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Data best practice across APAC needs ‘less talk, more action,’ experts say

Article by Rohan Persaud, Director of Channels and Alliances at Sisense

2022 is fast recharging economic and business activity globally, with data and analytics playing a key role in helping organizations build resiliency and thrive in this uncertain landscape.

Analytics opens fresh opportunities to innovate, drive transformation, mitigate risk, and allow organizations to remain competitive.

But are we doing enough with data and analytics to drive success in our organizations?

The fear of change

When it comes to business resilience, Sisense’s Future of Data Analytics Report 2022 – Asia Pacific Edition finds that 59% of APAC data professionals say leveraging data future-proofs business performance. However, 15% are fearful of change, risk-averse, say change is too risky, and would prefer to keep the status quo.

I recently unpacked this issue in a panel discussion alongside Abhishek Singh, Chief Information Officer at UNICEF Australia, Patrick Hill, Chief Product Officer at Propic, and Annette Slunjski Managing Director at the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA).

From left to right: Annette Slunjski (Managing Director at the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia), Patrick Hill (Chief Product Officer at Propic), Rohan Persaud (Director of Channels and Alliances at Sisense), Abhishek Singh (Chief Information Officer at UNICEF Australia)

According to Annette, a lack of control is likely a key reason for this lack of action. Executives like to be in control; that’s where they’re comfortable, she says. However, pushed outside of their comfort zones, they’re likely to push back.

“You have to take them on the journey with you. Executives need to feel as though they have enough understanding about data initiatives so they can feel in control of the direction and outcomes. If they don’t feel that, then you’re not going to get very far,” Annette explains.

“You need to have a holistic approach in terms of education and skills, as well as tools like dashboards that allow executives to monitor and control. Something they can look at and know that everything’s going exactly as they wanted it to, or push a lever to adjust the trajectory.”

Patrick adds that it’s also important for organizations to walk before they run when it comes to their data strategy. “If you’re saying you need AI, it’s probably the wrong place to start. First, you have to be able to articulate what you’re trying to achieve so data can help you,” he explains.

“It’s a journey. And if you’re in a leadership position, your job is to start at the beginning and then build that framework. You need the vision and a way to get there.”

Data dilemmas and challenges

According to the report, data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns with almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents saying they are concerned about data transmission. Furthermore, respondents also shared that effective analysis of data (58%) and inadequate systems in place to manage risk (58%) are also a concern.

In the non-profit space, Abhishek believes these concerns are eased by working with trusted partners. We have to depend on external providers to support us with few of our data-related outcomes,” he says.

“You start with cleaning and curating your data, and you start building trust with the rest of the organization. It’s about creating an ecosystem of trust. There will always be an element of risk. That’s why it’s vital to have the right contractual agreements in place, making sure that in the privacy world, there are controls in place to protect people’s data.”

Then there’s the “B” word, budget, which can act as a hurdle to an organization’s digital transformation efforts. Sisense’s report reveals that around two-thirds (60%) of APAC businesses want better AI and predictive tools, more accurate data, and real-time analytics.

But when it comes to investing in AI and BI, there are some serious barriers. Budget and executive buy-in, for example, were the top barriers to data delivery, with respondents listing budget limitations (46%) and securing executive buy-in (28%) as the top two barriers to improving data delivery to customers.

To that, there’s also the opportunity for monetization of data. Being able to provide insights at the point of decision-making drives revenue and customer satisfaction, and reduces costs – that’s the conversation the C-suite needs to hear.

Patrick agrees, and adds that it’s important to relay the fact that AI is more than a buzzword in marketing. “AI must always be tied back to visceral benefits and business objectives,” he says.

“Think about the visceral experience of being a sales agent. You want to increase revenue, right? What if I told you I could do that within 60 days? What if I told you sales conversion goes up 30, 40, 50% with AI?”

At the same time, Patrick says AI can also be utilized to save organizations time. “In property management, we could automate maintenance services and lease management, releasing 80% of the mundane, repetitive work from your people, so they can get out and grow high-value relationships,” he says. “These are all visceral benefits of AI that tie back to business objectives.”

Small steps lead to big leaps

For the risk-averse, it’s about starting small. Focus on projects that are meaningful to the organization and where you can demonstrate an immediate return on your investment. Talk to vendors to see what technology is out there that can help you meet your goals. Technology is an enabler and evolves in response to market demands. Taking a few basic steps will allow you to better position your organization for the future.

Read the full report here.


About Sisense

Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organizations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customizable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform, that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, six years in a row. Visit us at and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.


The views in this article is that of the author and may not reflect the views of Tech Wire Asia.