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Since the advent of digital technology and the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the volume of data has been growing at a rapid pace. At this point, large volumes of data are being generated by every individual’s digital footprint – from social media posts and web searches to geolocation and health statistics on smart watches.
An average person generates an estimated 1.7 megabytes (MB) of data every second. Recent studies* have also shown that the amount of information we have right now grows on average by 61% per year and is expected to reach 175 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025 – equivalent to 17.5bn hard drives with one terabyte of capacity each. In other words, every person, activity, and device has become a data point.
Looking at the economic perspective, the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing countries in Southeast Asia with an expected annual GDP growth of above 6% until 2021, surpassing the average GDP growth of 5.3% in the region. However, the data explosion is rapidly changing the global business landscape. More innovative ways of doing business, such as targeted marketing and sentiment analysis, are emerging and disrupting traditional means. All across the world, companies have already proven that a deeper integration and application of data analytics in their businesses translates into higher business value.
How is the Philippine economy, specifically Phiippine companies, coping with this data revolution? Gradually, more businesses are beginning to realise that data is becoming a strategic asset rather than just a mere supporting information, thereby cultivating a culture of data drivenness across their organisations. Through developing a clear strategy on how to use data, investing in analytics tools, and upskilling the workforce in data analytics, the vision of a data-driven Philippines is well within reach.
*Source: Seagate Data Age 2025
The 2020 PwC Data Analytics Assessment and Readiness Survey entitled “Making the big leap: Are we ready for data analytics?” aims to gather insights on the current state of data analytics in the Philippines. It also seeks to determine the readiness of business organisations in integrating data analytics in their operations and the factors that affect data-drivenness.
Results have shown that only two out of five companies are highly data-driven while the rest are somewhat or rarely data-driven. Organisations also mostly use descriptive and diagnostic analysis, which focuses more on hindsight rather than foresight. Younger firms, however, tend to be more highly data-driven than those founded more than ten years ago.
Most Philippine companies have already started or planning to start embedding data analytics in their daily operations, with three out of five having data analytics teams. The rest of the companies have identified financial constraints and unstructured data as the main barriers to formally organising data and analytics (D&A) teams. Across all companies, however, existing organisational culture still remains to be a huge hindrance towards being data-driven.
Overall, companies still need to continue aligning their analytics strategy, investing in tools and infrastructure that enable more advanced types of analytics, upskilling its people in data analytics methods and cultivating a culture of a more data-driven organization. In this way, Philippine companies can make the big leap and build a lasting, valuable, and innovative change.
Strategy refers to the “how”, or the usage of an organisation for its data analytics capabilities. The basic strategies such as descriptive and diagnostic analytics involve using D&A to aid in decision-making, which is still mostly determined by human judgment. More advanced strategies involve predictive and prescriptive analytics, where the automated models are heavily relied upon to provide actionable insights and even complete recommendations.
Companies mostly use basic analytics which focuses on hindsight rather than foresight.
Proper software and hardware capabilities are essential requisites to be a more data-driven organisation. Making use of powerful tools can significantly improve an organisation’s decision-making capacity by transforming raw, unstructured data into a more concise and easy-to-digest source of insights.
The most essential of all the pillars, people, not only refers to their technical capabilities in terms of data analytics but also to the culture and general acceptance for data-driven decision-making in an organisation. Aside from having the technical know-how in using various software and performing analytics methods, members of an organisation should be proactive in upskilling and looking for opportunities to advance their capabilities in data analytics. Organisations must also start seeing data analytics training and seminars as investments for the next generation, rather than a mere expense.
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