Editor’s Note: Data (Of 0’s And 1’s)

May 29, 2015 1 Min Read


It has been a while since we have had a movie where the fine line between reality and the virtual world of 1’s and 0’s made us all sit up and take notice, ponder our existence and fret over how excited or alarmed we should be (then again, I haven’t watched a new movie in ages!).

We know the importance of having the skills to adapt and embrace changes that happen at our workplaces – but what about change that is not easily defined, and yet permeates every aspect of our lives?

The phone, as young Alexander Graham Bell invented in the 19th century, has evolved dramatically in recent decades to transform lives. When we were young, my Ah Kong’s (grandpa’s) home still had the phone on the wall – you know the type you’d hold the ear piece to your ear and speak into the other bit fixed to the wall. Imagine lugging that thing around – with the first gen multiple football field-sized computers – and photo albums too! And a massive generator! OK the list goes on – but you get my point.

With the frequency of our online activity via phone and other devices on the rise, we become wary also of the fact that our online interactions have morphed – Facebook, for example, seems to have started reading my mind!

Far from running off to the hills and hiding from all forms of Wi-Fi access, I am most interested in seeing how data that is collected (ethically) can increase the efficiency of processes, facilitate having the right resources at the right place, at the right time – and even how disease patterns can be monitored. To this end, Bernard Marr explains what Big Data means, how it can be used, and why it is important to understand its relevance in our lives.

Is Big Data relevant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? Daniel Russell asserts that SMEs can indeed benefit from Big Data-style analytics, and shares five steps on how they can build sustainable data analytics capabilities.

Joseph Tan has a different take on Big Data – and reminds us of its value in connecting with our own people, in addition to its promise of reaching clients and other external parties. Like other types of data, he stresses the point of knowing what to do with employee engagement data, and how companies need to make sense of it by identifying, for example, the leading indicators of the performance of managers.

Next up, our roving contributor Christopher Moore shares some of his own data – painstakingly gleaned from his travels and exposure to the business world throughout Asia Pacific. We learn for instance, where it is OK to call random strangers “Boss” and “Ma’am” and where it might raise some eyebrows!

We frequently address the role of mentors and mentees – but what if your mentee is a youth beginning to seek personal freedom and choice to make decisions? Alvin Dan has worked with many youth, and shares his knowledge and insights on the symbiotic and mutually beneficial mentor-mentee relationship.

Onward, upward!


First appeared on Leaderonomics.com. Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 30 May 2015

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This article is published by the editors of Leaderonomics.com with the consent of the guest author. 

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