Singaporean Businesses Lag Behind Harnessing Big Data Due to Skills Shortage

January 17, 20174:38 pm820 views

While Big Data is a concept that is instinctively linked to IT, independent research commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half demonstrates non-IT departments also stand to gain from big data insights, yet such divisions haven’t been utilising it. This insight highlights the potential of big data and data analytics for Singaporean businesses.

On the other side of the scale, when asked about the biggest challenges of using Big Data, 52 percent of CIOs say the primary challenge is the cost of data capture, followed by 37 percent who refer to data protection/security and 36 percent who say lack of financial resources to fully implement Big Data processes is one of the biggest challenge.

Another challenge to consider is the lack of personnel resources (33 percent) followed by skills shortage at 32 percent, indicating Singaporean companies do not have the required expertise to operate Big Data processes.

Adding to these challenges, almost half (46 percent) of CIOs think their non-IT senior management teams do not have enough knowledge about big data and the utilisation of data effectively within their organisation, thereby suggesting Singaporean businesses are still on their way to fully utilising Big Data processes.

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director, Robert Half Singapore said: “The commercial world is still learning how to collect and harness the full potential of Big Data, yet already Big Data is revolutionising the way we do business and how we connect with customers.”

“Despite the challenges, leveraging Big Data goes beyond benefiting just the IT department. Singaporean businesses need to take an enterprise-wide approach, training and upskilling employees across different departments to recognise exactly what Big Data has to offer. Whether there is a need for additional professional development for existing IT staff, or hiring qualified IT professionals skilled in Big Data analytics, the long-term benefits of using this new technology will soon outweigh any immediate challenges.”

While Big Data serves several purposes, data-driven/strategic decision-making (51 percent), new and enhanced business models (48 percent) and cost reduction (45 percent) are cited as the top three advantages by Singaporean CIOs.

What are the biggest challenges when using Big Data within your organisation?

High costs 52%
Data protection/security 37%
Financial resources 36%
Personnel resources 33%
Technical considerations 33%
Skills shortage 32%
Lack of understanding of the added value/potential 25%
Organisational processes 19%
Management processes 15%
Regulatory challenges 15%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 100 CIOs – three answers per respondent.

While more than four in ten (44 percent) Singaporean CIOs say big data and data analytics have more of a direct impact on IT, almost one in five (19 percent) believe it has more influence on their operations department.

Another 19 percent say it has a more marked effect on their sales and marketing function, while little over one in 10 (12 percent) refer to the finance and accounting department. This implies the benefits of Big Data extend far beyond the confines of IT, and every department in a business can benefit from it.

“Setting up new systems to harvest Big Data can incur significant financial investment. However, once implemented and fully applied, the advantages can be significant in terms of cost efficiency and reduction.”

“In order to fully leverage the advantages of Big Data, companies are increasingly relying on technology professionals who are not only highly skilled in data analytics, but who also have the business acumen and communication skills to convey to the senior management and business leaders the best ways to use Big Data and the insights gained from using it.”

“Companies that don’t invest in Big Data need to be mindful that their competitors are probably already enjoying a competitive advantage as a result of utilising Big Data information,” Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard concluded.


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