Speech by Mr Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at the SAS High Performance Analytics Centre of Innovation Launch

 10 July 2012 - Speech by Mr Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at the SAS High Performance Analytics Centre of Innovation Launch, at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre

Speech by Mr Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at the SAS High Performance Analytics Centre of Innovation Launch, 10 July 2012, 11:30am at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre

Dr Jim Goodnight, Chief Executive Officer, SAS

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning

1. First of all, I would like to congratulate SAS for the launch of the SAS Asia High Performance Analytics Centre of Innovation. IDA has identified data and analytics, as a strategic focus area, and we aim to develop Singapore as an international data and analytics hub. It is thus heartening that SAS has chosen Singapore to establish its Centre of Innovation, the first of its kind in Asia.

Data & Analytics: A Key Driver of Economic Growth and Competitiveness

2. In this fast moving digital age, we recognise that data and analytics is becoming a key driver of economic growth and competitiveness. IDC released a forecast report in March 2012 on worldwide Big Data technology and services showing that the market is expected to grow very significantly, from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015. The pervasive use of infocomm is no doubt a key factor in the volume of global data growing exponentially. By 2020, it is expected to reach 35 zettabytes, making data management and the ability to analyse data to derive insights all the more important.

3. In fact, the MIT Sloan Management Review Research Report for 2011 has indicated that 1,500 CEOs revealed that their most pressing challenge was operating in a world that is more volatile, uncertain and complex. More than half of them said that they were not confident of their ability to manage the increasing complexity of doing business. This is where analytics can play as an important role, as insights derived from analytics can provide greater clarity and certainty, and increase speed and accuracy in making business decisions. In addition, sophisticated analytics can delve into big data to unearth nuggets of critical business intelligence and provide actionable insights. High performance analytics is particularly key, where, instead of having to wait hours or even days for reports to be generated, data can now be processed and analysed in minutes, providing decision makers with meaningful insights that can be a business differentiator.

4. IDA is taking an integrated approach to develop Singapore as an international hub for analytics. We aim to do so by driving early adoption in sectors ready for data and analytics, developing Singapore's industry and manpower capabilities in this field and establishing trusted, scalable platforms and enablers. Let me elaborate on some of these.

Manpower Capability for the Data and Analytics Sector

5. For the infocomm industry to effectively enable enterprises to leverage data and analytics, it is critical to develop a pool of infocomm talent, trained with an interdisciplinary set of skills and knowledge to perform jobs in this area. In Singapore, a study by Frost & Sullivan1 projected that more than 2,000 additional data and analytics professionals will be needed over the next three years, who are armed with critical skill areas such as large scale data mining, predictive modelling, risk management and real-time decision making using analytics tools.

6. To bridge the demand for data and analytics manpower, IDA aims to equip professionals with analytics competencies via pre-employment training2. This is carried out through the development of new diploma and degree programmes with Institutes of Higher Learning, as well as through training and certification programmes. Fresh graduates can also look forward to industrial attachment programmes, giving them exposure into the data and analytics field. An example of this is our collaboration, also with SAS, to roll out a Business Intelligence and Analytics Programme under IDA's Company-Led Training Programme. This fast tracks fresh professionals' capabilities in data integration, data mining and analytics, to ensure that they are ready to take off with a data and analytics career.

Establishing Enablers: Centres of Innovation

7. We are also actively working with analytics service providers and data aggregators to set up centres of innovation that can serve as resource for enterprises to tap on and for guidance in deciphering data for better business planning.

8. We are thus encouraged by today's collaboration with SAS, to further inject innovative capacity into the analytics environment by establishing their first High Performance Analytics Center of Innovation here. In addition to training more infocomm professionals on data and analytics, we hope that the centre can also spur the generation of Intellectual Property in analytics through co-development with local infocomm enterprises, Institutes of Higher Learning and Research Institutions.

Encouraging Sectors to Adopt Data and Analytics

9. At the enterprise level, the pervasive use of infocomm has generated vast amounts of data through which businesses can discover more about their customers and operations. This will help them to make informed decisions to drive productivity and profitability. IDA seeks to drive the adoption of data and analytics in key sectors to enhance their competitiveness. We will be focusing on selected economic sectors such as healthcare, insurance, food and beverage, and retail and wholesale sectors.

10. Towards that end, IDA launched a Call-for-Collaboration for Sectoral Business Analytics Shared Services last October, which aimed at lowering the barriers to adoption, and enabling ICT companies to enrich and increase their capabilities in delivering data analytics via a shared services model.

11. Indeed, data analytics is becoming a key competitive differentiator for companies and organisations. Demand for such analytic services also spell significant opportunities for Singapore's ICT industry and partners. IDA will continue to help extend analytics products and services to the regional market, thereby contributing to Singapore being a data and analytics hub.

12. In closing, I would like to wish SAS and the partners a successful journey in driving impactful data analytics innovations and initiatives to promote business growth cross the Asia Pacific region.

13. Thank you.

Note to Editor

1 "Study on Infocomm Manpower Development in Singapore", Frost & Sullivan.

2 Examples include diploma programmes provided by Temasek Poly and Nanyang Poly, second major Bachelors programme provided by SMU and Masters in Service Sector Analytics provided by SMU.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023