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Integrating data analytics for a smart life

Tan Poh Choo, Operations Director, SAS | Aug. 12, 2015
3 key tips on what companies need to look out for in tackling Singapore's Smart Nation Initiative.

Just seven years ago, the iPhone was introduced to the world, and it changed our thinking on how and what a smartphone should be. Fast forward to 2015, it is now hard to imagine life without a smartphone in hand, as we rely on it for communications, leisure, and capturing moments of joy. We may or may not have realised it, but the smartphone is now an integral part of our lives.

Singapore's vision of a Smart Nation has been drafted and put in place, but what does it really mean for Singaporeans? The Smart Nation programme seeks to harness ICT, networks and data to support better living, create more opportunities, and to support stronger communities. Just like your smartphone, the vision of the Singapore Smart Nation seeks to be an integral part of our lives, with various 'applications' in the background to help improve our quality of life. For example, Smart Mobility allows greater access to real-time transport information so that citizens can better plan their journeys, and uncover new travel options.

At the heart of this, we have data analytics driving this initiative, enabling us to use data to guide our thinking and to influence the way we are building our Smart Nation. We envision data from the Internet of Things (IoT) can be analysed to create intelligent objects, answer complex questions and predict future scenarios. Businesses are also actively looking for opportunities where streaming data will create new markets, inspire positive change or improve existing services. But the torrent of data has started.

Many organisations are already overwhelmed by the increasing amount of data that require storage and analysis — are we ready? I've put together three key tips on what companies need to look out for in tackling the Smart Nation Initiative:

• Know what you are looking for
As companies come to terms with the digital revolution and look towards analytics to drive business outcomes, they first need to know what question they are solving, and their challenges and struggles. With Smart Nation in particular, volumes of data will double every year with the use of sensors. Therefore, the question here is what we are doing with this data, and how we can manipulate it for actionable insights.

• Find the right tool to inspire and create
Once you know what issue you want to tackle, the next step is finding the right tool. It is not just about churning data, but also creating a platform that will inspire and enable employees to do problem-solving on their own. Look for analytics tools that are simple to use and visually appealing. Visual analytics provides capabilities beyond general business reporting — by giving you a way to explore and understand all your data, and Visual Statistics takes it even further by making it easy to explore, discover and predict by implementing statistical algorithms without having to write any code.


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