YouGov Survey finds data-driven organisations in Asia Pacific & Japan are more optimistic about the future health of their business than non data-driven organisations

Organisations that used data as a strategic asset claim to have critical business advantages during the pandemic

Publish Date: December 7, 2020 - 10:31pm

SINGAPORE- 8 December 2020 - Tableau Software, the leading analytics platform, today announced a new study developed in conjunction with YouGov, to explore how organisations in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) have used data during Covid-19. The findings reveal that data-driven companies are more resilient and confident during the pandemic, compared to non data-driven companies.

Eighty-two percent of data-driven companies in the region have reported reaping critical business advantages during the pandemic. The survey revealed that being data-driven delivers multiple and vast benefits to businesses, including being able to make strategic business decisions faster (54%); more effective communication with stakeholders (54%); increased cross-team collaboration (51%) and making their business more agile (46%). Being data-driven is also fuelling optimism in uncertain times as more data-driven companies (63%) are optimistic about the future health of their business in the next six months than non data-driven companies (37%). 

In contrast, non data-driven companies are slower to grasp the importance of data as they navigate through the pandemic, with only 39% of them seeing it as a critical advantage. This demonstrates that there remains a disconnect in how businesses value and use data, and the potential for organisations to benefit from a more data-driven approach. 

An extremely uncertain environment this year proved the role of data and we are now entering the era of analytics ubiquity. Even though the benefits are clear, we still see a ‘data divide,’ where organisations in APJ differ in their ability to leverage data as a strategic asset,” said JY Pook, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Tableau. “The biggest hurdle for organisations is to create a change in mindset and get all hands on data. Going into 2021, the use of data is going to set companies further apart and a data culture is no longer a nice-to-have but rather a must-have for organisations to navigate the uncertainty and continue thriving.”

Data-driven companies will continue to place importance on investment in data skills - 82% of data-driven organisations are eager to increase or continue their existing level of investment over the next six months. However, 32% of non-data driven organisations opted to either reduce or not invest in data skills at all. 

Commenting on the gap in data skills investment, Associate Professor Damien Joseph, Assistant Dean (Undergraduate), Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, said, “Data is a factor of production. It is becoming hard to ignore that the way forward for firms to remain competitive is to invest in data skills. Data skills are essential for the agility required for strategic and tactical decision-making and for effective communications. So, firms that do not invest in developing data skills are at risk of being on the wrong side of the data divide.” 

Across all survey respondents, the top lessons learnt from the pandemic include the need for better data quality (46%), data transparency (43%), followed by the need for agility (41%). 

“At Zuellig Pharma, having a data culture means that our team collectively values, practices and encourages the use of data in the making of all key operational and strategic decisions. We have a critical mass of people who understand the importance of embedding data practices and assets into business processes. Our warehouse operators are mandated to jointly review real-time operational KPIs and dashboard driven statistics on how different warehouse processes are either negatively or positively impacting these KPIs,” said Tristan Tan, Vice President, Data and Analytics, Zuellig Pharma.

Speaking to how Luxasia, a leading omnichannel partner for luxury beauty and lifestyle brands in Asia Pacific,  uses data, Avis Eastel, Regional Head, Consumer at Luxasia said, “Luxasia implemented Tableau in 2018 to understand consumers buying behaviours, to enable personalised marketing through segmentation and to measure campaign results and data capture KPI’s. Sales and consumer data flow into the system each day, and we can easily see the revenue associated to ad-hoc campaigns, trigger and journey across countries, brands, stores, categories and channels. We use these insights to understand what consumers are responding to and to plan the next campaign. During COVID-19, stores closed, footfall reduced, and consumers moved to online channels. Tableau provided insights at a quicker pace so we could respond to emerging trends. We were able to pivot to high performing content, categories and channels. We could test faster and get responses even faster. The outcome we were able to achieve kept consumers engaged and continued to allow them to purchase.”

Across APJ, only 62% of business leaders classify themselves as being data-driven, while close to one third (34%) believe their businesses are not. Singapore companies take the lead with the highest proportion of data-driven organisations (67%), while Japan lags in the region (51%). 

The results point to an opportunity for more businesses to harness data to support business resilience and decision-making, now and in the post-pandemic world. 

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