Yes, data is the new vaccine in the fully-digital era, as one study by a data visualization platform indicates.

How are organizations in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) including Japan (APJ) making use of data during the pandemic to boost resilience?

Between 28 Oct and 2 Nov this year, an online survey conducted among more than 2,500 medium-level managers or higher, plus IT decision makers across Singapore, Australia, India and Japan was conducted to get a feel for business sentiments about data-driven business intelligence.

The findings revealed that data-driven companies were more resilient and confident compared to non-data-driven companies in the same pandemic boat.

Study findings

According to the survey:

  • 82% of data-driven respondents in the region reported reaping critical business advantages during the pandemic.
  • Being data-driven delivered multiple and vast benefits to the businesses surveyed, including being able to make strategic business decisions faster (54%); having more effective communication with stakeholders (54%); increased cross-team collaboration (51%) and making their business more agile (46%).
  • Being data-driven also fueled optimism in uncertainty: more data-driven respondents (63%) were optimistic about the future health of their business in the next six months than non-data-driven respondents (37%).
  • Non-data-driven respondents perceived themselves as being slower to grasp the importance of data as they navigated through the pandemic, with only 39% seeing it as a critical advantage. A persistent disconnect appeared to exist in how respondents valued and used data, as well as how organizations benefited from a more data-driven approach.
  • Data-driven companies showed emphasis on investing in data skills, with 82% of data-driven respondents eager to increase or continue their existing level of investment over the next six months.
  • 32% of non-data-driven respondents opted to either reduce or not invest in data skills at all.
  • Across all respondents, the top lessons from the pandemic included: the need for better data quality (46%), data transparency (43%) and agility (41%).
  • Across APJ, only 62% of business leaders in the survey classified themselves as being data-driven, while 34% believed their businesses were not.
  • Singapore companies took the lead with the highest proportion of data-driven organizations (67%), while Japan lagged in the region (51%).

Said JY Pook, Senior Vice President (APJ), Tableau, the firm that commissioned the survey: An extremely uncertain environment this year proved the role of data and we are now entering the era of analytics ubiquity. Even though the benefits are clear, we still see a ‘data divide,’ where organizations in APJ differ in their ability to leverage data as a strategic asset. The biggest hurdle for organizations is to create a change in mindset and get all hands on their data. Going into 2021, the use of data is going to set companies further apart and a data culture is no longer a nice-to-have but rather a must-have for organizations to navigate the uncertainty and continue thriving.”