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As the backbone of all economies, SMEs must adapt to the digital era to stay competitive and enhance productivity. Digital upgrading encompasses integrating advanced technologies and data-driven strategies into business operations, a transformation that is essential not just for thriving but also for survival in increasingly competitive markets. This transition enables SMEs to streamline processes, improve decision-making, and tap new opportunities, ultimately leading to sustainable economic growth and development.
An online training course on Data Analytics for SMEs was jointly organized by the Singapore Productivity Centre (SGPC) and APO Secretariat, 26–29 September. The course was designed to give SMEs essential skills for digital upgrading, focusing on the effective utilization of data in enhancing productivity. Twenty-nine participants from 11 APO members attended and were guided by five resource persons, two from the ROC, one from the Netherlands, and two from Singapore. The course emphasized the fundamental role of data in business operations and how its collection, analysis, and visualization can lead to better decision-making and demand prediction. It covered data and digital transformation; applications of AI, machine learning, and deep learning in SME contexts; and basic data collection and processing techniques. It also introduced practical data science, visualization, and analytics beyond the manufacturing sector. This broad coverage equipped participants with both theoretical knowledge and practical tools that they could apply effectively in their organizations.
As SMEs often face challenges during digitalization, this course was a crucial step in closing knowledge gaps. The APO will continue to support SMEs in digital transformation by enhancing technical capabilities, enabling them to leverage digitalization for productivity and socioeconomic development.