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Tech Innovation Awards 2021| OCTOBER, 2021
Organized in association with Life on Screen, du, ICICB Group, and in5, the Tech Innovation Awards 2021 gathered the individuals and organizations that are shaping the tech industry in the MENA region.
On October 6, 2021 at the Raffles Dubai, key players from the MENA region's tech ecosystem came together for the inaugural Tech Innovation Awards 2021, an event staged by Entrepreneur Middle East to showcase the individuals and enterprises that are shaping the future of this dynamic industry.
Organized in association with Life on Screen, du, ICICB Group, and in5, the invite-only gala ceremony gathered individuals and entities that have been making waves in the region's tech industry.
Tech Entrepreneur of the Year Jadd Elliot Dib, founder and CEO, Pangaea X
Arab world warming up to data analytics: Expert
Trends MENA | OCTOBER, 2021
- Through data analytics, SMEs can get a better understanding of their customers behavior
- Big Data has the ability to positively impact all industries in the region by creating new revenue streams
Interacting with brands is no longer confined to simply walking into a store and physically viewing a product. In fact, the overall customer journey has transformed, and so has a brand’s marketing strategy.
Email communications, website visits and media engagements have made it easier for consumers to make informed decisions. However, keeping a track of these engagements is the biggest challenge for marketers today.
Data analytics has revolutionized the marketing sector by helping brands to deliver more targeted messaging to their customers and measure their campaign ROI. Today, organizations can use big data analytics tools and software to make data-driven decisions that can improve business-related outcomes.
Benefits of Data Analytics
According to Jadd Elliot Dib, founder and CEO of the data analytics platform Pangaea X, the benefits of data analytics in today’s business world may include more effective marketing, new revenue opportunities, customer personalization and improved operational efficiency.
With an effective strategy, these benefits can provide a competitive advantage.
“There is always ample customer data available, but it is only through analyzing this data and turning it into insights that it becomes useful to companies. This is where data analysts come in: They simply help ease these complex processes and create a seamless experience for the customer throughout their journey”, he told TRENDS.
Furthermore, analytics can help marketers understand the effectiveness of their marketing strategy, weigh the pros and cons of their marketing activities, and ultimately determine the efforts needed to achieve their business goals.
Analyzing and interpreting data provides a deeper understanding of the kind of content or messages that would be more impactful.
Huge opportunities for SMEs
Big data is well suited to small businesses because they’re generally agile and able to act faster on data-driven trends and insights, said Dib.
He added that the use of data analytics tools provides a wide range of opportunities for SMEs, such as a better understanding of the internal production process and of the needs of clients and partners, through the tools of business analytics.
Companies can also better interact and engage with customers by analyzing customer feedback to improve a product or service.
In manufacturing, for example, operations managers can use advanced business intelligence platforms to analyze historical production data, identify patterns and relationships among discrete process steps and inputs, and then optimize the factors that prove to have the greatest effect on yield.
Retailers and brands, on the other hand, mostly value predictive analytics because it can be applied on a daily basis to estimate the ups and downs in the circuit.
For instance, retailers can analyze various factors such as customer shopping behavior, social media engagement, and customer segments.
Using a predictive model, they can then strategize accordingly and aim for a guaranteed increase in sales.
In a nutshell, through data analytics, small businesses can get a better understanding of their customers: why they buy, how they prefer to shop, why they switch, and what they’ll buy next.
Data Analytics in the Arab countries
Many industries in the region are diverting their investments into Data Science, AI, and Machine learning, R&D, and solution-building.
According to Research and Markets, the world largest market research store, the Middle East & African AI, cybersecurity and big-data-analytics market was valued at $11.78 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach $28.36 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 20.4 percent during the period 2019-2025.
Dib pointed out that these statistics suggest the adoption of advanced technology has been witnessing increasing growth in the Middle East and African countries. In recent times, rapid digitalization in countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia has triggered a high number of connected devices in the region.”
He added: “The Middle East, and the UAE especially, is and always has been a pioneer in early technology adoption, and businesses are always looking for new ways to improve. Big Data technologies has the potential to positively impact all industries in the region by providing new and additional income opportunities, a more effective way to approach marketing, enhanced customer experience, increased business operations, and lower risk factors.”.
The Impact of Data Analytics on the Fintech Industry| SEPTEMBER, 2021
As businesses in the financial sector evolve from providing generic products towards providing personalised services, a new approach to data and analytics is required in order to adapt to
Jadd Elliot Dib, Founder and CEO, Pangaea X
Here to detail the relationship between data analytics and fintech is Jadd Elliot Dib, the Founder and CEO of Pangaea X, a digital platform that aims to bring together the world’s best Data Analysts and Scientist freelancers from across the world onto a single platform.
The platform connects them with potential clients by providing them with a place where they can showcase their work, expertise requirements and navigate the difficulties of finding and completing jobs.
Big data and analytics are crucial aspects of the modern financial services industry and go hand in hand in the quest to improve data-crunching capabilities for financial industry players. But the big question is how do these data analytics tools and technologies add value to the financial services industry?
New data-driven services can be leveraged to increase revenues, costs can be reduced and efficiencies improved, thus increasing competitiveness, and security can be improved by providing customers with better and safer services.
Successful AI adopters target their digital services to tech-savvy millennials, who happen to be the majority of today’s world population. The MENA region is an attractive market for fintech firms and is witnessing a rise in niche fintech solutions largely pertaining to remittances, banking penetration, and security of transactions. While the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the largest fintech hub for start-ups across the Middle East region, housing almost 50% of the region’s fintech companies.
The fintech sector is rapidly growing across the Middle East at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 30%. It is estimated that by 2022, about 465 fintech firms in the UAE will generate about $2 billion in investment capital funding. However, a majority of the funding focuses more on the payment sector with about 85% of the fintech companies in the MENA region operating in transfers, payments, and remittances.
Emerging fintechs are also unlocking the power of big data to predict customer behaviour and develop sophisticated risk assessments, which set them apart from large financial institutions. The pace of real-time data gives disruptive fintechs and challenger banks the responsiveness to adapt to a changing marketplace along with an in-depth understanding of the customers’ relationship.
