Asia Pacific business leaders are using data to adapt to workplace shifts

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore10/13/2021 09:05 AM GMT+08  • 3 min read
Asia Pacific business leaders are using data to adapt to workplace shifts
How are organisations in the region using data to improve workplace decision-making and communication?
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Business leaders in Asia Pacific have largely offset concerns about changed working conditions following the Covid-19 pandemic by leaning more heavily on data to inform decision making.

Despite moving into a largely virtual working environment, regional businesses that increased data use were more than twice as likely to report positive changes to conversations (57%) during the pandemic, compared to those that hadn’t (21%)

In particular, leaders said workplace meetings had become better prioritised (61%), more inclusive (60%), productive (57%) and, critically, more likely to be led by data (59%) than prior to the pandemic.

These were some of the findings from the Quality Conversations survey conducted by market research firm YouGov, commissioned by analytics platform provider Tableau.

The study also found that leaders in Asia Pacific were almost twice more likely than their counterparts elsewhere in the world to use data to improve workplace decision-making and communication.

See: How decision-ready is your corporate data?

See also: Tips to make real progress in diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace (Part 2)

In Singapore, 53% of business leaders said they are using data more in business conversations since the pandemic. Doing so enables them to create an environment conducive to listening (83%), build trust (78%), and minimise the influence of personal opinions or egos (76%) in a discussion.

“Many leaders recognise the value in theory but are not deliberate and purposeful in weaving data into the fabric of their organisational culture. Leaders need to sit up and make a commitment to lead by example,” says Leslie Ong, country manager for SEA at Tableau.

“[They need to] shift mindsets about how people think and behave around data, hire and train all employees to develop a culture that leans on data instinctively. [Having such a data culture enables] employees to feel empowered and valued by their organisation…[and] allows the business to respond to new challenges quickly,” he adds.

See also: Tips to make real progress in diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace (Part 1)

Singapore food supplier Phoon Huat is one organisation that is using data to drive business growth. For instance, it leveraged insights on its customers’ shopping behaviours from its omnichannel customer loyalty programme to engage with customers on a more personalised level.

Having a data culture also enabled Phoon Huat to better understand its business performance and identify gaps and opportunities. Its chief financial officer, Tjen Chew Lee, says: “Instilling a digital mindset in all our employees allows us to dig deeper to understand cause and effect, and peel back the layers on the true winners and losers — even though the overall business might look stable on the surface.”

Photo: Unsplash

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