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How Asian firms use data to solve real-world issues

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 6 min read
How Asian firms use data to solve real-world issues
They are using data to drive financial inclusion and sustainability as well as enable consumers to make better financial decisions. Photo: Pexels
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Bank of Makati drives financial inclusion with Qlik

Photo: Unsplash

Bank of Makati Inc (BMI), the Philippines’ fifth stand-alone thrift bank by assets, is using Qlik Sense to help its customers secure loans more easily and achieve their financial goals.

Qlik dashboards give BMI’s business units access to better insights from customer data, loan success rates, and up-to-date sales performance to make finance more accessible. The workflows within the Qlik dashboards also enable more efficient, time-saving analysis, contributing to BMI’s 20% improvement in collections.

Established in 1956, BMI recognised that financial inclusivity and accessible banking services require in-depth data analysis and continuous innovation. BMI is a long-term Qlik customer, starting with QlikView in 2015 and progressing to the next step in its data journey by deploying Qlik Sense in 2021.

See also: Redefining Asean’s manufacturing landscape with deep learning

To ensure its workforce is data-driven, BMI worked with Micropinnacle Technology Corporation to develop the data literacy skills of its employees. These include knowledge-transfer initiatives such as workshops and the appointment of Qlik Champions, who are employees with advanced Qlik experience, in each of the bank’s departments. Meaningful insights gathered from Qlik data help employees innovate and tailor solutions based on the needs of their respective departments.

“Data analytics and cloud technology have the power to make finance more accessible but more significantly, drive economic empowerment. With Qlik, our business units can work more efficiently and through simplified data analysis, we can understand our customers better and continuously improve our products and services. Qlik’s technology has helped us realise our mission to drive financial inclusion across the country,” says Luis M. Chua, BMI’s president.

Geoff Thomas, Qlik’s senior vice president for Asia Pacific and Japan, says: “Inclusive access to finance is critical to a country’s development, and the financial services sector is using data to drive improvements in banking that make life easier for all. Bank of Makati has adopted a data-first approach with Qlik to deliver the best possible service across the Philippines, helping micro and small businesses secure the finance they need to grow.”

See also: No net zero without the help of SMEs

CP Foods taps on SAP to realise sustainability goals

Photo: SAP and CP Foods

Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company (CP Foods) will be leveraging SAP solutions to become the “sustainable kitchen of the world”.

It will implement SAP sustainability solutions to record, report, and act on real-time sustainability data to drive carbon accounting at both corporate and product levels. The move aims to help reduce 42% of its Scope 1 and 2 emissions and 30.3% of its Scope 3 by emissions 2030 and eventually realise its Net Zero goals.

“Net Zero is the only solution to climate change. It is important for us to understand and reduce our impact on the planet so that we can create food that is safe and nutritious for people and also green and clean for the earth,” says Prasit Boondoungprasert, CP Foods’s chief executive officer.

He continues: “Feeding our livestock, farming our food, and transporting it to people’s plates incur emissions that we have to be able to record and report. With RISE with SAP and SAP sustainability solutions, we will have insight into actual emissions automated in real-time rather than relying on manual averages, allowing us to make quick, informed, and sustainable business decisions for our operations and for the planet.”

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SAP will provide a technology foundation that supports CP Foods in complying with forthcoming carbon regulations in various markets, including the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (EU C-BAM) and US SEC climate risk disclosures. Key to reducing CP Foods’s total emissions will be a focus on supply chain emissions, with CP Foods’s emissions mostly falling under Scope 3.

Working with SAP Services and YASH Technologies to harness its sustainability expertise, and building on Amazon Web Services, CP Foods will implement SAP sustainability solutions to record and report on its Scope 1 and 2 emissions in Thailand and select Scope 3 (3.1 and 3.4) for its feed business in Thailand, covering both FLAG and non-FLAG emissions. The next phase of implementation will extend in scope to cover operations around the world.

Finder enhances its digital foundation for generative AI with Google Cloud

Photo: Unsplash

Finder, an Australian financial comparison platform, has migrated to Google Cloud to consolidate its entire digital infrastructure and build its AI capabilities for consumers.

Finder’s teams can now autonomously spin up, manage, and optimise their digital products thanks to Google Cloud’s intuitive user interface and developer tools backed by readily available training resources. Previously, teams had to rely on a small group of IT professionals to administer any platform-related requests, leading to bottlenecks that persistently slowed down innovation.

“With Google Cloud, we’ve been able to distribute once-bottlenecked workloads from one team across twelve, while also empowering those teams to understand and control their own cloud consumption according to their unique use cases. We’ve always prioritised speed as part of our culture, and the Google Cloud user interface allows our teams to collaborate and create value much faster and with much less friction. Even the platform’s training experience has proven incredibly intuitive and transparent, leading to rapid upskilling and much greater digital awareness across all parts of our organisation,” says Joe Waller, Finder’s CTO.

Finder will also tap on Google Cloud’s telemetry tools (which help monitor and maintain performance across applications) and Google Kubernetes Engine to keep its infrastructure running at maximal efficiency, even as it scales up its plans for global growth. Granular visibility of cloud spending has already helped Finder trim operating costs by automatically identifying and eliminating redundant services at speed.

Although Finder only migrated to Google Cloud in January, it has already managed to slash digital infrastructure costs by over 50%, speed up operations, and increase collaboration throughout its business. This lays the technical foundation for a rapid push into generative AI capabilities across Finder’s online properties this year.

“Google Cloud’s pace of AI development, coupled with its unparalleled capabilities in online search, convinced us that this was the platform to power the next stage of Finder’s journey. Generative AI is front and centre in how we aim to help people make even better financial decisions by matching comparisons more accurately with their personal situations, requirements, and constraints. Google Cloud gives us a trusted and transparent environment in which to build out those capabilities at a speed that keeps us ahead of the competition,” states Waller.

Finder plans to use Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform to deliver a more conversational user experience for users to explore, compare and evaluate financial products through its website, as well as to make it faster and easier for visitors to find the most relevant educational content for their specific financial objectives.

“We’re acutely aware of the need to maintain a technology advantage in the comparison experience that we provide, especially as we look to differentiate ourselves in new markets. Consolidating our infrastructure on Google Cloud makes it substantially simpler for us to grow fast and work better together, all while keeping our digital infrastructure in peak operational health,” concludes Waller.

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