Customer centred analytics is now the top priority. This is a radical shift from the past when the financial sector was mainly product centred. Data insights, systems and operations now focus mainly on the customer. Hence, it is important to learn how to anticipate changing markets and customer preferences.
Risk management has also improved. Additionally, digitisation has also paved way for automation by increasing scaled agility and innovation, as well as data monetisation. Data analytics has also made regulatory compliance easier by creating an integrated platform for the entire company and enable real-time frameworks with regulators.
However, realising the value of big data requires an analytical eye as these help in churning down data into meaningful information, thus minimising the risk decisions based on intuition.
That’s where a certified data analyst comes into the picture. A big data analyst has mastered this art as it requires them to know exactly what information to look for that will act as a booster in cross-selling and customer satisfaction. In the banking industry, a data analyst can help to develop customer profiles, predict behaviours and track trends, to name a few.
Some common examples are, banks can offer credit cards with customised incentives based on a consumer’s spending patterns. Additionally, they can also detect levels of customer engagement based on a customer’s ATM usage and call centre interactions.
Secondly, the application of big data in internet marketing could give a fintech company the boost it needs to stand out from the competition. Not only does it allow businesses to offer personalised customer experiences, but it also creates tailored marketing messages which strike a chord with the right people.
The adoption rate for business intelligence platforms is on the rise, as companies begin to interact with big data, seeking to operationalise findings from enormous data sets.
Digitisation in the finance industry has enabled disruptive technologies such as advanced data analytics, machine learning, AI, big data and the cloud to penetrate and transform how fintechs are competing in the market. Data analytics tools have become more and more advanced and, therefore, became important to enterprises over the last few years.
As the financial industry rapidly moves toward data-driven optimisation, companies must respond to these changes in a deliberate and comprehensive manner. Those wishing to stay ahead of the game, or arguably in it at all, must be willing to adapt and learn how to use data skills on the job.
How data analytics changed companies marketing strategies
Campaign Middle East | SEPTEMBER, 2021
Data analytics has revolutionized the marketing sector by helping brands to deliver more targeted messaging to their customers and measure their campaign ROI. So, why is it critical today for
all companies to jump in and ride the Big Data bandwagon so they can ultimately reap the benefits of their marketing strategies? asks Jadd Elliot Dib, founder and CEO of Pangaea X.
Interacting with brands is no longer confined to simply walking into a store and physically viewing a product, the overall customer journey has transformed and so has a brand’s marketing strategy. Email communications, website visits and media engagements have made it easier for consumers to make informed decisions, however, keeping a track of these engagements is the biggest challenge for marketers today.
There is ample customer data but it is only through analysing this data and turning it into insights that it becomes useful to companies. This is where data analytics come in – it simply eases these complex processes, and creates a seamless experience for the customer throughout their journey.
Alternatively, from a marketers viewpoint, analytics can help them to understand the effectiveness of their marketing strategy, weigh the pros and cons of their marketing activities and ultimately pinpoint the efforts needed to achieve their business.
Analysing and interpreting data subsequently provides a deeper understanding of the kind of content or messages that would be more impactful.
Additionally, these unprecedented, pandemic driven times have made it harder for marketers as they can no longer rely on previous assumptions about their customers and answer the where, what and how they buy questions. As a result, marketers are left with no choice but to immerse themselves in data and allocate budgets for marketing analytics.
According to research reports healthcare providers across the GCC region are also set to embrace Big Data analytics, paving the way for substantial improvement in patient care while driving down costs.
A survey, conducted by global consultancy firm Protiviti, has projected the healthcare analytics market in the MENA region to reach $1.49 billion by 2024 from an estimated $630 million in 2018.
The report further stated that the global healthcare analytics market, estimated at $14 billion in 2019, is expected to increase to $24.5 billion this year, with the prescriptive analytics market holding the highest growth potential.
Many organisations across industries are using prescriptive analytics for a range of use cases spanning strategic planning, operations and tactical activities.
Prescriptive analytics is joined by descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics, and predictive analytics.
In a nutshell, descriptive analytics is the data that tells us what has already happened, while diagnostics analytics rides on the foundation of descriptive analytics by examining why things happened. Finally, the insights derived through predictive analytics better equips marketers to determine what is likely to happen in the future, so they can revise their marketing strategy accordingly.
Retailers and brands mostly value predictive analytics because it can be applied on a daily bases to estimate the success rate and the downfalls in the circuit. For instance, retailers can analyse various factors such as customer shopping behaviour, social media engagement and customer segments. Using the predictive model retailers can strategize accordingly and aim for a guaranteed increase in sales.
Data analytics has also made it possible for companies to take advantage of customer and user experience data to provide customer-targeted services and drive positive outcomes for customers while still maintaining data protection.
Recent GlobalData research cites the examples of 3.5 billion Google searches and 1.3 billion internet-of-things connections per day, and 254 exabytes (one exabyte is a billion gigabytes) of mobile broadband data traffic per year. When all this data is scattered across formats and is difficult to analyse, it’s of little value to businesses or consumers. Through marketing analytics, a brand or company can closely measure and monitor every campaign and decide on their campaign goals accordingly.
The Middle East, UAE especially, is continuously pioneering in technology adoption, and businesses are always looking for new ways for improvement. Some other industries that are also using Big Data and turning it into valuable information to create new business opportunities are the hydrocarbon sector, telecommunications, financial institutions, new media and culture among others.
With this pace, it won’t be long before the Middle East economies emerge as leaders in the global Big Data race.
Aviation Business Middle East - Interview with Jadd Elliot Dib, Founder and CEO of Pangaea X
Aviation Business Middle East | SEPTEMBER, 2021
Aviation Business Middle East - Interview with Jadd Elliot Dib, Founder and CEO of Pangaea X
What are the biggest challenges to securing networks across airports?
