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Harvard Business School will help Malaysia’s Big Data talent goal

AvantiKumar | May 3, 2016
A collaboration between MDEC, HRDF and TheCADS will help nurture Data professionals in Malaysia.

Harvard programme MDEC 

Photo - (From left) Jerry Coffey, Managing Director Customs Programs - Harvard Business School Executive Education; Dennis W. Campbell, Professor of Business Administration; Dato CM Vignaesvaran, CEO of Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF); Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); Sharala Axryd, Managing Director of The Centre of Applied Data Science (TheCADS); Professor Karim R. Lakhani, Professor of Harvard Business School


National ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is collaborating with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and The Centre of Applied Data Science (TheCADS) to introduce a customised Big Data Analytics (BDA) programme by Harvard Business School (HBS) Executive Education in Malaysia.

Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, chief executive officer, MDEC said, "It is imperative for companies today to add value and stay competitive by 'future-proofing' their businesses through the development and adoption of innovative 'disruptive technologies' such as Big Data Analytics."

She said the first batch of the four-day programme has already taken place at Hilton KL (25th to 28th April 2016) with 53 C-level participants from key industries. Participating companies included PETRONAS, Celcom, Astro, Maxis, Senheng, KFit, UNITAR, Grab, Chatime among others.

"This is a crucial milestone for us in our efforts to nurture local data professionals and to build a robust BDA ecosystem to benefit all sectors of Malaysia's Digital Economy. Thanks to our partners, TheCADS and HRDF, we can now offer our local industry players a Harvard-quality BDA programme," said Yasmin.

The programme helped the participants to develop a fundamental understanding of big data and learn how to apply complex analytics methods and explore how experimentation and predictive analysis can improve business model and efficiency.

Other areas included:
- addressing the ethics of transparency in data collection and the concept of 'un-volunteered truths';
- examine the implications of big data analysis on marketing, the supply chain, and human resources;
- recruit and develop data-savvy talent who have the skills to take analytics to the next level;
-  recognise big data as a valuable resource for building and implementing strategic initiatives;
- building and sustaining a competitive advantage by expanding company's analytics capabilities.

Growing focus on BDA

Professor Karim Lakhani, associate professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School said: "The overwhelming response to the first batch of the programme is a testament to Malaysia's growing focus on Big Data Analytics and the growth opportunities it offers for medium and large businesses. This unique program can provide a useful bridge between a participant's knowledge about Big Data and a real-life situation, where they may require specific technical competencies to harness the power of data."

 HRDF's chief executive officer Dato' CM Vignaesvaran said: "This collaboration will help in upskilling Malaysians and also has the potential to transform businesses in Malaysia. With MDEC's support, we have identified Big Data and Analytics as a specialist skill that will contribute to economic development and foster business innovation across industries."
Sharala Axryd, managing director of TheCADS said, "Our aim is to build the BDA talent pool in Malaysia by bringing world class learning solutions that ensure a consistent and sustainable supply of skilled workforce and that will also help address the talent skills gap in the local ICT sector."

In December 2016, MDEC's ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) platform will focus on generating innovative talent development models, including an innovation lab to show the latest BDA technologies and encourage ideation among local businesses across key verticals.

The platform was first introduced during the 2015 MSC Implementation Council Meeting in October last year as a regional platform to connect the community, enterprises, start-ups, academia and working professionals in a central location as well as inspire and enable organisations to embrace data-driven Innovation.


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