In this digital age, aspiring entrepreneurs and startups are capable of shifting the industry as technology allows them to swiftly bring their thoughts and ideas to life. The rapid digitalisation catalysed by the Covid-19 presents the opportunity to rethink how we make decisions and how we apply technology in new and meaningful ways.
The Top In Tech forum series kickstarted the year with its 20th episode titled Fuelling Business Growth through Data. This episode was hosted by Karamjit Singh and guest panellists Ir. Dr. Karl Ng, Vice President, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Sudev Bangah, Managing Director, IDC ASEAN and Malik Murad Ali, IT Director, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd contributing to the discussion and sharing insights on the value of data and how SMEs and businesses’ can get guidance on starting a data driven journey.
What is Data-driven?
Data-driven is the process of organisational decision making based on data and insights derived from data rather than intuition, observation or experience.
MDEC will be your partner to facilitate your digital adoption journey
To guide businesses to get a better grasp and take charge of the value of data, MDEC has introduced the Data Driven Enterprise (DDE) Programme. This programme aims to provide a structured and accelerated approach to assist business enterprise and professionals in their data driven business transformation.
As part of MDEC nation-building efforts to propel into the 4th Industrial Revolution, Malaysian business enterprises should leverage on data analytics and artificial intelligence to make informed decisions for long-term sustainability and to help the country ride out the Covid-19 disruptions and challenges.
Among the value-added services offered by this programme includes Data-Driven Awareness Workshops, Data Analytics Expert Advisory Services, Talent and Upscaling Facilitation, Use Case References and Call-For-Collaboration Facilitation with data technologies solution providers.
How to Digitise Your Business?
Ir. Dr. Karl Ng noted that digitisation has proven to be almost essential for business success nowadays. No matter if your enterprise is a micro enterprise, mid-tier or a large company, digitisation plays an important role in all of them.
“If you have a small enterprise, the focus would be more on getting digital presence, e-commerce and conducting digital operations while larger enterprises would delve more into data literacy, data governance, data sharing and artificial intelligence. MDEC has been offering different programmes that meet the requirement of mass cycle of enterprises based on their journey,” Dr Karl explained.
Through the Data Driven Enterprise Programme, MDEC has been working very closely with their ecosystem partners to look at ways in assisting businesses create value, optimisation, transformation and new revenue sources.
Benefits of Centralise Data
According to Malik, centralising data aids in the development of a cohesive data strategy because you know where all of the data is, have a clear oversight over compliance and privacy, as well as the insights to make the data consumption experience better.
“After we got a better hold of our set of data in the Mydin branches, we were able to make better margins and business decisions. That was my first experience in the data governance journey,” he said.
“When the lockdowns began to occur a lot of organisations started to look internally on the best way to operate and continue their operations. It wasn't until 6 months later that they started to look at how data analytics could play a big role in engaging customers,” Sudev added.
Empowering the Agriculture Sector through Digital Agtech
The greatest innovations can sometimes come from the unlikeliest of places.
Dr. Karl mentioned that the trend of digitisation in agriculture brings farmers new innovations that allow them to work with increased efficiency. Hence, MDEC has been working together with the farmers and the ‘Persatuan Pertubuhan Peladang’ to find out some of the common problems in the agriculture industry.
What they found is that, unlike the manufacturing industry where there is a more controlled environment, the agriculture industry environment is difficult to control such as the intake of water, fertiliser, sunlight and so on. After analysing the problem the farmers are facing, MDEC introduced automated sensors which measure the consumption of water and fertiliser that the plants are taking.
“Through this process we can see an improvement in productivity and reduction of operational costs by over 30%,” he said.
Sustainable Policies in Assisting Business Digital Transformation
According to Sudev, businesses that invest in sustainability generally find that improved resilience, better operational performance and business success follow.
A culture of ethics and trust should be created to aggregate data across industries, governments and consumers. On top of that, industries in Malaysia should look into policies that encourage fair competition, inspire innovations and further investments overseas. Doing so will give them the tools to benefit from their digital transformation initiatives, thus positioning them for long-term value creation over time.
“Analysis of data promotes efficiency in decision making, error reduction, improvement in time to market, but, above all else, it enables us to find the right solutions to challenges,” Malik concluded.
“Data driven is a journey, and you need to be able to make use of data to solve problems. There are so many agencies that offer programmes to assist businesses to delve into data such as MDEC, MITI, SME Corp and many more, therefore seize the opportunity!” Dr. Karl concluded.
“Look at your 1 year plan and ask yourself if you want to dive into this, where does your organisation stand and the solutions that would help your organisation. Visualising is the first step,” Sudev concluded.
Business enterprises are invited to take the online complimentary Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Readiness Assessment https://readyfordataai.com/mdec/#/ and will receive a personalised report which will assist them in their journey towards being data-driven.
Watch the replay of Top In Tech: Fuelling Business Growth through Data here.