Following the fact that aviation is mainly based on computer and information technology systems, it is apparent that the risk of cyber-attacks exists. Today, the stakes are higher than ever and in the wake of the pandemic, the consequences of an outdated system can jeopardise public health.For airports, remaining vigilant to potential threats is a demanding but vital role. While accidental breaches are common, investigating each alarm call requires additional resources and manpower.
Additionally, every airport already has a lot of data. Without the right tools in place, extracting meaningful insights from the data is an impossible task for staff. Instead of receiving updates in real-time, reliance on manual systems means data is viewed retrospectively. This limits it's utility value for forecasting future events. With the environment ever evolving on the ground, staff must remain abreast of these changes to act with immediate effect, utilising the data they already have.
While there are many other aspects of airport security management that may strain security resources, these are the ones most likely to be the biggest challenges for today’s airports.
How serious a threat are hackers in aviation, can you give examples of what could be affected?
Cyberattacks in the aviation industry are very real, with hackers working around the clock to infiltrate the systems of airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers and even satellites and space stations.
Another recent example would be the ongoing pandemic. As the world is rolling out vaccine campaigns, one of the biggest threats to the distribution of vaccines are hackers targeting COVID vaccine supply chains and the distribution effort. Since the aviation industry is highly interdependent and increasingly interconnected, cybersecurity involves not only the protection of information in the form of digital data, but also the associated networks, websites, services, computers and portals that are transporting and enabling access to data.
A common method hacker use are distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks which try to lock operators out of their own systems, and then only let them back in once they’ve paid money.
Statistics from the State of the Market Report 2021 by Help AG, the cybersecurity arm of Etisalat Digital, suggest that over 10 million Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber-attacks were recorded globally in 2020, including a 183% increase in the UAE alone, while ransomware attacks are on the rise, with the government, private, oil and gas, telecom and healthcare sectors particularly affected.
What cybersecurity measures should airports have in place to ensure data and passenger security?
Strengthening your airline or your airport’s IT department is the first step towards implementing the most effective measures. You need professionals for this kind of job and hiring more experts in this area today is a necessary move. The next step would be to train and educate internal teams and employees about the impact of cyberattacks and have designated response action teams in place.
Since technology is evolving at a rapid pace, it is imperative to appoint professionals who can detect vulnerabilities and work on them.
Coming up with a prevention plan for every aspect of checking-in, onboarding the passengers and getting them safely to their destination needs to be revised. The same goes for air traffic controls and other communication channels as well.
After all passengers are trusting airlines with crucial information including payment and passport details hence it is mandatory for airlines to try and ensure the information doesn’t get misused and is safe and secure.
Can planes and control towers get hacked and how would a hack affect these? How can these be prevented?
With the constant advancement of technology, aviation cybersecurity will continue to be an issue of growing concern and there is a possibility that airlines can get hacked. While you may not have an airplane that requires attention, having high-quality protection on all your connected devices is a must.
Also, because of the nature of their line of business, it is important for airlines to continue investing in advanced cyber-security services with technology for preventing cyber-crimes in the future.
What are your top 5 ‘must-have’s’ for securing airports against cybercriminals?
The pandemic has changed the way we work, resulting in remote and distributed working and increasing our reliance on technology to record levels. This, combined with the sense of urgency and uncertainty surrounding all matters related to fighting COVID-19 and its effects, has proven to be fertile grounds for cybercriminals and hackers.
These practices would help airports strengthen their security measures and defend their networks against cyberattacks and data breaches.
Airports should visualize network traffic across the on-premise users, endpoints, and applications. This will provide granular visibility into an airport’s critical applications and servers in real-time, helping to identify suspicious connections.
Airports should implement a security policy and segment passenger databases as this would help them to protect the network against lateral threats and reduce the attack surface, without requiring time-consuming firewall configurations.
Airports should allow access to critical and sensitive information strictly on a need-to-know basis and restrict unnecessary data flow between endpoints.
The aviation industry must put in place a policy to ensure that the partners and contractors who get access to customer data have a robust cybersecurity infrastructure. Additionally, all personnel and external consultants should undergo cybersecurity and anti-phishing training.
It’s important that airports keep all software and applications current and swiftly apply available security patches. Hackers constantly look for loopholes to launch zero-day attacks. The airport cybersecurity team must vigilant to immediately secure any vulnerabilities that it discovers.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Cybersecurity is becoming a key enabler for safety, which is paramount in the aviation industry. Smart airports strive to provide optimal services in a reliable and sustainable manner, by working around the domains of growth, efficiency, safety and security.
Securing smart airports and staying ahead of evolving cyber threats is a shared responsibility, involving airlines, airports, vendors and regulators. While the identification of cyber-threats challenges, risk assessment approaches and guidelines to enhance cyber security are priorities that are currently at the forefront of the aviation industry.
Pangaea X’s contribution to data, analytics, data democratization and data mining| JULY, 2021
To learn more about Pangaea X, its contribution to data, analytics, data democratization, and data mining, TECHx Executive Editor Rabab Zehra chatted with Jadd Elliot Dib, Founder and CEO of
Pangaea X. Let’s take a deeper look at the responses we received.
Q: Tell us more about Pangaea X, how does it work, and its key mechanics?
We felt like there was a gap in the market and the big established companies were not giving that gap enough attention. We are entering a new age, the digital age, the age of data, the tech age, call it what you want but entering a new age, gives birth to new skills and expertise which in turn creates new professionals & freelancers. We are no longer living in the old days where the word freelancer is only associated with a Graphic, Web or Logo Designer. Data professionals, statisticians, ETL experts, Predictive programmers and many more have needed a place to call their own and that is what Pangaea X is. An online supercontinent for all things data.
Q: Accurate Data Analytics can do wonders for a business, how does Pangaea X contribute to businesses in terms of data analytics?
We are creating a data analytics ecosystem, where we bring together the world’s best Data Analysts and Scientist freelancers from across the world onto a single platform and open them to a multitude of job opportunities. The platform connects them
with potential clients by providing them with a place where they can showcase their work, expertise requirements and navigate the difficulties of finding and completing jobs.
