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Curated insights on the dinner about “The use of big data to improve the workplace”

At the beginning of this month, the Ortus Club brought together a group CFOs, COOs, and CEOs in Singapore for a dinner at Artemis Grill. The agenda to discuss was simple: how can big data — specifically, the ones collected via internal study and financial metrics — affect how the company’s physical workspaces were designed.

The discussion was guided by these questions:

  • Is there an active effort being made in order to innovate the use of Big Data in your company? Is that an advantage or a disadvantage?
  • What ways can technology and big data benefit human-centric workplaces?
  • Does Big Data influence the decisions you make for your company? If yes, how so?
  • How do you see Big Data concerns shaping the way your company works in the next 5 years?
  • If you could ask one question to all participants, what would it be?

The following are select insights and discussion points from the dinner that followed.

On the innovating the use of big data and the inherent advantages and disadvantages of doing so

As a whole, most participants seemed to agree that big data should absolutely be a driving factor in how their workplaces are designed. The majority of them affirm that their companies are doing something to innovate the use of big data in their workplace and that such an approach can only be advantageous to their company’s operations.

The minority that disagreed stated that their own studies on the matter — as well the current trends in their financing — plays a bigger role than big data. Alternatively, it could also mean that their own processes for collating and analyzing the results aren’t up to par to what they want to see.

On the human-centric factor in their workplaces and big data as a driver for strategies

Many agreed that big data has definitely strengthened the human-centric factor in their workplaces. Big data has shaped how their processes, tools, and even the technology that they use in their operations work with their employees and personnel.

Big data also factored into the majority of their business decisions, with many stating that it helps to refine their core competencies, gives them a better understanding of their customers and employees, and leads to a more efficient workplace.

On the future of big data and questions they want answered

The discussion culminated in the question of how big data will impact their companies performance and strategies in the next five years. Many of them have stated that big data will be a critical component in understanding how their business metrics can be improved, or their customer profiles are more accurately gauged. In particular, these observations also focused on the different tools that can be used to interpret big data, and how can they fit in a company’s roadmap.

Some of the questions that were raised revolved around specifics: how can big data affect certain industries, how data is mined, and who can (and should) have access to this data. These questions show that even despite the proof of big data as help to companies, more study is required to properly define the tangible benefits it provides.



While big data is definitely a possible source of more information for companies on how to improve every aspect of their operations (both inside and outside the company), the meeting ultimately stressed the need to define these processes, as well as implement measurable success targets that companies can follow. Ultimately, while the human-centric factor is an essential part of optimizing any company, more study is required to fully bring out its potential.

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