Ruoyu Bao is the head of the PCSD Global Analytics Hub at Lenovo, based in Singapore.
Name: Ruoyu Bao
Title: Head, PCSD Global Analytics
Company: Lenovo - we are the number 2 PC manufacturer in the world, and we also make smartphones, smart TV, and other servers
Number of staff: In the Analytics Hub, we have about 40 people across US, India, China and Singapore
What does your Global Analytic Hub do at Lenovo?
Lenovo has 4 business groups – smart devices, servers, mobile phones and innovation/incubation. In the Global Analytics Hub, we support the PC and smart devices business, to use data and analytics to make better informed business decisions.
Over the past few years, we have successfully consolidated existing teams and created synergies across various analytics functions, and we’re beginning to drive more analytics solutions within the organization. Lenovo recognizes internally that Analytics is a game changer and crucial for any company to stay competitive in their industry.
What sets your company/team apart from the crowd?
Our competitors are putting a lot of focus on analytics too, but they may not be as embedded into the business process, or so integrated into the day to day operations of the business.
My team put emphasis on developing analytic models specific to the business – we need to think about how accurate our solutions are. We also need to plan how analytics get adopted into the business , what happens if people don't use analytics or don’t use it accurately? Having a KPI integrated into the system drives changes. Our team approach their solutions with a change management mindset to make sure the business unit benefits from analytics.
What do you see as some key emerging trends in the industry in 2017 and beyond?
One of the interesting trends at the moment is the choice between open source software vs commercial software in analytics. We still use commercial analytics software such as SAS, but are starting to have more and more open source solutions, and even commercial providers are integrating open source.
There is also more and more emphasis on visualization in how users get information, disseminate the message quickly, and use it. We are seeing more vendors in visualization popping up in the market, for users and tool development. Previously there wasn’t that much data or adoption, so it is a natural progression to now focus on how people digest the information.
How easy do you find it to hire and retain great talent?
I would say across the globe there is a mismatch between Talent demand and supply in analytics, and more so in senior level. Adoption is faster than expected so there is a larger need for analytics talent, there is a lot of good talent in entry/mid level but not so much in the senior level. We try and focus on developing suitable young talents which is mutually beneficial and enriching for us and them!
However, something I’ve observed in the tight competition for talent is that once someone is proven, the market will remunerate them generously - sometimes up to 50% increment. Great for the employee but it can also make it challenging for the incumbent company to keep up. This seems to be especially true in the US market.