Businesses collect data, every business does, every business must. This is the world we live in now. Whether through online apps, websites, ads, sales, in-person transactions, security cameras, face mask detection cameras, personal tendencies, preferences and otherwise is being collected. To put it simply, imagine a world where companies had the answers to their “how to optimize” questions.
1. How do I reduce food wastage which in turn reduces my spending?
2. How do I make sure I showcase the right ad at the right place for the right person?
3. How can I make sure my customers are abiding by regulations during this pandemic?
4. How can I correctly distribute my budget for the next year?
5. How can I predict with a good level of certainty my sales for the next quarter?
6. How can I make more data-driven decisions and less ‘gut feeling’ ones?
No doubt that data analytics will help businesses optimize their productivity and efficiency, help them better forecast and plan their business operations.
Q: What are your views on data democratization, which has been talked about quite a bit lately? What could be the pros and cons of it?
Companies use data analytics to help improve business performance, plan better, deliver an enhanced customer service experience and make better decisions, although data analytics can still be very overwhelming for non-technical employees in organizations.
IT’s job has never been to safeguard data or being the guardians or custodians of the company or department data. You do not need to be IT or have the technical background to have the right to access data. One department’s data is another’s gold mine. For example, Marketing would love to see Sales data, to give them an idea about their target audience, are their patterns in this audience, can I find a way to identify common traits on who we sold X to, or at what time of the day or the time of year so that I can now just jump straight to it and target this ‘group of people’ directly.
Data democratization means that data is available and accessible to everyone across the business. The objective is to make data available for everyone, so they can make a better and more expedited decision leading to more business prospects.
Any company that decides to make data accessible to everyone should be backed up by strong governance, so data is managed carefully. Obviously, data democratization cannot be applicable across all entities, for example governments cannot democratise data to all employees as it would have serious repercussions on classified information.
Companies are still concerned about the misinterpretation of data by non-technical people that may lead to poor decisions. In addition, the increased number of users can lead to an increased data security risk, potentially resulting in security breaches. However, more and more companies believe in data liberalization to enable and ensure better data-driven decisions.
It’s still however too early to know the full impact of data democratization across all entities, but it will definitely change the way we make business decisions allowing and empowering employees to have full visibility on the data their companies collect and gain insights into areas where they could not before.
Q: What do we need to know about implementing policies around data usage? What trends do you see regionally and globally?
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in 2018 is a perfect example to show that only recently did the world start learning about how to handle data, and the story hasn’t ended, it is still being written. That should serve as guidance to companies, if governments & countries are still figuring it out, then it’s okay if your organization doesn’t have all the answers.
I believe data analytics, as an industry, has a very bright future however “data” itself has a bumpy road ahead. Between the power struggle of data ownership going to the average individual or the giant tech company, to the scammers using peoples data against them, to global governments controlling and/or tracking every individual in a breach of privacy. I just think we should all remember one thing, data is as good or bad as the individual that has access to it.
We will surely see a lot more in terms of automation – which is essential as it frees up the analyst to focus on other important activities. Data democratization will definitely see more traction in the future, better user experience, as users want simple and engaging interaction with their analytics tools. Automation Platform vs. Fragmented Tools is another trend we are witnessing, however, this may be challenging as integrating different solutions can be expensive and complicated. Businesses will invariably implement analytics as a core business function, but this would require a collaborative effort within and outside an organization.
Q: How can companies utilize data mining to achieve better results?
I think I touched a little bit on this above but just as a summary I’ll give you an analogy. Imagine you’re a kid in an exam. You have a box available to you with all of the answers required to ace your exam. You just don’t know which answer is for which question. Companies have been mining and gathering data for years now but not using it to its fullest potential.
The role of data analytics in industry 4.0| JUNE, 2021
Efficiency and increased profits are not the only advantages of adopting an Industry 4.0 model.
“Big data.” “Data analytics.” “Data mining.” It seems everywhere you turn, there is talk of ‘data,’ but there seems to be less discussion of what data is, what you can do with it and how it relates to the real world.
Now, more than ever, data is taking a centre stage as we move further into what experts are titling the ‘Fourth industrial revolution’ or ‘Industry 4.0’ – and some say that the data, and the byproducts of gathering and analysis of data is the fourth industrial revolution.
Let’s unpack this a bit by going back in time. The first revolution was titled the Industrial Revolution, which used steam power to automise factories and travel; the second revolution introduced electricity as a means to accelerate industry. The third included the adoption of computers, robotics and the internet. Industry 4.0, or the fourth revolution, involves harvesting the information, ie. data, that comes from sensors, aggregators, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, to name a few, and making sense of them to create more profit and run companies, factories and organisations more efficiently.
The advanced technologies that have evolved because of the fourth industrial revolution have severely disrupted industry and society by connecting processes and systems that were previously unconnected, creating new insights and innovation, and the rise of artificial intelligence. Due to the importance and centrality of data, the field of data science has rapidly evolved. Data scientists can now rely on machine learning models, computational algorithms and visualization to extract insights from massive data sets – to better understand what information previously disparate systems can offer them.
How do organisations use the data they collect? There are almost unlimited ways but the most common are around production efficiency – studying data from sensors in factories, for example to learn how production may be stalled or how it can be improved. Data can also aid in predictive maintenance and automated production. In both cases, analysts study patterns and create data models that help their industries run more smoothly and efficiently.
Efficiency and increased profits are not the only advantages of adopting an Industry 4.0 model, data-savvy companies are more attractive to talent; more competitive and are able to identify problems before they become an issue. The struggle to use data efficiently, however, is great. Almost 95 per cent of companies globally cite that unstructured data is one of their greatest challenges (Forbes). Companies who adopted Industry 4.0 practices early however, reported greater resilience to crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic, with 65 per cent of respondents to a recent McKinsey study saying that their perception of the value of Industry 4.0 was heightened since March of 2020.
