Microsoft Asia Data Culture 2016 Study Revealed

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Page 2 : A New Data Culture


A new data culture needs to be driven from the top

At an organization-level, data-enabled collaboration must be driven and owned by business leaders in order to drive digital transformation across functions and departments. According to the study, 85% of Malaysia’s BDMs agreed that to drive a successful data strategy, an organization should have a formalized role, of which 41% agreed that a clear direction should come from its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Dr Dzahar echoes this and explains, “Business leaders, especially the C-suite, have a key role in driving change within the organization. It is no surprise that the Asia Data Culture Study showed that business leaders feel that CEOs should champion the new data culture. However, speaking from our own experience at Microsoft, in order for this to stick, it is important that the values of a new data culture are driven and accepted across all levels of the organization. This starts with the democratizing of data through technology so that everyone can access and are empowered to make decisions which create value for the organization.”

Dr Dzahar’s sentiment is in line with the study’s results, which show that 50% of Malaysian BDMs believe that access to data insights and analytics should be provided to a broad spectrum of relevant roles within the organization today.


Journey to a New Data Culture

Business leaders in Malaysia seem to be open to harnessing information in new ways. The study showed that they rated data visualization, predictive analytics and cloud data storage as important data capabilities for them in the next 12 to 18 months.

“Starting with a pilot and learning from that is key to a successful, longer term journey. Customers need to think about new scenarios which will provide new insights and new opportunities. They need to ask different questions about their business, not just based on hindsight but about the future. Technology has evolved so much that this is no longer science fiction but is achievable today,” said Dr Dzahar, adding that organizations should take advantage of how Microsoft’s technologies help its customers to achieve more – with innovations such as SQL Server 2016, Azure IoT Suite, as well as the new AX and CRM Online. “Organizations are now able to embark on their digital transformation journey that brings their data from hindsight to foresight, and to empower business leaders to deliver enhanced value in this new economy.”

Microsoft Asia Data Culture 2016 Study Revealed


Reaping the benefits of embracing a digital strategy

One such organization reaping the benefits of a modern data culture is iprice, a one-stop shopping destination with products of more than 300 merchants such as Lazada and Zalora. Being a digital company focusing on e-commerce, technology and data plays a crucial part in its operations and business expansion plans.

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David Chmelar, CEO and co-founder of iprice explains, “Understanding our diverse customers’ needs and wants is crucial for us, especially since we operate out of Malaysia and apart from Malaysia have presence in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Philippines. We need to understand the different profiles of our customers, down to their likes and preferences, while keeping in tune with the trends that take place in the markets that we operate in.”

“For instance, we tripled our revenues in health and beauty category when we spotted the rise of Korean beauty products in our data. Capturing this trend early allowed us to have a head start. It’s clear to see here that data is truly king,” said Chmelar. “Microsoft’s technologies such as PowerBI enables us to analyse this data in a quick, efficient, and timely manner.”

Dr Dzahar concluded by reiterating David’s experience, “This is what a modern data culture is about. It isn’t just about deploying technology alone, it’s about changing cultures so that every organization, every team and every individual is empowered to do great things because of the data at their fingertips.”

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