Big data analytics at your service – and ours
By Digital News Asia November 1, 2016
- ServisHero leverages on cloud-based tools capable of addressing information gaps in the market
- Saves customers' time by embedding BDA solutions into the core of its operations
[Beginning October, in a commercial arrangement, DNA will feature every article in a special 2015 pdf book, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) produced called, Exposing the Promise of Big Data Analytics: Case Studies in Malaysia. A link is provided at the end of each previously published case study to download the full version. Please not that today's case study was not part of the original pdf book and as such, there is no link to download the full version of this case study.]
THE small-medium size enterprise sector in Southeast Asia (SEA) is a major contributor to economic activity, accounting for up to 97% of all businesses, 85% of employment and 50% of GDP. Despite this importance to the overall economy, both sides of the market for the local services sector are often faced with a lack of information which hinders efficient market function.
Enter ServisHero, an on-demand local services marketplace looking to uplift the income levels of millions of small businesses across SEA currently operating out of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Even though near universal Internet connectivity has opened up market opportunities for many industries, businesses – especially those in the local services sector – remain unable to efficiently market themselves beyond their core locality.
In addition to the enduring difficulty in accurately matching quality service providers to customers when and where they are most needed, the service providers themselves are handicapped by a lack of comprehensive competitive insight – relying instead on their own anecdotal comparisons to inform business decisions from service levels to prices.
On the other hand, third parties looking to elevate this sector (parties like banks, employment agencies and government bodies) are unable to do so efficiently due to the fragmented nature of the market which complicates the collection and analysis of relevant data.
This has led to frustration on both sides of these businesses: consumers are uncertain of what a reasonable price is for a service, businesses miss out on valuable growth opportunities while the government and industry partners are unable to support these businesses in areas where it is needed most.
By acting as an intermediary platform connecting thousands of local service providers to a broader swathe of potential customers across SEA, ServisHero leverages cloud based tools (notably Snowplow and AWS) to gather a wide range of primary data capable of addressing information gaps in the market – even down to granular, location-based transaction data generated both by service providers and customers. An example of this is the ServisHero Small Business Sentiment Index, an ongoing quarterly indicator of business activity across the region.
ServisHero is further able to convert these disparate data sets into a common language to facilitate apple to apple comparisons of various metrics – including competitive performance in terms of price and service levels – using business intelligence tools like Looker and Kibana.
Business users are then free to leverage this processed data to tailor analyses suited to their specific needs wherever they are.
By embedding BDA solutions into the core of its operations, ServisHero has saved consumers and service providers’ time and money through improving service transparency – particularly in providing customers with visibility into provider rating and reviews, prices and comparisons against market benchmarks.
Thanks to the scalability of the cloud based solutions used, ServisHero has grown at a rate of over 30% month on month since their launch in addition to facilitating the creation of over 500 new jobs across the region and generating more than US$2.5 million (RM10.5 million) in economic impact every month. Service providers on the platform have also grown their businesses significantly with some of them expanding into multiple countries and multiplying their revenue 10 fold.
ServisHero will continue to scale its marketplace and empower local businesses by providing rich transaction information and data-driven insight. The greater scale of the marketplace will also require the development and refinement of advanced analytics techniques including the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the level of insight generated.
In addition to that, ServisHero also intends to extend data insights of their vendors through customised digital platforms and work with third parties to make anonymized data available to a broader community of stakeholders in the SEA services sector.
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