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Parkway Pantai crunches big data for greater productivity

KUALA LUMPUR: Parkway Pantai Group has put in place systems to simplify the task of mining its data for insights to manage its business more effectively with greater productivity and operational efficiency.

Parkway Pantai assistant vice president ( IT for finance and business intelligence), Harry Chan told Business Times on the sidelines of the SAP CIO (Chief Information Officer) Innovation Forum 2014 that the health services giant has built the necessary infrastructure to mine its data and present the results via multiple intuitive formats to enable more informed decision-making, from lab-turnaround times to daily revenue tracking by country to performance simulation.

“Through SAP’s Business Warehouse (BW) and other business intelligence tools, our marketing and strategic department is now able to perform simulations such as changes to the hospital’s pricing strategy and analyse the impact on overall company performance,” he said.

The department is also able to analyse revenue based on multiple dimensions such as by patient’s country of residence, by nationality, by doctor’s specialties and by procedure.

The hospital chain is now looking to the future and planning to pull in information from more sources including unstructured data such as customer feedback in the social media space and make it part of its data analysis.

“Sometimes customers don’t want to provide feedback in the hospital’s official forms but will make comments about the service they received via social media,” he noted.

Meanwhile, SAP Malaysia managing director Bernard Chiang said data is growing at a phenomenal rate and doubling every 18 months.

“Big Data is the core of today’s information, communications and technology trends and paves the way for the ‘Internet of Things’,” he said, applauding the Malaysian government’s effort in developing the Big Data Analytics (BDA) Framework that is expected to be launched in forthcoming weeks.

“The government’s BDA Framework could impact not only major interest areas such as business and finance, but other critical nation-building fields such as medicine.

“The government is in the process of rolling out various pilot projects in the public sector such as for crime prevention and price watch,” said Chiang.

SAP’s HANA (high-performance analytic appliance) platform helps to vastly simplify the information technology (IT) stack by running transactional and analytical applications on the same set of data at the same time, boosting analytical performance by as much as 10,000 times, he said.

“By running analytical applications on real-time data, HANA removes the need for complicated ETL (Extract Transform and Load) systems and processes which reduces IT investment cost with the added benefit of real-time insight.

Importantly for the internet age and the rise of the Internet of Things, HANA can also process any unstructured data from any source ranging from machines to social networks,” Chiang added.

“We’ve gone way past technology alone. We’ve even gone past the stage of helping customers do what they need. In today’s highly competitive world, we’ve gained a major footing from something so basic, yet not easy at all to do. We anticipate new and creative ways our customers can increase their business.”

“That’s why we’re in the business of helping businesses run better, which is to run simple,” he said.


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