So, if data analytics is so great, are there any downsides?
well, yes, there are a few. The largest are:
1. Security – the sheer number of connected devices coupled with the fact the previously siloed systems now work together, decreasing visibility, means that cybersecurity challenges abound. There have been numerous high-profile cyber-attacks where hackers only had to identify one weak link to compromise the whole organisation. Of course, the information security industry has adapted to these challenges and whole industries are dedicated to cyber security at an organisation level, but the risks remain and means companies must lay careful security plans and train staff across the organisation.
2. Talent – One of the biggest pain points for organisations is the lack of talent that understand data and how to analyse it, and then apply the learnings to a specific business case. It can also be expensive to employ a full-time data professional for an SME or in a case where the workload does not warrant a full-time employee. In that case it makes sense to look for a freelance data expert who can come in and work on specific data related projects.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI, in a basic sense, helps make sense of data and is able to ‘learn’ through increased data to make predictions. In the field of healthcare, AI aids physicians to accurately diagnose based on data collected over years, which has revolutionised care and saved lives. With the rise of AI, however, comes challenges related to privacy, governance and has led to a fear of AI taking people’s jobs as more tedious tasks normally performed by humans are made obsolete.
There’s no doubt the fourth industrial revolution is the most disruptive to date. The way that humans run companies, offer services in all fields and live their daily lives has been altered in some way, often quite dramatically. Data and data management and analysis form the background of all of the transformation and innovation we are living through – now is the time to hire data talent and start to understand what data management and analysis looks like for your organisation.
Eight Ways Data Analytics Can Revolutionize Your Business| JUNE, 2021
Here's why your business needs to be putting more focus on data collection
When businesses try to decide where they should focus for a new year or even just analyze past projects or campaigns, it is easy to just “look,” rather than really scrutinize. “What should we do?”, “Did it work?”, and “What can we do differently?” are often questions that come up first. There was a time when it was very rare to have access to full data analytics that covered all industries, or were comprehensive enough to warrant an investment in to this research, but in the last couple of years, there has been a huge shift to data portals that are helping to change the way businesses operate in the long-term. Everyone is making a shift towards a stronger focus on data collection to shape the future of their business strategies, but why? Here are eight reasons to explain just that:
1. More in-depth findings With technology advances making research easier on a daily basis, it can be simple to get feedback and knowledge on your customer or client bases. But data analytics takes it one step further by really delving in to what is or isn’t working, or perhaps finding pockets of information you had otherwise been overlooking. Solid data backs up the findings, thereby making it an extremely useful tool.
2. More effective marketing strategies It goes without saying that when you really understand your audience, you are much more likely to market to them efficiently and effectively. By using a data analytics platform to learn about your audience, you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly to improve engagement and reduce ad wastage.
3. Avoid making the same mistakes again Analyzing the last month, six months, or beyond ensures that everything you have been actioning can be held accountable for the results it has driven. If it didn’t work, then the data will show, ensuring you don’t put your energy (or budgets) in the strategies that don’t work.
4. More accurate forecasting Rather than hoping that you are hitting the nail on the head with your new strategy for the future, analytics can use predictive methods to really hone in on what worked, and what could be the best steps forward.
5. Manage your social media presence better Knowing what people are saying about you online can help to better measure the effectiveness of many things, including ad campaigns, marketing strategies, or spend. You will be able to get data on everything from where your audience is, what they are interested in, and how engaged they are in your campaigns and strategies, among other things.
6. Boost customer retention If a business is slow to learn what is or isn’t working for their end client or customer, they can quickly see a decline in footfall or engagement. These days, you have little time to engage your audience, and with heavy competition in nearly all industries, it can be almost impossible to get them back if you are to lose them. One way that data analytics can help with this is to increase customer loyalty. It allows for an ongoing analysis of customer behaviour and trends, and keeping a close eye on this means businesses are able to make quick and informed decisions to keep their customer bases happy and engaged before it is too late.
7. Encourage innovation and product development When a company decides on a new innovation or product development, they would usually first look at the customer to establish what fits and what would work. Previously, this was done through guess work or with little internal analytics or feedback. With data analytics so advanced these days, it makes identifying what the customer really wants that much easier and more accurate. It gives logical reasoning and key solid data to back on the product development, which in turn increases the return on investment and keeps client loyalty long-term.
8. Boost productivity in the workplace Gathering data isn’t just about what happens externally or how to grow your business, but it is also very much about analyzing what is happening on the inside too. Data analytics can help you encourage productivity in the workplace with things such as efficiency, where training is needed along with general employee morale.
To conclude, data analytics is an extremely important investment for all businesses to truly understand their customers, along with giving you a huge competitive advantage and an overall reduction of cost, because less “mistakes” are made, and will lead to, in the long run, a steady growth on new clients, and more importantly, retention of existing ones.
What is data democratisation and why is it necessary?| MAY, 2021
It is about time to reveal that the financial truth of any organisation today is in data. Companies use data analytics to help improve business performance, plan better, deliver an enhanced
customer service experience and make better decisions, although data analytics can still be very overwhelming for non-technical employees in organisations.
First, it’s important to discuss data democratisation. This is when data is available and accessible to everyone across a business. The objective is to make data available for everyone, so they can make better and more expedited decisions leading to more business prospects.
Why is it beneficial to have data democratised?
Data democratisation makes it easier to process big data for people who do not have technical skills, yet want to use data in order to achieve better results and make everyday life easier. One way to do this is by using data virtualisation software, which retrieves and manipulates data without knowing its technicality. This can help individuals read data without cleaning up any data inconsistencies. The other common way is through cloud storage which provides encrypted security that prevents any
security threat to the data. Another way is to use self-service business intelligence applications that are designed to retrieve, analyse, transform and report data for business intelligence, making data analysis easier for non-technical people.
What are the different steps to consider when getting started with data democratisation?
Every organisation should be aware of their business and where data mining can happen. Before any further steps, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the goals and how to achieve them. Companies must be aware of each department’s strengths and weaknesses. Then the performance of every team and individual can be tracked. When data is made available to employees, they are better equipped to identify any leaks, challenges, or room for improvement in their respective tasks.
The objective of data democratisation is that it should be easily understood by everyone. If the data is not organised clearly, then the whole purpose is defeated. Unclear information will lead to misleading analysis and ultimately to poor decision making. Thus organisations need to clean the data and fix structural errors before connecting it with analytics.
