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Small start-ups using big data to help consumers crunch information

Big data is one of the key thrusts in the Infocomm Media 2025 masterplan and start-ups such as and Carro are hoping to ride that wave of information to help consumers make more informed decisions.

SINGAPORE: Big data and analytics is a multi-billion dollar industry that is attracting investors from around the world. In Singapore, it is also the domain of several small start-ups, which see the potential in helping consumers make sense of information.

One such start-up is Carro. It said it aims to do more than just match buyers and sellers of second-hand cars. By making better use of the data in its possession, Carro recently launched a tool that generates indicative prices for different cars in real time, as well as the time it may take to sell the car.

Its founder, Mr Aaron Tan, said: “I think everyone has their own way of doing it. We are already discerning insights from data - what we see, feel and hear. As a result, it’s just a matter of society learning more about data and the importance it brings, before we can have more efficient, actionable insights."

Financial portal, which compares mortgages and credit cards, said its app provides the transparency to help end-users make the best decision.

Co-founder of the portal, Ms Grace Cheng, said: "Consumers are able to compare the widest range of products at a go, versus going to a website that only shows you what they want to show you, or what they are being paid to show you.

“In that sense, you are handing the power to the consumer to make the decision for himself, without any persuasion from any party wanting to push their product to you."

Data management firm NetApp said people are now more comfortable handling data at a superficial level. As more companies develop apps which crunch data and package the results in a meaningful way, the firm said this could lead to greater efficiency in people's dealings with others.

Mr Rick Scurfield, NetApp’s president (Asia-Pacific), said 60 per cent of customer decision-making is completed by the point in time when they call the vendors.

“They’re making their decisions or down selecting what they want to actually find out more information on what they actually want to talk to vendors about,” he said. “That’s a huge efficiency piece for customers that are able to get that information, go out and be able to find information on their own, before they take the time to call and have the personal interaction with people."

Big data is one of the key thrusts in the Infocomm Media 2025 masterplan in Singapore. Research firm IDC said it estimates the global big data and analytics market will grow at an average rate of 23 per cent each year, to almost US$50 billion (S$67.7 billion) in 2019.