What It Means to be Smart in 2016

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Singapore has a vision to be a Smart Nation. What does that mean and what should you do about it? Here’s what experts recommend.

The Smart Nation Vision

Our local ministers and business experts have been throwing the term “smart” around a lot lately – in fact, just last month we were exhibitors at the Smart SMEs event organised by the SCCCI (Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry).

What exactly does it mean? Singapore’s vision is really to achieve the Internet of Things, or IOT for short. The Internet of Things is a state in which everyday objects communicate seamlessly for the benefit of all.

If you watch local television, you’ve probably seen that one ad in which a man uses a phone app to turn his air conditioner on before getting home. That is just one example of what IOT looks like. Google Glass and the Apple Watch are two other prime tools of IOT. Here’s an in depth walkthrough by IBM on how IOT works:

 

 

Blocking out the noise

IOT will be driven by data, comprising anything from your heart rate to your transaction history or travel route. With so much data going around, it becomes hard to block out the noise. Already, we’re facing the consequences of information overload.

The neurological impact of information overload has been described by a Dr. Edward Hallowell as causing distractibility, impatience, and disorganisation. “Analysis Paralysis” occurs when we are so overwhelmed with information that we become paralysed into inaction.

 

As consumers,

We are afraid of choosing the wrong product – what if you find the same product for less in another shop or website? What if the colour you really want is available elsewhere? What if option B is better than A? Fear of making the wrong decision can be paralysing.

 

In the workplace,

Making the wrong decision can have even more dire consequences. Whether it may be a dent in your company’s reputation (or even your own), or the loss of a lucrative deal, most decisions cannot wait for you to gather all the data humanly possible to make the best decision.

 

How can I deal with all this noise?

To overcome inefficiencies caused by analysis paralysis, we need to find a better way to handle all this data.

Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant CEO and Chief Data Office at IDA (Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore) says,

Data analytics uses large datasets to reveal hidden patterns, important insights that can be used for decision making. Technology advances in areas like machine learning, text mining and greater emphasis in predictive modelling and statistical forecasting can help organisations make sense from the data gathered, and see trends based on history, together with real-time data, to intelligently support decision making.

With the availability of pervasive high speed connectivity and powerful computational technologies, data analytics can be a competitive tool that enables businesses to draw sharper insights into their customers and operations. It can make our businesses smarter, more productive, thereby powering our future economic growth as the global digital economy grows and businesses need to better understand their customers to stay relevant amidst fiercer business competition and savvier consumers.

Data analytics in your SME

As an SME, your resources are limited, particularly in terms of labour. That’s what great software is for. Not only are business analytic software solutions largely free of human errors, they run a lot faster than is humanly possible, and at more affordable rates than hiring data analysts for your company.

Of course, getting all your data into a single system for analysis is no mean feat. Many, if not most, SMEs work with excel sheets and multiple independent software systems for CRM (customer relationship management), accounting, and so on.

 

How can you make life simpler for yourself and your staff?

The answer is: working in a single system all around. We’ve covered the benefits of migrating from scattered solutions before, and how important it is that your systems communicate.

Thankfully for SMEs, SAP Business One is exactly that single system. Not only can it house data on all aspects of your business and from different departments, SAP Business One (in particular the version for HANA) has powerful analytical software built in to make sense of your statistics.

If you want to be smart in 2016, consider SAP Business One. Download your free guide below for more information, or hit the contact us button on the right to reach a member of the team!