Before access is granted to utilising the data, companies need to make sure that the importance and the processes are well understood. Hence it is crucial to invest in training for individuals to interpret data accurately.
We are witnessing some rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which makes analysing data easier than ever. ML is a group of techologies that allow computers to learn from data. A great example is Airbnb – they made use of data science and ML in their technology. In 2017 its data science team consisted of nearly 100 people. The company’s core belief is that everyone should be empowered to use data when making a decision and very smartly split up its efforts into data education, data access, and data tools. There are several more great examples, like Kaggle, a machine learning competition company owned by Google that offers free-to-enter ML competitions, where people can find all the code and data for their data science work.
But if data is democratised across the board, there must certainly be implications around it. Any company who decides to make data accessible to everyone should be backed up by strong governance, so data is managed carefully. Obviously data democratisation cannot be applicable across all entities, for example governments cannot democratise data to all employees as it would have serious repercussions on classified information.
Companies are still concerned about the misinterpretation of data by non-technical people that may lead to poor decisions. In addition, the increased number of users can lead to increased data security risk, potentially resulting in security breaches. However, more and more companies believe in data liberalisation to enable and ensure better data-driven decisions.
It is still however too early to know the full impact of data democratisation across all entities, but it will definitely change the way we make business decisions allowing and empowering employees to have full visibility on the data their companies collect and gain insights into areas where they could not before.
Pangaea X adds new features to its platform| MAY, 2021
Previously it was limited to only viewing the profiles and portfolios of the freelancers who had bid on a project
Pangaea X, a ‘first-of-its-kind’ Data Analytics platform that has recently launched added two new features to its platform. In order to provide a more enhanced experience, now both clients and freelancers are able to browse through all the data experts featured on the platform. Previously it was limited to only viewing the profiles and portfolios of the freelancers who had bid on a project.
“Since the new feature will allow search and browse through all available service providers, we believe that this will definitely encourage healthy competition among all freelancers featured on our platform, keeping their profiles as up to date and relevant as possible”, said Jadd Elliot Dib, Founder & CEO.
In addition, companies are now able to register to create a company profile. Service providers are now able to register either as a freelancer or as a company. By registering as a company, registrants will need to provide certain documentation (company profile and trade license) in order to complete the process, Pangaea X will have its own internal process to verify
these companies and if successful, the company will receive its verified tag to be considered as a pre-approved service provider.
“We launched our platform with the idea to become a one-stop marketplace for all data procurement needs. We are constantly pushing the boundaries to deliver a more enhanced experience for our users, as we believe that in today’s day and age data analytics will gain more prominence in helping grow businesses and transform the conventional ways of how companies approach data”, he further added.
How has the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic helped increase the demand for self-employment| MAY, 2021
There are sufficient logical reasons to increase the number of self-employed workers due to the pandemic, but are there data to support this fact, why has the demand for the transition to the
concept of an “on-demand” workforce increased?
The following statement was made by Jadd Elliot Dib, founder and CEO of Pangea X
Most of the time, freelancing has offered a cost effective and proven alternative when it comes to outsourcing. With the increasing availability of visas for self-employees in the GCC region, the demand for new self-employers has increased over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly played a role in increasing their number, due to many people becoming self-employed, but also, more specifically, due to companies preferring a self-employment model to support their core team.
Most of the time, freelancing has offered a cost effective and proven alternative when it comes to outsourcing. With the increasing availability of visas for self-employees in the GCC region, the demand for new self-employers has increased over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly played a role in increasing their number, due to many people
becoming self-employed, but also, more specifically, due to companies preferring a self-employment model to support their core team.
Moreover, the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused the loss of nearly 400 million jobs, according to the International Labor Organization, increasing the tendency of talented people to become self-employed.
In a recent study conducted by Pioneer, in which it analyzed the payment activity between freelancers and their clients, the platform reported a significant increase in the number of freelancers during the period between the first and second quarters of 2020, and India ranked first in the fastest growing market with an increase Approximately 50%, followed closely by the Philippines. The future of self-employment is booming and rapidly becoming the career choice of many people around the world, especially with millennials who make up more than 70% of freelancers worldwide, according to Pioneer.
Previously, many companies adhered to the full-time employee model as a way to maintain "control" of workload while ensuring the continued loyalty of the people they work with. Self-employment or part-time work was previously seen as a riskier investment when it came to continuity, loyalty and consistency of work, but over the past few years and as recently as 2020/2021, there has been a shift in corporate thinking and the realization that freelancers can be a A good option, and even more financial security, especially in "difficult" times.
As in many regions of the Gulf Cooperation Council, hiring someone in a full-time or permanent job in the UAE often means visa costs, medical and other expenses for that employee, unlike self-employed who are hired "When needed", without incurring any additional costs.
The self-confidence and increasing attitude of people to freelancing is not just a shift from the point of view of companies only but also from the point of view of people offering their services for themselves. In contrast to the office atmosphere in which employees sit in front of each other, many freelancers work remotely now, so the burden also falls on freelancers to ensure that they gain the trust of companies and a commitment to achieve the accomplishments they pledge.
The spread of applications and platforms is increasing significantly all over the world and these applications and platforms play an effective role in managing the relationship between the freelancer and the company to ensure that important elements such as delivery of work on time or payment of payments are made on time as agreed.
In the UAE, there has been a major government move towards facilitating the issuance of self-employment permits at reasonable prices. Dubai Media City recently launched their Go Freelance initiative, which is entirely based on digital transformation and ease with the work permit being delivered in a very short period of time. Recently, the UAE government launched an international self-employment visa that allows foreign employees to apply for a one-year remote work visa so that they can reside in Dubai while still working abroad. These moves not only make the transition to self-employment easier, but also shift the mindset in the region towards the “professional” nature of self-employment, and towards a business model that has already received negative reactions due to credibility.
