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Singapore Over the next two years, more than half of global executives surveyed are planning to invest at least US $10 million ($14.1 million) in data and advanced analytics, according to a jointly developed report between Forbes Insights and EY.

Entitled Data & Advanced Analytics: High Stakes, High Rewards, the report surveyed global executives from companies with at least US$500 million in annual revenues, to deliver a maturity assessment of how proficient organizations are in applying analytics throughout their operations.

Out of the 1,500 global executives surveyed, 73 were from Singapore.Among organizations which reported to have a well-established analytics strategy, 66% achieved revenue growth of 15% or more, while 63% reported that operating margins had increased 15% or more in 2016. In addition, 60% of these companies said they also improved their risk profiles.

Asia Pacific (APAC) tops the leaderboard based on the maturity assessment scores due to its strengths in data monetization and advanced usage of sophisticated technologies, driven mainly by China which maintains the number one spot in the global ranking.

In particular, Singapore is one country identified by EY where more work is needed on enterprise-wide strategy. Only 4% of the city state’s organizations reported having achieved an enterprise-wide strategy, where analytics strategy is well-established and central to the overall business strategy.

This year’s survey also indicates that there still needs to be a heavy focus on building analytics talents who are responsible for making the decisions and changing business processes within organizations.

44% of Singapore respondents versus the global 41% felt there was still a lack of collaboration between IT, the data and analytics team and the business team. At the same time, 47% of Singapore respondents (global: 40%) saw the lack of people with analytics skill sets as a challenge when designing data analytics initiatives.

Singapore is fast building up its analytics talent by embedding analytics curricula in schools and universities but the local talent pool will likely remain constrained, observes Manik Bhandari, EY Asean analytics leader, Ernst & Young Advisory.

This digital capability gap may not be a perennial challenge if organizations are able to shift their mindsets to think globally and effectively use talent pools in different locations through leveraging technologies in connectivity and cloud.

For now, Bhandari believes Singapore’s limited analytics talent pool may be best utilized by focusing on proprietary product development to create software products and services that can generate recurring revenue streams – as opposed to a services business model where revenue is predominantly driven by the pool of professionals available.

Singapore is also racing to grow its analytics capabilities for the digital economy. The government has made significant investments in strengthening the country’s market access and connectivity, human capital, infrastructure, strong intellectual property and data security regulations.

This presents huge opportunities to Singapore organizations to grow and mature their analytics capabilities, particularly for certain sectors with advanced data capturing systems such as health care, transport, and security services, he adds.

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