Has the Philippines BPO Industry Lost It’s Edge?

Just read Tholons latest paper on Digital Disruption: http://www.tholons.com/pdf/TSGI%20Report%202017.pdf

As if things aren’t gonna be hard enough, the BPO industry here in the Philippines is not evolving fast enough. The tidal wave of digital disruption is not something we are adequately prepared for.

Although we are #3 overall when it comes to countries in a position to continue to benefit from globalization, being one of the top countries is by no means assured.

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For the past decade its mainly been a battle between India and the Philippines, but China has crashed the party and a lot of Latin American countries are in hot pursuit.

If you are one who thinks the BPO industry here is gonna continue to see 20% year over year growth, then this slide should give you pause.

Why? Because although blessed with some amazing advantages for customer service, we aren’t currently optimizing our focus on digital transformation.

When you look at the next image, you see both Manila and Cebu have lost ground in the battle of global cities in the past year as well.

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Manila was #2, now its #4. Now is not the time to be complacent. We need to invest heavily in upskilling our BPO workforce to offer higher value chain services. We need to champion for strong DSA programs in the schools. And we need to make sure decision-makers are armed with the data they need to keep the Philippines on the cutting edge of globalization.

Thats why we have the AAP.PH and why we have launched Augment BPO.

17426122_1095825400562902_5936762267508985241_nAnalytics Leadership – DMAIPH is a founding member of the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP.PH) and specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership. #AAP.PHMoonshot

The Augment BPO Data Science and Analytics Advocacy Project (Augment BPO) is empowering BPO Companies, Executives, and Workers in the Philippines to prepare for and address the clear and present danger posed by Artificial Intelligence Chatbots (AI Chatbots) to BPO revenue growth and jobs through Data Science and Analytics strategy planning, awareness building and upskill training. #AugmentBPO

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The Scope of the Challenge of our Analytics Moonshot

Sometimes I think it helps to having had a project management experience before I dove into analytics full time. There are a lot of project management methodologies that come in handy when sizing an analytics project. Like coming up with data for a BRD.

A Business Requirements Document (BRD) includes explicit specifications of how data should be used to solve a business problem and how much it should cost depending on what it is expected to achieve.

The main goal is to deliver actionable insights by taking into consideration the data, the time allocated and the needs of the end user/audience.

The BRD must be universally agreed upon by all stakeholders involved.

The author of the BRD must understand the business processes and the key objectives of the project to ensure proper implementation.

The most important element of a BRD is the scope of the project, which includes any restrictions and constraints that need to be considered during the development process.

  1. What is the problem that the organization needs to solve?
  2. What are the restrictions that need to be considered?
  3. Is the time and money invested in solving the problem worthwhile?

So for our analytics moonshot of upskill training half a million Filipinos in the next five years, we need to start with a project management approach. So here are some considerations for our BRD:

  1. The organization (AAP.PH) and its growing legion of partners needs to facilitate the large scale training of 100,000’s of Filipinos with Data Science and Analytics (DSA) skills in the very near future. If we succeed, the economic growth of the Philippines will have a much higher chance of continued to success in a world besieged by changes from new technologies. If we fail, then I see the change of continued economic growth and prosperity being much harder of achieve here in my adopted home. So we start our scope with the audacious goal: upskill train 500,000 Filipinos to be DSA enabled professionals by the year 2022.
  2. There are many restrictions that we need to consider. Not enough experts able and willing to conduct the trainings. Not enough schools able to educate students in DSA skills. Not enough teachers with DSA knowledge. Lack of awareness among decision-makers in government, in business and in academia. The diversity of needs, with skill requirements all across the spectrum from simple reporting using excel to complex data science and predictive analytics, Nationalism and attempts to slow or reverse globalization, most interested parties work independently and there is little history of collaboration, and on and on… The only way to address all of these restrictions is share stories based on data to compel Filipinos to become part of our advocacy. The data behind why we need to get better at data is clear, its the acceptance of what the data tells us and using even more data to guide our decision-making that we need to make clear.
  3. What ever time and money investments made into this advocacy will have amazing benefits. Maybe we can’t save all call center jobs from being threatened by A.I., but we can save a lot. Maybe we can’t turn every school into an engine that produces DSA skills graduates ready to contribute day one, but we can empower a lot. And maybe we can’t help every Filipino business infuse for DSA into their processes, but we an help 1,000’s. The time is now, The money is there. We just need to line things up so that our moonshot succeeds. And when we do, the Philippines will be a world hub for analytics unlike any other nation, primed and ready to deliver world class DSA services both domestically and abroad.

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Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH is a founding member of the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP.PH) and specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.

Top Data Science & Analytics Skills in Demand: 2017 vs 2022

One question I get asked a lot are what are the best skills to master for Data Science & Analytics (DSA) jobs right now?

Another question is what skills will be in demand five years from now.

With both questions, most of the ones asking are looking for specific applications or tools to learn. Often my reply is that it really doesn’t matter which tool or application you use as much as you get practical experience working with data.

