Cool Data Insights and Coworking Encounters with MSIGHTS' Edwin Ng

Edwin turns his laptop away and chuckles at the quote that he just cited as his favourite. "It may be cliched, but it would have to be Steve Jobs all the way."

Jobs, who adduced during his formative years that his favourite things in life don't cost any money, said this: "It is really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time." For Edwin Ng, this sentence is a tried and true testament to his position as a Client Engagement Manager at MSIGHTS, a marketing data performance company with offices in North America, Switzerland and Mexico.

Edwin, whose presence in Singapore represents MSIGHTS' entire Asia division currently, admits that being the only staff in the country can be one of the most challenging aspects of being in a small setup.

But despite the time differences from his intercontinental team, Edwin has sought solace - and even cited inspiration - from working out of LEVEL3's collaborative coworking space. "Sure, this concept is relatively new in Singapore, but being at a coworking space helps with feelings of isolation - as compared to working at home - and can even serve as a catalyst for creativity and networking momentum," he explains. "Coworking spaces can also help me focus, and your life becomes balanced in a way - Because you learn to love the quiet periods in the office, and embrace the new people you bump into."

The zest that accompanies Edwin's monologue is palpable: he stacks the boons and banes of being in a startup readily, listing one after another in rapid succession. "But the biggest challenge of being in a startup is this," he concludes, his open palms outstretched - as if to signal the apex of our conversation. "It's all about finding the right talent. Multi-tasking in a startup isn't optional, it's required. You cannot be the only cog in the entire startup wheel, it won't work."



We live in an era of data and information overload, and people are struggling to handle and automate it - let alone comprehend this massive amount of data. "What are the right metrics to handle this volume of data?" and "how can we merge all this data together?" are questions that are surfacing. Big data may be the hottest buzz word right now, but people draw a blank when you ask them the important questions, like: How would you unify big data as one? Few companies are beginning to dabble in data management solutions, and they are smart because this space is just going to get hotter and hotter.



Did you hear about Target's data accident that happened a while back? Target categorises the day-to-day items that people who are about to get pregnant, or whom were already pregnant, would purchase. After mapping out these data insights, they would then embark on customised baby-related coupons to select customers who fell into their data radar. A family in Minneapolis started receiving baby coupons and lashed out for Target for encouraging teenage pregnancy. Unknown to them, their young daughter was actually pregnant and Target figured it out before the family did. This is a classic example of how you can make use of data very intelligently, and can sometimes get out of hand.



I find it surprising that many companies are still struggling to connect their data, even some of the biggest technology giants today! It was ironic because these were some of the biggest players in the market, yet they were still facing a huge issue with their data collection and consolidation. The main question it poses is this: Why don't these established companies already have a marketing-driven analytics platform set in place to help drive their marketing processes? Granted that the number of technologies are ever-increasing and changing, measuring results is really fundamental and a lot of effort is required to do the “dirty” work. This 'connecting the dots' issue is still one that many - including tech giants - face, so there will always be a demand for companies like MSIGHTS to exist and offer solutions to these problems.
Tish Wong