A new report released by LinkedIn has identified the most in-demand jobs at the moment in the United Arab Emirates. Many of these jobs include digital telecommuting jobs. Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn in the Middle East and North Africa and Emerging Markets in Europe and Africa, said, “The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has changed the way companies conduct business and the way people work, but it has also created opportunities in a number of sectors. As companies continue to adapt to the pandemic."
Now, is the self-employment model a viable long-term solution?
Despite budget cuts taken since the start of the pandemic, companies are still looking for a way to reinvigorate their businesses after the Covid-19 pandemic, and one way to do this is through outsourcing, which is a very flexible solution that comes with upfront costs. Much less in these difficult times financially.
Having a reliable group of freelancers that you can contact when needed or retain them on a long-term project basis has in no time become a very popular choice here in the GCC and internationally.
Pangaea X: A one-of-a-kind platform that brings together companies and freelancers for easy and effective data analytics and data procurement| APRIL, 2021
In today’s age, the world runs on data. Be it analyzing people’s socio-economic behavior or predicting their future purchases, data plays a significant role in informing, shaping and achieving
certain development outcomes. Since we’re in the age of ‘data-empowerment’, the use of analytics has increased worldwide with most companies now opting to have some type of data collection to allow them to better grow their business.
certain development outcomes. Since we’re in the age of ‘data-empowerment’, the use of analytics has increased worldwide with most companies now opting to have some type of data collection to allow them to better grow their business.
How Pangaea X came into being
COVID-19 saw a sharp increase in people going freelance. There are some extremely talented freelance Data Analysts in the GCC. People who were previously working for firms are now freelancing. This is how Pangaea X was born.
The whole premise of the Pangaea X platform is to make things easier and simpler for both the company looking for a data analyst, along with the data analysts themselves. It is meant to be a one-stop-shop with no need to go anywhere else for these types of services. It brings together talented people worldwide along with ensuring that companies are looked after and given
the best for their needs, without having to search and research many different sites.
Elaborating further, the Pangaea X founder says “We have the best of the best analysts selected by local and internationally recognized companies. With the simple format and easy-to-use platform there will be no need to look elsewhere.”
All you need to know about Pangaea X
Pangaea X brings the Data Analytics world together in its own unique way. It is the first-of-its-kind in the industry, connecting the Data Analytics seeker with the world’s best Data Analysts and Scientist freelancers across the world—a one-stop marketplace for all your Data procurement needs. This new demand has given birth to a new breed of freelancers, and our operational vision is to seamlessly connect the world, with the world’s best talent when it comes to data analytics.
From collaborating to hiring, to briefing, all the way to paying the freelancers, Pangaea X promises to be with its clients every step of the way, as an extension of their team. The platform will empower freelancers to reach their maximum potential, build their own remote business with strategic guidance and even elevate their skillset with provided training programs. It was initially launched in the GCC but as with all digital platforms it can be used from all over the world.
Stepping into an exciting future
There is an excitement of launching a promising, new venture and witnessing it grow across the globe and being recognized as a leader in its field. CEO Jadd Elliot explains “We feel very proud to be a homegrown company with our initial launch in the GCC, there are some fantastic Data Scientists here who look forward to highlighting in the near future.”
Seamless Connect| MARCH, 2021
Pangaea X is a one-stop marketplace for organisations' data procurement needs. Jadd Elliot Dib, Founder and CEO, speaks about the data analytics scene in the UAE
How it works
Pangaea X is the brainchild of Founder and CEO Jadd Elliot Dib who saw a gap in the market of a one-stop marketplace for all the data procurement needs, which would bring companies and freelancers together in a streamlined way.
Pangaea X brings the data analytics world together in its own unique way. It is the first-of-its-kind in the industry, connecting the data analytic seeker with the world's best data analysts and scientist freelancers across the world - a one-stop marketplace for all an organisation's data procurement needs. This recent new demand has given birth to a new breed of freelancers, and our operational vision is to seamlessly connect the world, with the world's best talent when it comes to data analytics.
From collaborating to hiring, to briefing, all the way to paying freelancers, Pangaea X will be there every step of the way, as an extension of an organisation's team. The platform will empower freelancers to reach their maximum potential, build their own remote business with strategic guidance and even elevate their skillset with provided training programmes.
Growing global trends
This is the age of data empowerment; the use of analytics has increased worldwide with most companies now opting to finally make use of the data that has been collected over the years, allowing them to better understand the market and grow their business. We all use data, we all create it, professionally or individually; in the world today, it's inevitable. Data is the new oil of this age and has been named 'the king', with reason.
Application of data analytics
The beauty of analytics is that it doesn't just apply to certain industries or businesses but to all. In order to make business decisions today organisations must back their decisions up with numbers and data, 'gut feeling' or 'instinct' is not usable. For example, restaurants can analyse their sales data to make a business decision, whether or not a certain item on a menu is worth keeping, or if a promotional strategy should be implemented during the calm period. Supermarkets can assess, depending on the trend seen through the year, how much inventory to have of a certain item. Malls and airports can conduct footfall analysis on the public, really identifying where certain ads would have the best results or statistically the highest percentage of successfully influencing a customer into buying a product. Authorities can analyse previous years of data to identify neighbourhoods where crimes are more possible.
The uses for captured data are almost endless, with the options to use what is captured to really advance business in many ways. It can help with everything from creating a more effective marketing strategy, ensuring the end-user is legitimate and allows for much more accurate forecasting, it can even help manage social media presence or make sure employees are working efficiently. Using the past to identify what to do in the future is extremely important in this current market.
Data is available everywhere, it's only a matter of time before it becomes the key decision factor and for businesses to learn how to utilise it for their betterment.
Data analytics in the Middle East
The industry has been slowly growing over the last few years but has certainly accelerated since Covid-19 hit at the start of 2020. Now becoming the buzz of the region, there are some extremely talented freelance data analysts in the GCC, many people who were also previously working for firms are now freelancing, which is where Pangaea X comes in. We hope that Pangaea X will give freelancers an equal opportunity and really highlight the talent that is out there by connecting companies with the right data scientist as a result of quality and not who employs them.
