John Goldrick, Vice President for SAP Hybris Centre of Excellence and Business Development, SAP, APJ.
Goldrick added that analytics must go beyond big and dark data, especially with the increased hyper-individualisation of consumers nowadays. "Brands and businesses must look at the ability to contextualise intelligence to make smart decisions in real-time."
Meanwhile, Kim underscored the continuous movement of data to the cloud. "This is why it is important for data analytics and visualisation tools to be able to connect to different data sources, including the cloud," he said. To enable this, Goldrick explained that organisations "must ensure that the right infrastructure (like cloud) and policies (such as security protocols) are in place to support large volume of analytics to contextualise and protect customers' data."
The rise of chatbots
Some technology vendors have also noticed the rise of digital assistants or 'chatbots' in the region to support information collection.
According to Clifton Phua, Director for Smart & Safe City Centre of Excellence of NCS, chatbots have emerged as one of the top technological disruptors in 2016 in the field of big data and analytics, besides deep learning, and automatic data science.
Clifton Phua, Director for Smart & Safe City Centre of Excellence of NCS.
"Besides IoT and connected devices, the rise of digital assistants like chatbots has enhanced automation in not just intelligence gathering, but also customer service delivery," explained Goldrick. In Singapore, for instance, the government is looking to infuse chatbots on selected public services to make it more anticipatory, accessible, engaging, and inclusive for citizens and constituents.
Big data and analytics trends in 2017
When asked to predict the trends in the big data and analytics space in 2017, Dobal said that analytical marketing will take centre stage this year to drive the business and create a better customer experience. He added this will create a higher demand for marketers "who will be able to unite the art and science of marketing, and be able to engage customers the way they want it across channels, devices and media, and respect customer's privacy."
Echoing Dobal, Goldrick said that businesses in the region "need to ensure that they have the right tools to fully optimise data analytics capabilities and contextualise insights in order to do well in 2017 and beyond. They need to take data analytics to the next level, [such as using it to] predict customers' wants and needs, as well as to engage and give recommendations at the right time, place and with the right context."
With the expected growth in the adoption of big data and analytics, Kim explained that there will be a greater need for more intricate systems to support large volumes of data, as companies use the tool to support collaboration in the workplace. "Empowering users to analyse, share, and discuss that data with each other more easily would require more powerful systems to support these collaborative processes, and organisations."
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