services and real estate forming the bedrock for the city’s economy, it’s understandable that a conservative approach to business would be the predominate mindset prevalent within the city’s leading c-level community. If however Hong Kong, and indeed the region wishes to accelerate the benefits of big data and analytics adoption, it will need to embrace a greater degree of openness toward innovation and shift its position on risk aversion.
Additionally, the key drivers for big data implementation will have to come from the business side of the organisation rather than the IT side if companies truly seek to achieve success with their big data and analytics initiatives. A common perception within the region is that big data falls under the purview of the ‘IT team’ and so it’s up to them to push the case and implement adoption. The reality of course is that if organisations are to adopt big data initiatives at an enterprise level, leaders at the c-level need to develop the vision, culture, technology and processes holistically required if they’re serious about reaping the transformational benefits of big data. Building a data culture alone takes time and is a journey in itself. Business leaders need to be at the forefront of this movement leading the charge.
The Chief Data and Analytics Officer Forum Hong Kong will address this issue as a whole with perspectives from government, industry and business all present to deliver their viewpoints.
2. Ecosystem for Talent Creation
Another area that presents a challenge for the Asia Pacific region but significant opportunities for its citizens is the need for developing an ecosystem for talent creation. When it comes to building the data workforce, the region is 3 to 5 years behind Europe and the US with Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority alone projecting a shortfall of nearly 30,000 cybersecurity, data analytics and applications development professionals by 2017. The key to addressing this challenge will be the need to bring policy makers, public sector organisations, academic institutions and private sector players together to create an environment where technology and data talent can flourish and thrive.
Similarly, now is also the time for organisations to be strategic in positioning themselves at a competitive advantage as the land grab for talent intensifies over the coming decade. Building, attracting and retaining the next generation of data scientists, data professionals and analytics experts will be the key to long term success and those that fail to act will be left to languish.
Bertrand Chen, Lead Data Scientist from Asia Miles will deliver a keynote presentation at the Chief Data Analytics Officer Forum Hong Kong and will articulate his viewpoints on the keys to building the right data science team. With many organisations currently chasing the elusive ‘all-in-one’ data scientist who possesses the both the technical and business skillsets, Bertrand will offer an alternative roadmap necessitating the need for incorporating 4 key roles within any data team.
3. Regulatory Reforms
Finally, on a macro level, regulatory reforms around compliance, privacy and security play a crucial part in nurturing the environment for big data acceptance in the Asia Pacific. Technological innovation continues to outpace the regulatory landscape. Challenges associated with data protection, cross border data sharing, data security and data breaches are all significant issues that need to be confronted. Dr Henry Chang from the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data will be one of the many speakers who will address these issues at the Chief Data Analytics Officer Forum Hong Kong.
You can hear about all these issues and more at the Chief Data and Analytics Officer Forum Hong Kong scheduled for the 4th and 5th of October. With over 25+ speakers from a cross section of industries and sectors, this conference will comprehensively address the big data opportunities and challenges of the Asia Pacific region.
By Fasih Qureshi:
Fasih Qureshi is the Content Director for the CDAO Forum Hong Kong. Fasih is the organiser of the CDAO Forum Hong Kong, consulting with the industry about their key challenges and trying to find exciting and innovative ways to bring people together to address those issues – the CDAO Forum APAC takes place in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong.
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