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The Importance Of Decision Making Using Data


Big Community was privileged to meet up with Yap Poh Peng, Head of Celcom’s Analytic Department, Strategy & Intelligence Division Transformation Group, during her attendance at the ADAX Data Star Programme Graduation Ceremony.

We spoke on the impact of Big Data and she shared on the importance of making decisions based on data. “Data or data science drives the business decision. In the past, we based (our theory) on experience (and) on what we felt was right. Now, we want to have the numbers to back all the decisions we have made and we are willing to take the risk of certain decisions with those numbers.”

Yap Poh Peng

The power of data today, is its ability to present data that is not only current, but that is collected from the past and also data that is predictive of the future.

The same can be said for manufacturing as well. Although Poh Peng is from the telco line, she is aware of the importance of data in manufacturing.

“Manufacturing, when you look at factories, the machines are generating data every second. One of the most popular use cases for manufacturing is how GE proactively repairs their machines based on predictive analysis,” she said.

Through the predictive analytics done by taking data generated from the machines, they are able to service them before the break-down actually occurs. Saving GE a lot of time spent on repair work and machine down-time. Since changing parts is much more expensive than servicing them.

“I think how data is actually helping humans is by being proactive and understanding the whole process as well as allowing us to take remedial steps before breakdowns actually happen,” she added.

Even though the telco industry has been predominantly innovative, big data has not really been the driving force behind their innovations.

“But we are preparing ourselves. We are going on a project this year to consolidate all of our sources and hopefully get a 360 view of our customers in order to understand the customer better and ultimately provide a better service for the customer”.

In view of that, Celcom is partnering with ADAX on their Data Star initiative by enrolling students who have graduated from the Data Star Programme. After graduating from the Data Star programme, they will be taken in by Celcom on a 2-year training programme where students will be placed in Senior Executive roles and trained in multiple sectors of the business.

The end result is at the end of the 2 years, the students will need to present their ideas and proposals to the management for the best approach to win new customers based on their model. Those who are shortlisted will be taken in as permanent staff in that role, while those who do not qualify will be offered a place within the sectors they trained under, if they so choose.

The Data Star programme, which has successfully placed close to 70% of graduates from their cohorts 1 and 2 across industries, is a collaborative effort between ADAX and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) that has been endorsed by the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) and designed to fast-track the development of industry-ready data professionals in Malaysia.

The target is a contribution of 20,000 data professionals to the country by 2020. As of 2017, both ADAX and MDEC have delivered close to 7,000 data professionals.