Analytics is the next big thing for BPOs in PH, expert says

By Rizal Raoul Reyes

Analytics can be the next big opportunity for the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which is concerned about the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), an expert said.

Cobena's del Val: "Think of analytics as a spectrum and running algorithms and machine learning to generate the business insight.” (RRR)

Cobena CEO Francis del Val

“Think of analytics as a spectrum and steering it, running algorithms and machine learning to generate the business insight,” Cobena president and CEO Francis del Val told reporters on the sidelines of the recent launch of the company’s latest product in Taguig City.

John Paul Vergara, chief analytics officer of Cobena, expressed the same sentiment, pointing out that the BPO industry can now move to the creative side where automation is also a major element.

“Data science and digital innovation use algorithms into these things which involves creativity,” Vergara explained.

Algorithms can help guide fledgling entrepreneurs where to establish their business from the regional down to the barangay level, he said. “For instance, I want to set up a business in the next fastest growing urban centers, I can tap very sophisticated algorithms,” Vergara explained.

And that is where Gateway — the company’s new product — comes in. Using its geospatial analytics system that leverages location data, Gateway can figure out the factors which correlate with the successful business establishments in an area, Vergara said.

With a growing database of more than 100,000 establishments and over 250 data layers on socioeconomic and environmental collated from official government statistics and published sources, Gateway can assist in spotting potential growth areas—from regions and provinces all the way to municipalities and barangays.

Of its 24 clients, 12 already use Gateway, the company said, adding that 30 percent of its clients are from the property sector. Other customers include service companies, fast moving consumer goods firms, and retail businesses.

Del Val said Cobena is interested to work with government driven by their sense of mission to help in the improvement of the delivery of basic services. Gateway also helps studying economic trends that affect the performance of businesses and the economy.

“Now is the time for enterprises and government to embrace Big Data and analytics. We offer our partners with interpretative, predictive, and actionable analytics to help them take the right steps in growing their businesses and in turn contribute to the country’s positive economic performance,” del Val said. “Perhaps we can collaborate on traffic issues like spotting the hot spots in the metropolis,” he said.

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