A local startup has been conducting a series of short, intensive classes in analytics for anyone who wants to make sense of data, an invaluable resource in the digital age, and how to harness it to make better business decisions.
“The adoption of analytics is quite low in the Philippines,” Dominic Vincent D. Ligot, founder and chief technology officer of the data analytics company CirroLytix, told BusinessWorld. “I think partly because it looks very daunting and because of the perceived costs. People don’t know how much to value it. Actually, it’s very, very valuable.”
“You’ve seen how Uber disrupted the taxi industry. They’re just an example of data and analytics at work.”
CirroLytix, which Mr. Ligot started in late 2016 and provides a variety of analytics services, launched a Business Analytics Masterclass last September that gives participants a grounding in big data analytics in four different domains: marketing, finance, operations and human resources. The masterclass combines lectures, discussions, interactive app-based demonstrations and spreadsheet-based exercises.
Mr. Ligot said the masterclass is partly a reaction to the analytics training programs on the market today that put too much emphasis on things like visualizing data, for example, and that assume that data is already available and clean.
“You need to source the data, you need to transform it, cleanse it, analyze it, and even then it’s still useless, until you take action,” he said.
Each domain-specific class lasts three days and costs $499 or P27,000 to take (Although corporate packages are available upon request). The analytics classes in marketing, finance and operations have ended recently. The last course for human resources is scheduled for Nov. 12. It will be held at the Forum 3 of Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque City.
To get a sneak peek of the masterclass, the data analytics startup released a video as a response to the overwhelming queries it has been receiving on social media about what to expect from a course that is relatively new in the Philippines. You can watch the video here.
“The challenge for us is to evolve our very traditional business, and this is one of the biggest ways for us to get there,” shared Millie de Luna, director for strategic planning of a local marketing agency and one of the students at the Business Analytics Masterclass for marketing.
When asked what was the most useful learning for her, she said, “I like the different analytics models because they’re almost ready to use. You just have to change the input, the data depending on the business problem.”
Participants without prior analytics experience are welcome, but basic knowledge of statistics and proficiency with Microsoft Excel will come in handy. “As the local market matures, future runs will start to incorporate advanced tools and programming,” Mr. Ligot said.
Students of the previous Masterclass runs were mostly decision-makers with managerial to C-level roles coming from diverse industries – hospitality, banking, agencies, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods – as well as from the freelancing community and the academe.
“The Masterclass was designed to be an end-to-end experience. We introduce a concept called the data value chain. Even if you’re a non-technical person, you will have to go through exercises on the first two days. But having gone through that, on the third day, you go back where you’re best suited, which is making decisions,” Mr. Ligot said.
When asked what makes this course different from the others on the market, Frances Claire S. San Juan, masterclass mentor and chief data scientist at CirroLytix, said, “It’s not purely centered on techniques and algorithms, but rather, it’s anchored on the why of doing analytics.”
Mr. Ligot and Ms. San Juan mentor the participants themselves. Mr. Ligot has more than 18 years of experience in risk management, data engineering, big data analytics and digital transformation, and previously held senior executive posts at a major IT firm and two global banks. Ms. San Juan’s experience in risk analytics, credit risk modelling and forecasting and stress-testing spans 13 years. She has also worked for several local and global banks.
At the end of the masterclass, CirroLytix hopes that the participants will develop a holistic appreciation of data. “It is a very powerful skill right now when everything’s digital. It’s really helping develop modern business professionals driven by data and creativity,” said Patricia Madison J. Mendoza, program director of the Business Analytics Masterclass.
For more information about the Business Analytics Masterclass, visit www.upskill.ph.