Senior Chinese corporate executives are becoming increasingly receptive to the use of big data to assist them in making business decisions, according to audit and consultancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.
About 40 percent of mainland chief executives said their decisions were highly data-driven, as opposed to those based on intuition and experience, while 45 percent said their business moves were “somewhat” data-driven, PwC said in a report, citing a survey seeking to assess the role of big data and analytics in senior executives’ decision-making process.
By comparison, the figures stood at 36 percent and 50 percent respectively for the whole of Asia Pacific, and 23 percent and 60 percent in the United States.
According to the survey, 41 percent of the respondents believe risks and regulatory changes are the biggest factors that drive big business decisions while 30 percent pointed to accelerating urbanization and resource scarcity.
In the United States, operating costs remain a major consideration of senior business executives, the report said.
However, there is a challenge on how executives can translate data-driven insights into action.
About 40 percent of the senior Chinese executives said the biggest barrier to using data analytics in the decision-making process is assessing which data is useful.
“We are beginning to see a much stronger interest and take-up of data analytics among Chinese companies, and there can be no doubt that the speed of digital adoption has spurred impressive technological advances in China,” said Scott Likens, PwC China & Hong Kong analytics consulting leader.
“With its scale, China has huge incentives to take advantage of advanced customer segmentation and information, social listening, and other digital and data-based techniques to predict consumer and market behavior.
“Despite China’s data-scale advantages, the big hurdles that remain revolve around understanding the quality, accuracy and completeness of big data being used to shape insights. This parallels the concerns of data-mature countries like the United States,” he added.
More than 60 percent of the Chinese executives also said lack of training and skills to analyze and understand the business implications of big data poses a barrier to wider use of data-driven decisions.
“Many Chinese companies are still at a relatively early stage when it comes to investing in the technology and personnel who possess the technical skills and commercial acumen to turn raw data into high-quality decisions,” Likens said.
For the survey, PwC interviewed 1,135 senior executives across the globe. About 29 percent of the respondents are from Europe, 35 percent from North America, 24 percent from Asia Pacific and the rest from Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
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