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Leveraging automation, AI and analytics to better compete in the digital economy

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur6/2/2022 02:30 PM GMT+08  • 6 min read
Leveraging automation, AI and analytics to better compete in the digital economy
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Here's how some organisations in Asia Pacific are enhancing their business processes with automation, AI and analytics to thrive in the digital economy.

Alteryx empowers NTUC Income with analytics automation

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Singapore insurance company NTUC Income has turned to Alteryx to create a new data architecture that enables it to get quicker and more valuable insights.

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NTUC Income’s actuarial team handles the entire data management process — from data extraction, data preparation, data visualisation to data modelling. Those processes enable the organisation to make crucial decisions, such as setting appropriate pricing for products and ensuring adequate reserves for insurance portfolios.

However, the team was initially faced with two issues.

Firstly, the difference in data sources, sizes and formats created many silos of data processes and resulted in data reconciliation issues in analysis and reports. Secondly, the legacy data processing tools were ineffective in handling huge volumes of data.

NTUC Income’s analysts therefore needed to spend a significant amount of time manually customising data to serve insights to multiple stakeholders. There was also a lack of audit trail and documentation logs, making it difficult for a new analyst to trace data errors or make enhancements to the existing data processes.

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With the new data architecture enabled by Alteryx’s analytics automation platform, NTUC Income could eliminate mundane data preparation tasks and reduce the time taken for certain processes.

For instance, its actuarial team now takes half the previous turnaround time for the data preparation steps of its reserving study. The freed-up time can be channelled to other efforts that can better support the company’s overall digital transformation efforts.

Ya Kun streamlines its HR flow with StaffAny

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Prior to 2020, local food and beverage chain Ya Kun Kaya and Toast was using timesheets and WhatsApp chats to manually consolidate employee availability and scheduling.

This process was tedious and time-consuming, which led to a “huge drain on labour costs due to margins of error and rechecking”, according to Jesher Loi, one of the third-generation members of the Loi family running the business.

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Ya Kun therefore deployed StaffAny’s smart workforce management solution across its 36 outlets in Singapore to automate and optimise the staff rostering process.

By cutting down on manual scheduling, Ya Kun’s human resource (HR) managers now has more time to spend on other work processes, such as enhancing workflows and staff training and development.

With everyone having a clear overview of their rosters and operations in real-time on one platform, Ya Kun also sees less pay discrepancies and miscommunication between HR managers and staff.

Moreover, StaffAny’s smart on-site timeclock allows Ya Kun to customise parameters for staff clock-in and clock-out, preventing time theft and overtime costs.

Aventis enhances speed of service and course personalisation with IBM’s help

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Aventis Learning Group is using the power of IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding hosted on IBM Cloud to automate its Training Management System (TMS).

The move enables the corporate training provider to offer better-personalised learning courses for both corporate and individual learners in Asia, improve their scalability by reducing its dependence on humans, and increase the speed of service.

IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding helps analyse the course content and training needs, as
well as identify actionable recommendations for the courses.

The minimum viable products (MVPs) are securely hosted on IBM Cloud, allowing Aventis to expand its hybrid cloud approach to scale, independently manage and refine features of the MVPs without affecting the entire system.

The overall project took three months to complete but the MVPs were completed in just six weeks.

As a result, 75% of Aventis’ customers find the TMS effective as it provides them with the right course recommendation. It also makes the course finding and booking process faster.

This implementation is driving efficiencies in Aventis with reduced staff workload and streamlined the day-to-day work schedule. More than four-fifths (85%) of Aventis’ employees find the system useful and that it has helped to improve their productivity. They can now keep track of a customer’s learning status and build on skill competency levels.

“With the advanced capabilities of IBM Watson technology, our course recommendation solution can now offer personalised training and skills recommendations to individual learners to optimise their learning curve and skills capability,” says Samuel Teo, general manager of Aventis.

He adds: “It helps to optimise and continuously improve the learning model for our TMS. As it grows in experience, we will improve its ability to engage with customer learners on a one-on-one level and develop a unique enrolment experience and learning tailored for each of them.”

Japanese pharmaceutical company leverages Cloudera to accelerate R&D

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Shionogi & Co is using Cloudera for greater speed to in- sights across its research and development (R&D) and post-market value chain.

As a discovery-based pharmaceutical company in Japan, Shionogi relies on data to accelerate its R&D of more effective medications and pharmaceuticals to protect the health and well-being of patients. However, Shionogi’s data used to reside in silos on varying platforms spread across various locations.

By upgrading its existing data platform to the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP), Shionogi managed to eliminate data silos and provide its staff with easy access to data. This has enabled its data engineers and scientists to be more productive while improving the data literacy within the organisation.

Since CDP also seamlessly connects to business intelligence tools and analysis systems while ensuring security and governance, it allows Shionogi to accelerate the hypothesis and test cycles of drug discovery and development.

“Shionogi believes that we will need to maximise the use of our collective data and knowledge to achieve true data-driven innovation,” says Dr Yoshitake Kitanishi, vice president of the Data Science Department at Shionogi & Co.

He adds: “CDP is what we need — a secure, organised and integrated database. [With CDP,] we can derive business insights quickly as it seamlessly connects to business intelligence tools and analysis systems while complying with privacy protection and other compliance requirements.”

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