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Now 2 notches ahead, PH gunning for world analytics hub title by 2015

After becoming the world’s outsourcing hub for voice, the Philippines is now gunning to grab the world’s analytics hub title by 2015 with the domestic industry already ahead of competition by two notches.

Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo has assured “Analitika,” a consortium among social, professional organization and individuals spearheaded by IBM Philippines pushing for the practice of smarter analytics, of government’s strong support noting the 2015 target as “achievable.”

“Rest assured that the DTI will give its full support to help Analitika realize its vision to make the Philippines the global center for smarter analytics by 2015. This target is achievable if we do things right,” he said.

The Philippines already accounts for 10 percent or $230 million of the $212-billion global analytics industry. Of the $212 billion, the services segment of this business analytics account for $70 billion of which the Philippines already has a share of 10 percent.

In fact, a study by Gartner showed that that smarter analytics can provide 4.4 million jobs by 2015 of which only 30 percent can be served by the world.

“This is a big opportunity for the Philippines,” he said.

According to Domingo, the domestic analytics industry, which is distinct from the current IT-BPO industry, has been ahead of competition having linked this very new industry with the academe and the private sector as early as 2012.

IBM signed an agreement in December 2012 with the Commission on Higher Education to develop a Smarter Analytics Education Roadmap for the Philippines, particularly focused on the Business and Information Technology Courses.

Domingo cited the 12 universities that have already developed curricula for business analytics and courses that lead to specializations in this area following the CHED’s introduction of Analytics courses in 2013 to select universities.

Aside from the DTI, the Department of Science and Technology has been working with industry in utilizing analytics to enable the country’s research and development initiatives in weather prediction, agriculture, genomics and disaster management.

Domestic industries that can benefit the most from smarter analytics are telecommunications, insurance, retail and banking as these are industries with readily available huge data.

Data analytics is a way of analyzing huge data from social media, online data and all other data available. With smarter analytics, companies can anticipate business trends, suggest consumption patterns, address consumer issues and make timely decisions from thorough analysis of a mammoth of data that are not easily apparent.

All medium to large scale industries will require business analytics as one of the much-needed competencies in their business and IT portfolio, to remain competitive in the market place. For a company to be competitive and sustainable, it must have the right analysis from the data available.

“Data analytics is where you put a lot of intelligence in mining data… if properly analyzed, it would be put to a lot of productive use like helping companies make good decisions out of that data,” Domingo said.

IBM Philippines President and General Manager Mariels Almeda Winhoffer said the industry roadmap is expected to be finished in 6 to 8 months. Spearheaded by Analitika members, it will determine jobs roles in analytics in the future, listing of skills and marketing and promotion of the Philippines to the world as an analytics hub.

Winhoffer said the Analitika is attacking this challenge by addressing both the elementary grades and college levels by promoting curricula that leads more to engineering and scientific data analysis.

She said that Singapore, a close competitor, is concentrating on the masters programs for graduate students, but the Philippine strategy is to instill analytics both in the elementary education, particularly Grades 11 and 12, and as college courses.

Part of the roadmap is also to make the Philippines the center for the grant of certification for “Data Scientists.” A certification program for “Data Scientist” is yet to be done.

“The dream is to have that certification be done here,” Winhoffer said.

While smarter analytics is different from IT-BPO, Winhoffer said the IT-BPO can be a starting point but workers will need to move up the value chain through additional education.

Data analytics is not also going to replace IT-BPO, but Winhoffer said it is growing globally at a faster clip of 15 percent than the 5 percent global growth of the IT-BPO industry, which is estimated to be a $200 billion to $300 billion industry.

Already, companies are investing in technology to take advantage of this huge opportunity because it is more sustainable than IT-BPO and offers a wide ranging of job opportunities in all sectors.