My point is that job titles and technical skill sets come and go as technology evolves… what you really need to do is be in a place where your curiosity and critical thinking are continuously challenged. It helps to also be somewhere that encourages new solutions and has a culture that fosters innovation.

Not easy to find, but thats more important to me then what you learn now. That said, I still have to answer the questions with some sense of what to learn and master so…

Here are some of the top DSA skills needed right now:

  • Management Reporting
  • Advanced Excel
  • Familiarity with Business Intelligence Tools
  • SQL Coding for Teradata Databases
  • Transforming Data Warehouses into Data Lakes
  • Business Dashboards and Data Visualization with Tableau
  • Predictive Analytics with R and Azure
  • Predictive Model Building with SPSS
  • Data Storytelling

By no means a exclusive list… if you do a quick search of job posting for DSA professionals you will not find two job posts with the exact same requirements.  From where I sit, these are just the ones I see a lot.

When it comes to the future, I did a quick search and came up with this list…

Here are some of the top DSA skills likely needed over the next 5 years.

  • Natural Language Generation and Text Analytics
  • Human/BioMetric Analytics
  • Machine Learning
  • Prescriptive Analytics
  • Chat Bot Design and Maintenance
  • AI Virtual Assistants Design and Programming
  • IoT Sensor Analytics

Again… not even close to a complete list, but you can get a sense of where things are going.

Assuming most companies mature past the basic analytics phase and that we continue moving towards AI solutions at the current pace, there will be a lot of new analyst jobs out there with new titles. Data Scientists will be busy solving a wide range of data challenges that currently still seem like Science Fiction today.

At least that’s my take as of now.

It will change.

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The Augment BPO Data Science and Analytics Advocacy Project (Augment BPO) is empowering BPO Companies, Executives, and Workers in the Philippines to prepare for and address the clear and present danger posed by Artificial Intelligence Chatbots (AI Chatbots) to BPO revenue growth and jobs through Data Science and Analytics strategy planning, awareness building and upskill training.

Philippines BPOs: Prepared To Stay On Top?

12523905_1094112590613600_4599398525089712302_nBy DMAIPH Analytics Intern Jacqueline Belmonte. 

The Philippines looks to remains the top Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) preference of companies around the world.

In fact, during 2016, the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), the country’s Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector projected that by 2017, the industry will provide more than 1.3 million jobs and over $25 billion revenue.

As of 2016, the industry employs 1.2M people and accounts for around 8% of Philippines’ GDP.  However, despite of  the continuous growth of the BPO, experts see a potential end to the growth of the industry.

In a study of Frost & Sullivan, low-skilled jobs in the outsourcing industry would decline by 28 percent within the next 6 years but will give rise to high-skilled outsourcing jobs by 2022.

By 2025, Pew Research Center survey expects robots and digital agents to replace a large number of BPO workers. “The Death of the Call Center”, Xerox’s worldwide survey revealed 42 percent of respondents said that call center will cease to exist but predicts the rise to “super-agent” who has high-tough and high value assistance to customers’ more complex problems.

The wide spread of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence threatening to replace human agents is now the opportunity that companies under the BPO industry have been eyeing. For an instance, AI intelligence or the ability of machines to imitate human intelligence that get’s better through time and repetitive use is slowly changing the game.

A good example is Luvo, a virtual assistant that could assist customer problems such as lost or stolen bank cards and forgotten pin numbers. A startup founded by George Yang,  called AI Pros’, a voice-based natural language software, that can speak with customers using spoken English to pitch them a sale and only need human intervention when there are words that the system can’t understand  has shown an 80 percent increase in performance  of call centers. AI Pros’ is geared to help the BPO to cope with the AI threat by creating higher value jobs.

The alarming peril of the technological advancement to the BPO’s has also been recognized as a serious concern by the government. Senate Resolution No. 344 is the government’s response to maximize the  the development of AI technologies whilst acknowledging the possible negative impacts to jobs and employment in the country. With these, people seeking for employment are encouraged to take on the opportunities posed by the growth in software and mobile programming, cloud, analytics and other technical skills.

The bright side of this probable sunset of the BPO industry is that, companies and universities in the Philippines have responded positively through organizing events, trainings  and integrating growing industries such as analytics in the curriculum currently offered.

This initiative will create a highly skilled and competent pool of human resource that secures them against the threat of the downfall of the BPO industry. In addition, analytics training companies such as Decision-Making, Analytics & Intelligence Philippines (DMAIPH), BPO’s can be be guided as to how to slowly navigate from losing to winning  back the market.

Dr. Data_Analytics in the Philippines

Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions.

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DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. And that is exactly why I wrote Putting Your Data to Work, the first analytics guidebook designed specifically for the Philippines.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to order the book. Take advantage of this unique global opportunity and get more analytics in your career or in your business.

DMAIPH will be at TechTonic 2017

On July 29-30, 2017, DMAIPH will be joining one of our oldest business partners, PMCM Events Management, for a two day event dedicated to innovation.

#TechTonic2017

https://www.facebook.com/TECHtonic2017/

Per Webster’s the definition of innovation is: the introduction of something new; a new idea, method, or device.

