Dattel launches IDEAHACK with aim to drive innovation in consumer intelligence

  • Global competition with prize money up to US$1,500, incubation opportunity
  • More firms in Malaysia taking data seriously but still tough to access data sets

(L to R): Ashran Ghazi, CEO of Dattel Malaysia, Azwan Baharuddin, Accenture Malaysia country managing director , Karl Ng, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Data Economy Division director, Prof Rohina Yasmin Othman of University Malaya Centre for Innovation & Commercialisation and one other panellist at the panel discussion.

If anything, organisations in Malaysia seem to be taking the importance of data seriously. “We can see that understanding of data has been growing since the last four to five years,” says Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Data Economy Division director Karl Ng.

“We’re beginning to see organisations looking into data. People are beginning to realise that the right data access is quite critical moving forward.”

Ng notes that this can be similarly observed with the growing interest surrounding talent acquisition, as well as the number of people getting excited and approaching data analytics (and other data-driven courses) at universities.

Not that there aren’t any hurdles to overcome. At the moment, starting a data journey means finding difficulty in gaining access to data sets. In both the private and government sector, Ng says, data is being “silo-ed” and that “there is a lack of policy, governance and the processes to ensure that relevant data is accessible to everyone, and ensuring that security and privacy is taken care of.”

Ng was speaking at a panel discussion organised by Dattel, a consumer intelligence company that uses an omni-channel approach at understanding consumers and harvesting consumer data.

In the same panel, Accenture Malaysia’s country managing director Azwan Baharuddin said that while different organisations in Malaysia have different data-related challenges, there exists an issue where companies may have data but have no means to contextualise them.

Ideas needed

As such, there needs to be more and better ways for organisations to capture and analyse data. And it is in this context that Dattel is launching its inaugural “global consumer intelligence challenge” called IDEAHACK – a competition with the aim of bringing together inter-disciplinary talents to find new perspectives, ideas and technology-based solutions.

Together with 14 partners, IDEAHACK is open to talents from data science, research and analytics, psychology and sociology with AI and IOT talents and advocates. Though, as Dattel chief executive officer Ashran Ghazi says, participants are not limited to these background – these are highlighted as being the key ingredients for a holistic approach in understanding consumers.

Finding new ideas is key to not only solving the aforementioned challenges, but also for organisations to understand their consumers better not just on the surface level, but also the underlying currents influencing their behaviour.

“The reality is that consumers are complex creatures – we are complex creatures by nature. If we are looking at businesses, governments and organisations that are creating social impact in the largest schemes, or in creating products and services that enrich lives, then there is a need to understand consumers as a whole,” explains Ashran, an entrepreneur who has founded a number of startups and was the former CEO of Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

The idea with IDEAHACK, Ashran adds, is to reach out to potential collaborators. “[IDEAHACK] is an opportunity for data-loving people anywhere in the world who have unorthodox ideas of capturing the consumer journey or behaviours using innovative techniques, methodologies or technological solutions to take their ideas further.”

For IDEAHACK, Dattel will be working with 14 partners across the industry as well as education institutions. They include Accenture, Dentsu, Wunderman Thompson, Value Innovation Group, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), University Malaya, University Teknologi MARA, HELP University, Management and Science University (MSU), Ustart Global, Beta Foundation, New Entrepreneurs Foundation, Technopreneurs Association of Malaysia (TeAM) and E3Hubs.

Ashran says that partnering with universities will allow them to bring talents and participants from these institutions. “Hopefully, the relationship can go beyond IDEAHACK,” he says. “As a data company, we do feel the crunch and pinch in getting the best talents.”

Dattel and its IDEAHACK partners.

What’s the HACK?

IDEAHACK is open for submissions globally from 1 October to 30 November 2019. The top 10 entries shortlisted will be announced in December and pitching will take place in January 2020. Three winners will be selected in the final round, and will participate in the Dattel Incubator from February 2020 onwards for two months.

The submission process, Ashran notes, requires participants to submit a video of their concept and idea and a written document that identifies the area of consumer journey tackled, the solution, technical concept implementation and an introduction of the participating team members.

There are two key areas of evaluation: impact, and feasibility. For “impact”, Dattel and its partners will assess whether the idea being pitched is impactful enough in either cost efficiency to its ability to capture new datasets, methodology and so forth.

As for “feasibility”, it’s in whether the idea can be brought into commercialisation or not.

The three winners of IDEAHACK will be awarded cash prizes – US$1,500 (RM6,272) for the first place, US$500 for second and US$200 for the third. Participants with ideas deem suitable for development on a pilot scale may be invited to participate in a two-month incubation activity at the Dattel Incubator, where they have full access to mentors, advisors and the opportunity to develop a prototype, on top of monthly allowance and data science and technology support.

For more information on IDEAHACK, please visit https://ideahack.dattel.asia/

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