Big data has played a prominent role in increasing efficiency and productivity in all industries throughout the world. The United Arab Emirates is one of the many emerging markets to explore the many benefits big data has to offer. According to research from Deloitte and other research groups, UAE consumers and businesses agreed that big data is the future of their economy.
Deloitte Middle East’s Michael Camburn recently published a report on the measures the UAE government is taking to incorporate big data into their models. These approaches include:
- Helping regulators identify challenges that need to be addressed.
- Improving tax audits to boost revenue.
- Improving collaboration between different UAE government enterprises.
- Forming more effective partnerships between government institutions and private enterprises to fuel innovation and economic growth.
Camburn believes big data will be instrumental in government operations in the years to come.
Companies Are Using Big Data to Fuel Collaboration
Improving collaboration between businesses is one of the most effective uses of big data. Big data has made it easier for companies to experiment with new project management solutions and adapt new video conferencing technology to:
- Enable telecommuting
- Secure contracts from companies in a global workforce
- Minimize overhead by cutting travel costs
There are countless benefits of video conferencing and other big data solutions.
Private Enterprises throughout the UAE Use Big Data for New Marketing Strategies
Private organizations are using big data even more extensively than the UAE government. They have discovered a number of big data applications that their counterparts in other Middle Eastern countries have not begun to explore yet.
According to research from the Collinson Group, a growing number of companies in the United Arab Emirates are using big data to develop loyalty programs. These programs have reportedly been very successful.Their research has found that participation in loyalty programs in other Middle Eastern countries have fallen by 20%. During the same time period, popularity of loyalty programs in the United Arab Emirates has soared to unprecedented levels.
Big data has played a particularly important role in spurring interest in loyalty programs in the hospitality sector. Among the upper class, participation in hotel loyalty programs has more than quadrupled since 2014. Only 8% of people in this demographic were members of a hotel loyalty program three years ago. That number has risen to 34%.
Interest in frequent-flier programs and other hospitality loyalty programs has also written by 50% or more in different travel verticals. These trends coincide with the proliferation of big data in the UAE.
Paul Lacey, Middle East Managing Director at Aimia, a marketing analytics firm, states that big data is most effective with marketing.
“The data exchange economy has arrived,” Lacey explains. “Customers are willing to share their personal information for a fair return.”
Of course, the tourist sector isn’t the only one benefiting from investments in big data. The oil industry, which remains the most prosperous in the country, depends on big data to fuel production and tap new markets in the ever-expanding global economy.
The UAE has led investments in big data in OPEC countries. Last year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Energy and the OPEC Secretariat launched the Oil and Gas Big Data Project in Abu Dhabi. This has shown the tremendous potential of big data in the oil and energy sector.
In a press release last year, OPEC announced some of the ways the new program will influence the industry.
“The platform will consist of a set of high standard analytic tools, employing data-driven approaches, optimization and statistical analysis techniques, as well as interactive maps, charts and data tables, which will be presented on a user-friendly IT platform. The facility will initially be linked to publicly available relevant oil market databases and will have the capacity to display raw figures, cross-comparing time series between countries, flows and products. Future planned expansions of the project will introduce advanced information technology, web and text mining techniques, as well as statistical, econometric and optimization methods.”
Although other Middle Eastern countries have lagged United Arab Emirates in big data, they are paying more attention to it as the UAE demonstrates its value to their economy. Other emerging markets are expected to invest more heavily in big data in the future. They may look to the UAE as a model.