We are extremely excited and proud to have launched in the GCC and look forward to connecting the best freelance data analysts with companies around the world.
Women in Tech: Farhana Nazneen from Pangaea X on IWD 2021| MARCH, 2021
This International Women’s Day 2021, TECHx brings you important messages from Women Leaders in Technology across the Middle East. Here Farhana Nazneen – Product Manager at
Pangaea X shares her experience in the tech industry, the importance of work-life balance and tips for aspiring women looking to join the industry.
TECHx: Please tell us about your experience of being in the tech industry?
Farhana: I came from a background where there was this myth that women don’t work in technology. Today, women have to be as tech-savvy as anybody else technology is part of our everyday lives. I started my career with a business intelligence firm and haven’t looked back ever since. I got to use a variety of new technologies & software applications to solve real world problems. It is an accomplishment to be the brain behind the solution & that’s the addicting feeling I got when using software to solve a problem resulting in an individual, team or even business benefiting. I have enjoyed being a developer and a hands-on analyst which has helped me become the manager I am today. It has been an exceptional experience as I get to learn about something new every day due to technology continuously evolving, it keeps me on my toes.
TECHx: What is the importance of work-life balance and how organizations can help achieve this?
Farhana: Work life balance is a tricky scale to even out. Doesn’t always work, as much as you can have a plan and a schedule,
nothing ever goes according to plan or stays on schedule, meets run late, issues arise, unexpected things happen. So my only advice would really be expect the unexpected as cliché as that sounds. Organizations can help by providing that flexibility, where you work from home (which majority do nowadays) flexibility on timings etc… I have always found my productivity to increase when I am happy and in positive state of mind which comes as a result of both the company but also home life.
TECHx: Tips for aspiring women looking to join the tech industry?
Farhana: If you are interested in tech, do not think twice. Learn what you want to! Like coding? Hop on to it. No hard and fast rule. What matters is your interest and urge to learn. Knowledge is acquired every day, be it a CEO or an entry-level fresher. Consistency will build a roadmap of your career/interests. Tech industry is one of the giant industry’s where you can apply your thoughts/ideas. Remember –technology is everywhere! An advantage for us is- with the high IQ, we also possess high EQ(Emotional Quotient) naturally which plays an important role in building the shape of the future. Have numerous role models- and seek guidance, Indra Nooyi (former Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo) , Susan Wojcicki (CEO, YouTube), Amy Hood(CFO, Microsoft) – are a few of mine.
New data analytics platform Pangaea X launches in the GCC| MARCH, 2021 | MAY, 2021
Pangaea X, a ‘first-of-its-kind’ Data Analytics platform has launched. The platform connects the Data Analytic seekers with the world’s best Data Analysts and Scientist freelancers across the
world. It will transform Data Analytics, and the way organizations who are searching for data analytics solutions into a seamless and hassle-free process. It will solely focus on quality connections, easiness of communications, and productive collaborations.
From collaborating to hiring, to briefing, all the way to paying the freelancers, Pangaea X will be with you every step of the way, as an extension of your team. The platform will empower freelancers to reach their maximum potential, build their own remote business with strategic guidance and even elevate their skillset with provided training programs.
For those people and organizations that are searching to hire the world’s best Data Analysts and Scientists, Pangaea X want to re-assure you that they only offer the very best Data Analysts out there with quality assurance guidelines, mandatory project uploads and references as well as transparent transactions and account management pitstops throughout the project journey.
“All businesses across all sectors are looking to gain value from data. Whether it’s to better inform business to make
data-driven decisions, to generate revenue or improve operational efficiency, data science is transforming the business world and every industry is affected. Our target market is therefore very wide. Any company that does not have in-house data analysis capabilities or those that want to enhance the way they’re managing and mining data would benefit from freelance data analysis support.” Explains Pangaea X, Founder & CEO, Jadd Elliot Dib
A one-stop marketplace for all your Data procurement needs. This new demand has given birth to a new breed of freelancers and the operational vision is to seamlessly connect the world, with the world’s best talent when it comes to data analytics.
The Power of Data Analytics| JANUARY, 2021
Technology has always been at the forefront of enhancing our everyday lives and enabling a better future. The rise and spread of COVID-19 has triggered unforeseen demand for digital health
Solution. Let’s just think about how many countries around the world were quick to install thermal cameras and advanced facial recognition technologies.
Even prior to this pandemic, leaders increasingly embraced advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), says a report by McKinsey & Company ‘Accelerating analytics to navigate COVID-19 and the next normal’. These capabilities are expected to offer between $9.5 trillion and $15.4 trillion in annual economic value.
The pandemic triggered the healthcare industry to use big data and predictive analytics tools to better understand the virus and its spread.
One of the major challenges has been the early detection of high-risk areas with the greatest number of COVID-19 cases across the country. Hospitals and health systems have leveraged predictive models to gather more insights into the risks of COVID-19, potential outcomes and the virus’ impact on resources.
However, even with the most comprehensive data and predictive algorithms it is too early to have concrete results, but these will definitely help scientists study elements of the virus, including potential risk factors, protective factors and long-term health consequences.
Countries in the GCC have recognised the opportunities offered by Big Data and their potential impact on healthcare and other relevant sectors, according to an article by Deloitte, ‘Big Data in the GCC.’ To speed up the transformation, governments will need to collaborate with research centres to fuel innovation and unlock potential values of data. As a result of these efforts, GCC countries will have the opportunity to transform their economies and play a leading role in the Big Data global race.
Governments today put in a lot of effort into technologically advanced solutions to contain the pandemic. If we think of the different apps developed – The Ministry of Health and Prevention, Abu Dhabi Health Authority and Dubai Health Authority have jointly launched an app named ALHOSN UAE.
The app is able to track whether the person is in close proximity to people who have had contact with people infected with the COVID-19 virus. This is possible if the users have the same app installed on their phone as the phones exchange the metadata stored in them.
The app is also encrypted and the data remains only on the user’s phone. Through this data, the health authorities can quickly identify people at risk of transmission so that they can communicate with those people and conduct a retest.