Analytics is a key piece of innovation in today’s information age. With so much big data out there to use in decision-making, it is paramount to ones success to be able to take advantage of all the exciting innovations out there.

With that in mind, I will be giving a short talk about analytics and how many innovations come out of the discovery of a new opportunity from analyzing business day.

Check us out at the  DMIAPH booth, where we will be passing out information on upcoming trainings, our analytics solutions and selling my book, Putting Your Data to Work, an analytics guidebook for the Filipino professional.

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DMAIPH is a highly engaged leader, sponsor and participant in analytics events across the U.S. and the Philippines. As an Analytics Champion I write, blog, speak and lecture about analytics in a wide variety of forums. I authored several publications on analytics including my latest book, Putting Your Data to Work. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn more about where I will be talking about analytics next.

Aligning a business strategy to drive an organization forward requires a robust analytics solution. Businesses who have good analytics tend to be much more profitable and efficient then ones that do not. DMAIPH has helped dozens of companies in both the U.S. and the Philippines with adding more data analysis in their business strategy. We have joined up with our key business partner PMCM Events Management to showcase our solutions at #TechToniPH in July 2017.

Let’s See How the Wind Blows: YouTube Video

For those who missed it: On CGTN, #Philippines and #ASEAN economies and security hang in the balance as Donald Trump takes over as U.S. President. Happy to add my perspective to current events impacting business in the Philippines.

Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

So Just How Many Filipino Data Scientists Are There Anyway?

One Question I have been asking myself for awhile is just how many Filipino Data Scientists are there anyway?

I ask this  question because based on my observations of job postings and job titles and industry buzz, there are way more data scientist jobs open here in the Philippines then there are actual data scientists to fill them.

And I’m not even trying to separate the “true” data scientists with the “quasi” data scientists that are doing data science but without all the pre-requisites required.

Lumping everyone together into one number, I wonder what it is. An educated guess would be a few hundred at best. Yet, there are literally 1000 job postings out there right now for data scientist.

This speaks to a fundamental lack of awareness across the country as to what truly a data scientist is and what they do. But that’s for another blogpost.

Right now Im simply going to do some research, survey my network and try and come up with a best guess on exactly how many data scientists there currently are here in the Philippines.

Please feel free to contribute to the conversation… its not going to be easy to get a universally acceptable answer without a lot of discourse first.

Let the hunt for a unicorn head count begin!

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Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

Analytics in the Philippines: It Either Happens in 2017 or It Might Never Happen

A few years ago the then country manager of IBM Philippines, Mariels Winhoffer, kicked off a project to help push the Philippines towards being an analytics hub for the booming growth in Big Data and the Global Analytics Talent War. That was in 2013.

With 3 factors in play; the world calls outsourcing services of the Philippines, the exponential growth of Big Data the fact that the demand for analytics talent far out weighs the supply; it makes total sense that the Philippines step up and fill the need. Now in 2017 we have not really gotten much closer.

There are some schools offering some subjects in analytics related areas, but its far from being significant enough to meet the needs.

The government has given some attention to supercharging analytics, but the current outlook is not one where we will see enough to propel us forward.

Big BPO companies who are offering analytics as a service have tried desperately to fill seats,  but have generally seen limited success.

Now it seems that most Filipino companies have gotten a grasp of the power of a good analytics team and are trying to catch up.

As 2017 begins, there has never been as much thought about Analytics in the Philippines as there is right now. However, the big question is it too little to late?

To me 2017 will be the watershed year for Analytics in the Philippines. We will either make significant progress towards being both a global hub for analytics and a significant domestic user of analytics or we will find that the opportunity was just too challenging to tackle.

I’m all in on betting on the former… lets make 2017 the year that Analytics in the Philippines became a success story.

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Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

The Analytics Driven Leader: Demystifying Strategy

As I prepare for spending the bulk of the upcoming year in Philippines I have several goals in mind; publish my next book, launch a new side business and spend quality time with as many of my team members as possible. And when I think of the conversations I want to have with the team, demystifying strategy and empowering more data-driven decision making are top of mind.

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Business Strategy can be a complicated thing for many reasons. First and foremost because although you can have big goals that everyone can see, the fluid nature of pushing a business forward makes it hard for many to conceptualize.

In our case we have gone from a company of 6 with one business line to a company of over 100 with six business lines in just 18 months. On top of that we have diversified from one legal entity with one purpose to three legal entities with complimentary purposes. It’s a lot to take in.

Data-Driven Decision Making can be challenging for mean reasons as well. First of all, few people on the team have a solid foundation in business analytics. Most come from companies where they either didn’t have a direct role in developing the analytics or where in companies that really didn’t value analytics. So it takes some time for people to get on board with the idea of using both data and wisdom to make decisions.

There are so many things that we can do to improve performance, enhance communication and enable more proactive thinking. Refining process flows, building better reports and having more forums for information sharing are all places to start.

My goal is by the end of the 1st quarter of 2017 we have accomplished a lot of these things. By then we will have taken some of the mystery out of our business strategy and empowered more people to look at the data as they make decisions.

Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.