Privacy and simplicity are key success factors for predictive analytics: panel

03 Jun 2016

The Asia-Pacific region has become a hotbed for predictive analytics, but ease of use and privacy safeguards will be key competitive differentiators, according to a panel on predictive analytics at the CommunicAsia2016 Summit.

Manik Bhandari, partner for analytics at Ernst & Young, observed that data analytics is doing very well in Asia-Pacific.

“The desire to use data is there, companies are moving to invest in it, and we see a lot of talent available in the market,” Bhandari said. “It’s become a C-suite agenda - over half of companies have a chief data officer. Some manufacturers are already using predictive analytics to anticipate when parts are about to fail and need replacing.”

However, he added, “we do see challenges ahead for privacy and confidentiality, especially when you get into things like medical records. So the advantage will go to companies who can protect that.”

Steve van Wyk, head of analytic sales for SAP APJ, said the main challenge his company sees is ease of use.

“CEOs are interested in innovating themselves, but they need a data management platform with an easy interface,” he said. “You really need to make it as simple and easy to use. It’s already complicated and it’s just going to get more complicated as web devices outnumber people.”

Shehara Viswanathan, head of Telstra’s international cloud portfolio, agreed that it is essential to make things easy for customers.

“We’re all about lowering the barriers for customers. We’re seeing take-up accelerating, but some enterprises are limited and are struggling with data growth,” she said. “They need a low-barrier platform and an end-to-end holistic solution so that they can manage it.”

Another point, she says, is that when enterprises look for analytics services and solutions, “the demand usually comes from the marketing or financial department, not the CIO. So we have to think about how we’re going to target that part of their business.”

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