Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 23rd 2014 Contents JANUARY 2014 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG5
Though some members of the business
community have an appreciation of business
analytics (BA), they possess a limited under-
standing of the use of tools and processes for
BA.This is one of the findings from a survey
titled: "Increasing competitiveness in T&T
through business analytics," conducted by the
Arthur Lok Jack Business Analytics and Intel-
ligence Centre between July and October 2013.
According to Wikipedia: "Business analytics
focuses on developing new insights and under-
standing of business performance based on
data and statistical methods."
The findings stated there was "an overall
positive disposition towards business analytics,
though a preference to doing it in-house , and
that the overall adoption level stands at approx-
imately 30 per cent (country average adoption
Is increasing competitiveness important for
any business in the Caribbean especially T&T?
According to the Global Competitiveness
Report 2013, the Caribbean member states
need to increase competitiveness.
Of 184 people surveyed, "three-quarters of
the respondents thought that BA is used for
maximising profit, lowering cost or enhancing
(See Table 9)
The surveyed people indicated that "the
more complexities associated with BA, the
lower the adoption level. Respondents rated
their perceived barriers of BA adoption in four
-not a problem (15 per cent did not see a
problem in the analytics adoption process)
-to some extent (60 per cent faced barri-
ers)-to a great extent (almost 15 per cent)
-no idea (about ten per cent had no idea
about the barriers)
When it came to the adoption rate by deci-
sion-makers, the survey said: "Of the total
184 respondents, only 8.2 per cent indicated
that more than 75 per cent of decison-makers
in their firm use analytics. This suggests a low
level of adoption of BA by decision-makers."
See Table 11
The survey in its conclusions, discussions
and policy implications section recommends
-Skills development programmes
-Demonstrations of the power of BA
-Awareness development programmes
Regarding spreadsheets, the survey indicated:
"Knowledge of spreadsheets, which is at the
lowest level of sophistication, is seen among
the highest in the data for all the characteristics
of respondents while advanced BA solutions,
which is the highest level of sophistication,
lies at the lowest level."
Adoption of BA by industry is as follows:
50 per cent
Food and beverage 40 per cent
Wholesales and retail 30 per cent
The survey was conducted with 57 firms
comprising 184 executives.
The research team comprised-
Gour Saha, Keith Thomas and
Analytics and finance
Simon Aqui, general manager
of IBM T&T, said business ana-
lytics can be used as a means of
measuring demand through
looking at trends in the taste pat-
terns of the target market.
He said the business owner
would be able to "more accu-
rately forecast the demand based
on (the company s) historical data
and preferences that I get from
customers, then I would be able
to stock the right products on
the shelves and more business
opportunity for me. It s very key
for businesses to use analytics
to be able to satisfy customers
Asked whether specialised
software, which generate graphs, charts and
other management reports, would be sufficient
enough to determine taste patterns of the
company s target market, he said the data the
company has would only be pertaining to their
company and not the industry.
"One of the areas where business analytics
is used within an organsiation is in financial
performance management. Today, many com-
panies have financial software, and that s going
to generate a report and tell you how well you
are doing. What it does is just report on the
data that you have."
Aqui said a global study of 1,000 chief exec-
utives found that companies which used busi-
ness analytics receive a 32 per cent increase
on the return on investment compared with
companies that don t.
He defined business analytics as something
which generates competitive advantage for
businesses over others that don t use analytics.
He identified the four areas where business
analytics can be used:
-Customer insight---understanding your
-Organisational efficency---examining logis-
-Financial performance management---
understanding and reporting financials
-Fraud and risk prevention
Aboud said there would be a different "twist"
this year and advises the TTMA to give value.
"It is always good to get fresh ideas, fresh
concepts. The good thing is we have something
aligned and organised, they can only build on
this, "Aboud said. "Keep focused and ensure
value to participants and visitors."
The TTMA said the new prices of booths are
between US$1,500 and US$2,200.
The price of a small pavilion is US$9,000
and a large one is US$13,000.
Ramesh Maharaj, managing director, Ven
Caribbean Paper Product Ltd, who received an
award on Monday at the launch of TIC 2014
at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, is happy
that the trade show will be held at the Centre
of Excellence this year.
"It is a fact that this is a good move for the
business people and manufacturers. A lot of
business people have moved their operations
east of the island and are no longer in the vicinity
of Port-of-Spain," he said.
Maharaj said logistically it is very difficult to
get into Port-of-Spain while the Centre of Excel-
lence is easily located in Macoya.
"Up to last year, the trade show was at the
Haytt hotel. I think the Hyatt hotel is a great
place, but the problem is it is not easy to get
to as there are problems with the traffic to get
there on mornings. Since many businesses are
in the east, we now reach to work with ease.
It is the same thing with the TIC being back
at the Centre of Excellence. It will be easy to
reach there, plus there will also be transportation
for the foreigners from the hotels they are staying
at," Maharaj said.
"The parking is good, the ambience is com-
fortable. I am not saying that the Hyatt hotel
is bad; in fact, I love it. But we must admit there
is no better place than the Centre of Excel-
Maharaj said the TIC is a goldmine for local
manufacturers who should take advantage of
the opportunities provided.
"I was given an award for being perhaps the
only manufacturer who has been there at TIC
for 14 years. I would compare the TIC to a ban-
quet and feast and now it is up to the man-
ufacturers to take the knife and the fork and
make use of the meal."
One Trincity-based company said they still
expect a good trade show, although it will not
be at the Hyatt hotel this year.
"We were at the Hyatt for the last three years
and that was a good location. There are some
people who may complain about the traffic but,
generally, this hotel was an excellent location.
We expect that the TIC show will still have a
good product at the Centre of Excellence in
Macoya because of the facilities there."
Continued from Page 4
Local focus for exhibition
Lok Jack survey says:
Businesses have limited
know-how about analytics
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