SAS eyes expanded role in the Philippines



By Rose de la Cruz


Apart from 28 years of assisting big banks and financial institutions with managing, securing and optimizing their big (business) data for all its stakeholders, SAS-- the global leader in business intelligence and data analytics-- is eyeing an expanded role in the Philippines by way of assisting local governments and their leaders how to make good on their plans and programs for their jurisdictions using available data in their actual environments.


At a press conference held Tuesday at the sidelines of the SAS’ business forum at Makati Shangrila, company officials from here and abroad took turns in explaining that they continue to assist governments in better appreciating financial realities and how to make use of available business intelligence for a better economic (and social) performance.


Ryan Guadalquiver, SAS Philippines manager, said efforts are being made to sit down with newly- elected local officials to help them get a better grasp of financial realities in their locality and how to optimize their available resources to achieve their promised programs and projects to their constituents. With business intelligence, local governments can better gauge what kinds of partnerships (business and other organizations) can better help them reach their goals of providing upgraded and improved services to their constituencies.


He explained that local financial services industry (FSI) providers like banks, insurance companies and even telcos offering online payment/purchasing services are the biggest users of business intelligence and data analytics and they have been able to tweak their operations to the current demands of the market for faster and simpler banking services, especially to the un-banked sectors.


He said even in the banking industry, 70 percent of the population is still considered unserved and un-banked, which is why data analytics and business intelligence are very helpful for these banks to come up with strategies and approaches to reach this unbanked segment of the population.


With the digital disruptions (artificial intelligence or AI and robotics) happening around the world, then FSIs have more urgency to have such data analytics and business intelligence at their fingertips so they can better gauge where to get in and how big a market they must work on for better customer experience, he stressed.


Irene Xu, SAS Global AI Director, said her 14-year stint at Citibank prepared her for the challenges of digital disruption worldwide and applying the same at SAS (where she is now working for 2.5 years). Basically, she said, data intelligence must hinge on two Cs—curiosity and the capability. Curiosity will enable the business to ask questions like what if, why or why not and this curiosity will push us to challenge the assumptions against the options available to actual business operations. Capability entails coming up with the right platform to make technology optimize the use of business data for a more comfortable and more robust customer experience.


Jason Loh of SAS Asia Pacific said many organizations who use AI can now unify their resources and data to upgrade their platform for better business efficiency in the global market.


Kenneth Koh, director for insurance of SAS global, said SAS data analytics have helped financial services globally to trace disruptions thereby better protecting and securing their data from theft and other irregularity. In like manner, SAS helps regulators come up with policies to avoid such potential disruptions to the financial sector.


Philips Manalaysay of SAS Philippines said though most big banks are adopters of business intelligence and data analytics, still the adoption of such data for better customer experience has been rather slow. There’s a lot of push in big data and AI is a hot topic, which would not go away.


SAS has been helping local banks in risk management and anti- money laundering efforts to protect their operations from such disruptions. And with the digital transformation, data analytics will help banks and FSIs to improve their capacities to adjust to the digital changes and how to enhance their adoption to these technologies.


Guadalquiver said SAS has been working closely with government on its digital roadmap and building up the infrastructure side. In relation to internet over the past years, there has been great improvement in terms of internet speed over the past two years, but a third telco provider would really help much in raising internet connectivity in the country, particularly for businesses and FSIs and their target markets.












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Monday, 16 December 2019
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