This sponsored post is produced in association with IDA Singapore. 

Let’s face it, big data is still a big hurdle for many companies. People have struggled over defining it, analyzing it, and finding people to organize it. But while big data is still a nebulous and unbridled entity for many enterprises, some Singaporean companies seem to be leading the curve in making use of the flood of data rushing into their databases.

1. Sparkline

Sparkline was the brainchild of three ex-Googlers whose prestige immediately landed them in the black upon launch. Managing Partner Aleetza Senn said they knew they could do more than give customers a gloss over of “vanity metrics” like impressions and bounce rate with their analysis.

“We knew we had the ability [to] really help customers understand digital, ingrain it in their business and use it, not only to make their businesses more profitable and accessible, but to create better online experiences for their customers and potential customers,” said Senn.

Thus Sparkline began its foray with big data. So far, they’re servicing big clients like Google, Malaysia Airlines, and Bangkok Air.

“The information is in front of them, they just need the skills to convert it into something meaningful and useful, and that’s really what Sparkline does, either through change management, tool support and training, or analysis/insights and innovation,” Senn said.

2. Gnosis Analytics

Gnosis Analytics recently secured around half a million in funding from venture capitalist Red Dot and the National Research Foundation in Singapore. The company, which creates platforms for corporate and software developers to make big data applications, already counts overseas homeland security agencies as well as local traffic and navigation information service providers among its clients.

“We’re essentially a big data enabler,” Eugene Wee, cofounder of the five-month old company, told the Business Times. “We provide developers with plug-in and preconfigured technology platforms that are significantly cheaper and easier to use.”

The startup hopes to use the funding to reach more corporate developers.

3.  OCBC

A major bank in Singapore, Oversea-China Banking Corporation (OCBC) has developed a strong emphasis on data analytics by creating an analytics team specifically for the bank’s customer experience division. The bank invested over $100 million in analytics throughout the past decade, and the analytics team now serves all business units of the bank.

That $100 million investment has seen its returns. In an interview last year with Enterprise Innovation, head of Group Customer Analytics & Decisioning at OCBC Bank in Singapore, Donald MacDonald, said analytics has been driving cross-selling and up-selling activities, which accounted for 30% of all credit card revenue, 25% of wealth management, and up to $85 million in shadow revenue.

4. Far East Flora

Meanwhile, Far East Flora’s experience in cleaning up customer data proves that not all data is necessarily ready for use. Far East Flora is a legacy flower delivery service that launched in the 1960s that recognized the potential of e-commerce early. The company launched in 2000, and its simple mail order form now offers over 1,000 different in choices in flowers.

However, because the company relied on customers to fill in delivery information, this resulted in a high number of failed deliveries, and the flower delivery business decided to partner with marketing firm Experian to root out unsuccessful deliveries from the deluge of customer data they were receiving. Using Experian software, they were able to instantly cross-check delivery addresses using postal codes, and customers who had input mismatching information were quickly flagged.

“We have seen a significant decrease of 60 percent in failed deliveries that were a direct result of incorrect recipient addresses,” Far East Flora Managing Director Ryan Chioh said in an Experian case study.

The company, which also relies on email newsletters to keep in touch with its customers, also used customer-provided information to customize email offers for individuals.

5. Sport Singapore

Some of the biggest collectors of data have been government agencies, and the government of Singapore has been no exception. For Sport Singapore, also known until recently as the Singapore Sports Council, this means the ability to leverage geospatial data to plan the location of new sports facilities.

Sport Singapore also recently launched a new ActiveSG Membership Management System (MMS).

According to Singapore sports site Red Sports, the implementation is part of a larger initiative by Sport Singapore to give Singaporeans more access to sporting facilities. The new MMS allows members to form and take part in sport interest groups and sign up for events. The portal will soon also be a platform for forming sports leagues and creating zonal affiliation for members.

This system clearly opens doors to simultaneously engage people in promoting athletics and see what users are interested in doing in the community.

From legacy flower company to banking powerhouses, it’s clear that with the right talent and organization, big data can refine services and drive customer retention in a variety of businesses. All it takes is the right approach.

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