Exploring Data Driven Intelligent Solution Implementation at PwC’s Shanghai Analyst Day

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19 June, 2018

The most recent PwC Analyst Day was held in Shanghai on May 23-24, 2018 at the PwC Shanghai Innovation Centre. PwC hosted over 30 analysts and presented seven client case studies with five clients in attendance. Read about the day here.

Over the course of the day, analysts heard from 6 clients, two of whom were a leading global biopharmaceutical company and Bridgeharbour (a subsidiary of Bippo Advisory Group). Attendees learned about the data driven intelligent solutions they have been implementing with the support of PwC.

Elton Huang Shanghai Analyst Day

IDC has published a new Market Note featuring these two client stories focusing on the cold start problem. IDC states, “The cold start problem of data-driven intelligent solutions is prevalent in the enterprise world, where the data layer consist mostly of proprietary business, operational, arid transactional data, and is not readily usable from the availability, quality, or governance perspective…Two Greater China-based enterprises talked about the cold start problem when onboarding solutions powered by machine intelligence, and how the deep business know-hows of PwC have proved to be instrumental.”


Bridgeharbour HK Management Service Co. is a boutique offshore wealth management firm based in Hong Kong. Established in 2015, the firm serves high net worth individuals in China.

Shanshan Zheng, Managing Director of Bridgeharbour and CEO of BIPPO Advisory Group, discussed the customized RPA solution that helped Bridgeharbour optimize customer service and reduce manual labour by 90%; allowing the firm to automate customer facing service tasks and reach customers utilizing their own CRM system and customer preferred messaging platforms, such as Wechat.

Working with PwC, Bridgeharbour was able to successfully implement a strategy allowing them to offer this service experience without adding pressure to their staff or adding costs. PwC worked with the firm to ensure their use of RPA was compliant and did indeed optimize the customer experience. The two firms are working together to implement an AI-powered facial recognition tool for the next iteration of the customer service experience.

Shanshan stated, "We value very much a business partner like PwC to assure the solution and business processes governed by the solution are clearly spelled out and compliant to the regulation landscape of China. RPA technology, as nimble and effective as it is, can only solve part of our problem; A deep understanding of the nature of our business, including the core processes, the regulations and risks associated, has to be in place to successfully transform operations."

Global Biopharmaceuticals

One of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies was having trouble translating best practices to their China business. Challenged with data availability and quality in transferring existing machine-learning and data driven strategies, the firm brought in PwC.

PwC implemented their industry and local knowledge to combat the cold start problem often found with data driven solutions. PwC took existing data assets related to sales operations and marketing information, cleaning them up and adding industry insight, resulting in a Machine Learning model that was much better received across the China business.

Seeing this success led the firm to recognize the need for a better data practice across the sales organization. A representative for the firm said, "We look forward to having the early success institutionalized, so that to run data driven operation transformations in a systematic and sustainable manner."


IDC’s Senior Research Manager, Jessie Danqing Cai, attended the event, in the report1 Danqing summarizes a number of key takeaways

  • These case studies illustrate that business in China are ready and open to forward-looking transformation. As Shirley Xie, Leader of PwC Consulting for China and Hong Kong, said, "In the China market, it is not about what is needed to transform their businesses, it is about how."
  • Per the report, “IDC has predicted that by 2021, 10% of enterprise applications spending will be for new task-level applications that incorporate software, data, and algorithms; and 75% of new intelligent systems will have an embedded decision architecture that automatically detects and evaluates conditions and makes decisions about how to respond.”
  • Consulting services are instrumental in combatting the cold start issue of data driven intelligent solutions. Industry knowledge and an understanding of the local market is necessary to establish good governance practices and combat incomplete or poor quality data. Good data strategy is necessary to remain competitive.
  • IDC believes these observations extend past the China market and are applicable globally.
  1. Source:  IDC, Deep Business Know-Hows to Mitigate the Cold Start Problem of Data-Driven Intelligent Solutions, Doc #AP43964518, June 2018
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