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Statisticians to play a key role in handling digital information growth

Digital waste management key to improving the future of digital age

(Manila, Philippines, January 5, 2011) – As information become increasingly digital, from SMS, cloud computing, to social networking, market research consulting firm Synergy Business Consultancy re-affirms that statisticians will play a key role in the growth of digital information in terms of management and analysis.

“Our country is shifting to the digital age and companies are storing information digitally, including newspapers, which are becoming more popular in their digital format. It is thus important that there are professionals who know how to look at numbers, handle information, analyze or provide predictive analysis and ultimately manage digital information waste or e-waste,” said Germaine Reyes, Synergy Managing Director. “Due to this, we affirm that in the digital age, statisticians will become increasingly highly relevant.”

The number of Internet users in the Philippines has grown to 29 million this year, according to ITU, which is the United Nations agency for information and communication technology. Moreover, according to Smart Communications, as of March 2010, mobile phone SIM users have peaked to 80 million, which translates to a cellular penetration rate of 85%.

According to Reyes, the shift of Filipinos’ attention from traditional to digital media created a change in consumer and market behavior. An example of this is online advertising, which has experienced a significant growth in the past year. According to the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), 2009 online advertisement spending in the country was P500 million. In 2010, the association expects it to exceed P1 billion.

“The challenge for statisticians in this age is to be able to predict and make a connection between Internet users and online advertising statistics and translate it into a more relevant and realistic measurement to gauge the effectiveness of this type of advertising. This is the next level challenge that we see which statisticians can greatly contribute in,” Reyes furthered.

In turn, the demand for this type of professional may increase in coming years. The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, for one, may demand more statisticians as the industry continues to build up its labor pool, said Dr. Erniel Barrios, University of the Philippines (UP) School of Statistics Dean. “Next year is more critical in terms of hiring as more BPO companies continue to relocate in the country. As we see more financial BPO companies relocating in the country, we can expect a boost in recruitment particularly for statisticians,” furthered Barrios.

Although there is expected demand for statisticians, supply may be scarce in the next year. Currently, the UP School of Statistics (UPSS) produces 90-120 graduates per year, which has been consistent for the last five years. The UP Los Baños, on the other hand, produces 50-60 graduates, while UP Visayas produces less than 20. Reyes believes that the UPSS should graduate at least 250-300 a year in order to supply the growing needs in various fields.

“We need more knowledge workers. Our youth should recognize the relevance of this field of discipline in our country. Not only in the industry of finance, BPO/KPO (knowledge process outsourcing), IT and telecommunications do these skilled workers fit and excel in, they can also apply their expertise in several other industries such as market research, marketing and media, manufacturing or quality control, agriculture, medical field and the government,” finalized Reyes.

About Synergy Business Consultancy
Synergy Business Consultancy is a full-service marketing research consulting company. The company is currently celebrating its 11th year in providing marketing-based, business solutions to a diverse industry, from fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) to service and business sectors. Synergy works with its clients by obtaining a holistic view of their business, and contextualizing for and with them the research task and results, taking the bigger business reality into account. Synergy is also a member of ESOMAR and BPA/P.