Big Debate: Is Singapore benefiting from big data? [full video]

Summary:ZDNet's panel discussion threw up several interesting talking points such as the importance of reviewing analytic tools, the need to convince employees to adopt such tools, and user privacy.

SINGAPORE--ZDNet Asia recently held its Big Debate panel discussion, where we asked: "Big deal about big data, but is Singapore benefiting yet?" The dialogue threw up several interesting talking points such as the importance of reviewing analytic tools, the need to convince employees to adopt such tools, as well as privacy concerns.

Big Debate panelists

For those who weren't able to join us at the event which was held here in Singapore, here is the full video featuring the complete discussion including questions from and interaction with the audience.

Moderated by local TV personality Diana Ser, the panel comprised representatives from Singapore's ICT regulator, Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), National University of Singapore (NUS), IBM Singapore, and healthcare service provider The Farrer Park Company. For more details on the panelists, do catch their Q&A profiles (see links in sidebar).

If you would like to catch key highlights from the discussion, do  watch the six-minute video coverage  or read our report . For some personal thoughts on the issues, read my blog post  which also has a separate video featuring some behind-the-scene sound bites from a couple of the panelists. 

Sound bites from panelists
•  James Woo, The Farrer Park Company: "[Employees] are afraid if they adopt this [big data] tool, there is a demand for them to drive up the topline. Hence they back off from the technology. It's about people, and convincing the business to sponsor [such deployments]."

Big Debate audience
Attendees at the Big Debate.

• Jude Yew, NUS: ""There's meaning behind actions that the data is capturing, that if we're not careful can lead us to make spurious conclusions. As the saying goes, 'rubbish in rubbish out'."

• Tan Eng Pheng, IDA: "The government has moved beyond just [providing] maps services and published 7,000 data sets on We won't deny there could be more, but it's a journey government agencies are taking." 

• Janet Ang, IBM: "For [Singapore, data is] a new natural resource--which we don't have much of. For companies, data is the competitive advantage. We've heard that slogan for a long time, but big data will give you another level of insight."

ZD Big Debate panel
Big Debate panelists [from left]: Diana Ser (moderator), James Woo (The Farrer Park Company), Tan Eng Pheng (IDA), Janet Ang (IBM Singapore), Jude Law (NUS)


Topics: Intelligent Singapore


Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 15 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings. Eileen majored i... Full Bio

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