Utilise big data to stimulate business growth, SMEs told

National 2 minutes, 19 seconds


SMALL and medium enterprises (SME) should adopt the usage of big data and data analytics to grow their businesses and accelerate growth.

Dr Muhd Anshari Ali, a lecturer at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), said that since the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has opened up overseas markets to Bruneian businesses, using big data is a way to identify potential customers in overseas markets.

“Now that the AEC has been established and the market for Bruneian businesses is not just limited to the national boundaries, they can take advantage of big data to find out who should their target demographic be in selling their goods and services,” he said.

“For example, if a company here wants to sell to customers in Pontianak, they can use the vast amount of data collated by companies like Google or Facebook to see what are the tastes, trends and styles preferred by consumers there,” he said.

Big data refers to the large volume of data that is collected by businesses and other organisations on a daily basis which, when broken down using data analytics, can be used to make better decisions based on statistics and facts.

Dr Muhd Anshari, who is also a researcher at the e-Government Innovation Centre, was delivering a talk at a seminar titled ‘Big Data: Big Challenge for the ASEAN Economic Community’ at the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA), UBD yesterday.

“Today businesses can create products tailored to the consumers more easily as compared to the past when you would come up with the product and then try to market it – nowadays the marketing is already done beforehand,” he said.

“With the use of data analytics and the whole world increasingly online, SMEs can determine the product most in demand, the income of potential clients and even the optimum location to display the products,” he said.

Dr Muhd Anshari said that data is now treated as an asset to any modern-day organisation as much as human resource, capital and finances are treated as assets used to grow a business.

However, he also said that the main challenge in Brunei is encouraging companies to incorporate and adopt the use of big data and data analytics into the way they run their business as it is not well-known to most businesses in the country yet.

“If we wait (to adopt) big data usage, others will use it and gain an advantage on us because data is generated daily and by the time we decide to adopt it, our competitors will already be far ahead of us,” he pointed out.

“So I hope that Bruneians will see the advantages of using big data in their decision making and adopt its usage as soon as they can,” he added.

The Brunei Times