96 per cent of Singapore firms use customer data to drive business: survey

A new survey has found what most shoppers have likely suspected by now - that each time you use a credit card, a loyalty card or fill in a warranty card, chances are the company you are dealing with is capturing data on you. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A new survey has found what most shoppers have likely suspected by now - that each time you use a credit card, a loyalty card or fill in a warranty card, chances are the company you are dealing with is capturing data on you. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - A new survey has found what most shoppers have likely suspected by now - that each time you use a credit card, a loyalty card or fill in a warranty card, chances are the company you are dealing with is capturing data on you.

And this data can reveal a lot about your behaviour - such as what you buy, how you buy it and whether you are likely to buy more.

The survey by recruitment firm Robert Half has found that Singapore companies are among the most prolific users of this data to drive business decisions.

According to the survey, 96 per cent of companies here are capturing customer details for use in data mining - the highest percentage of any country polled.

This captured data is used by 42 per cent of Singapore companies when making most of their business decisions, again the highest rate of any country surveyed.

Another 34 per cent use customer data some of the time when making decisions. Meanwhile, 20 percent are capturing customer data but are not using it yet.

The survey polled 810 chief technology officers from a range of industries, including 103 from Singapore.

Conducted across seven countries - Singapore, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom - the survey sheds light on the potential of utilising data to enhance marketing efforts for companies.

Ms Stella Tang, the managing director of Robert Half Singapore said: "Data analytics is even more essential in today's digital age when too many businesses are vying for the short attention span of consumers.

"Understanding the buying habits of their customers will allow businesses to effectively target the right products and provide a better end-user experience to consumers. This is particularly prominent for online and social media platforms such as the marketing messages companies send across Facebook, Google and Twitter."

Not surprisingly, data mining and analytics are skill sets that are increasingly in demand in Singapore, she added.

"That's why we are seeing an increased demand for skilled professionals with experience in data mining and analytics. Robert Half has seen recruitment activity for these professionals increase by 18 per cent in the last two years," Ms Tang said.