Analytics Innovation Marketing

3 Key Skills for the Digitally Transformed Economy

I was recently listening to a news report in 2020 by Singapore state-owned media CNA, where Chief HR Officer of Singapore University of Technological Design, Dr Jaclyn Lee, outlined three of the most important skills to have in this new digital economy:

  1. Analytical and Computational Thinking Skills
  2. Innovation and Thinking out of the box
  3. Social Media Marketing

The interview particularly resonated with me as these are the skills which I have previously identified were important for my career development and listed as my top 3 skills on LinkedIn, and also in the summary statement too (Social Media is one form of Digital!) As my blog was created with the specific purpose to educate juniors and adult learners on analytics, innovation and marketing, I believed that it would be apt to share from my experience how I managed to build up my Analytics, Innovation and Social Media knowledge.

1. Analytics and Computational Thinking

Analytical skills has been around for the longest time, we may not know it, but the critical learning skills we have been exposed to all our lives also applies in terms of analytics.

For me, I acquired my analytics skills from my Business Analytics Education at Nanyang Business School! There are also several other Universities like National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University which has analytics courses as well!

Another way to gain this knowledge is from online courses. Coursera, EdX, Udemy are examples of online sites with free courses. In Singapore, the WSQ also offers adult learning courses in multiple courses including analytics and computational thinking!

To hear more about why I decided to specialise in Business Analytics, do read this post!

I also used my analytics knowledge to decipher the content of spam comments here!

2. Innovation

My experience with innovation is that the responsibility to build innovation lies in yourself. I always believed that I am an out-of-box thinker who will constantly find new ways to do things. These are some ways you could try improving on innovation!

I. Find new ways to do a project

Have you completed a work project or an assignment at school before and performed well? Now, think of another approach you could try to achieve the same, if not a better outcome. Many people would think that the end result is always important. While the end result is important, I always believe that the process is as well. Sometimes, I find myself consistently asking how I can do something better. While it does not always work, the thought process is also a good learning opportunity.

II. Get yourself more exposure to multiple fields

This may seem counter-intuitive to many who are interested in building their career in a one-track path, but from my experience, this was one way where I had the exposure to more innovation. I was fortunate to be able to do three MNC internships, where I had the exposure to the human resource, market research, product marketing and digital marketing functions, in the automotive, information technology and medical device industries. If you require some assistance in securing more MNC internships, do read this post!

I also had the chance to try out the consumer goods, retail and e-commerce industry at the same time by running my own startup, EcoTumble, where we offered Food Storage and Drinkware Solutions. While I was in charge of the marketing function, it was also important to learn how everything came together. Therefore, I also had the chance to take part in logistics, procurement, sales and strategy aspects of the business. I did this as part of the Minor in Entrepreneurship Programme in NTU, which I felt was a transformative experience and definitely recommend!

III. Always keep a continuous learning mindset

Adding a new point after having had a week of e-learning as a work incentive. As the saying goes, change is the only constant. In order to keep abreast of what our customer needs, we need to not only constantly change the environment, but also ourselves. In order to expose to more open innovation, learning is an integral part of it all. I had the chance to look through some of my general paper notes in junior college and realised the opportunity to read widely allowed me to learn so much more about how various parts of the economy are intertwined together in order to deliver value to consumers. Ultimately, innovation brings a solution to a unique problem that is faced based on changes in the economy.

3. Social Media Marketing

For people who grew up as digital natives, social media should be nothing foreign to us. For those who did not have the privilege of being exposed to social media since young, it is not too late to begin!

I have used social media since 2009, for my personal use, for my startup and also during my internship at KaVo Kerr.

Regardless of whether you have used social media before, there are some steps which can be followed. Here are some which crosses my mind:

I. Knowing your own personal brand

The first step to social media is knowing your own personal brand, what you stand for. For instance, I am personally interested in Analytics, Innovation and Marketing, and I want to help more people understand these fields!

II. Determine your Social Media Mix

The second step is to determine which social media to use. For instance, I would like more people to understand these fields which I am interested in, very academic fields. Therefore, I decided to turn to writing to get the knowledge across. The social channels which I have decided to use, which differs for what kinds of audience I want, is through LinkedIn (for Adult Learners) and Instagram (for the Student Population. I do occasionally use Twitter and Facebook to try to build Search Engine Traffic, still in the experimental stage, perhaps I might elaborate some day!

III. Decide on a posting schedule

The third step is to plan when to post. In order for social media to work, you will need to ensure that your readers/viewers are consistently engaged. This will keep them as returning users as your content is something which interests them. For instance, I have decided that on Mondays, I would post an Analytics or work-related post for my viewers to look forward to. I also wanted Friday as a leisure post day but it might prove to be tough as I am holding a full-time job as well and these posts do take up considerable time. Hence, it is important to also see not just what you want, but what is also theoretically possible from your schedule and nature of work!

That said I have not really prepared other posts on social media yet! Do let me know in the comments section on what kinds of social media posts you are interested in, or if you would like any elaboration on each of the paragraphs!

Sounds really daunting? It takes that first step to start learning and growing!

P.S. The links in this post are not sponsored.

If you liked this page, do bookmark this site, orĀ follow us on our LinkedIn page.

Want to build analytics into your management decisions? This post may be for you.

Want to build other core and relevant skills? Do look at this post!

Want to track your website traffic using Google Analytics? This post shows you how.

Image Credits: Photo by NASA on Unsplash
Original Post: 3 Aug 2020, Updated 27 Jun 2021

Innovation Management

Innovation: Business Model Canvas vs Strategic Business Functions

If you had been following our Innovation posts where we use the business model canvas to breakdown businesses, you might have always wondered how the business model canvas for a lean business scales up to that of a full business. We also had that question so we decided to explore linking the business model canvas to various business functions, in order for us to fully comprehend what it means.

Business Model Canvas
Business Model Canvas obtained from Quantic

Value Proposition

The value proposition is considered the most top level summary of what the business is. Therefore, this should be under the Chief Executive Officer, or the Business Strategy Department. While the Marketing team also would have a say in this, the value proposition is the heart of the business just like how the Chief Executive and Business Strategy brings everything together.

Customer Segments

In a corporate business, segmentation should be jointly owned by the Marketing Department, Consumer Insights Department, as well as Business Strategy Department, as there is a high level view of the customer and certain decisions would have to be made on the specific customer segments to target.

Customer Relationships

For customer relationships, the high level view would be driven by the Marketing Communications Department, as it would maintain the general relationship with the customer.

To target specific customers, the Sales Department would be the primary team developing these personal relationships.


Channel selection should be done by the marketing department, in order to achieve the broad go-to-market objectives of the company.

The execution of channels would usually be done by the Supply Chain Department and Operations Department, depending on the mix of channels chosen.

However, in this age, there is also online channels available. This is when the Digital Marketing Department arises to manage these channels.

Key Partners

Away from the external facing functions, key partners would usually be managed by the Corporate Communications Team, who consistently keep partners engaged. In businesses without a dedicated Corporate Communications Team, the Business Strategy Team should own this function.

The Sales/Procurement department might also be the right team to engage these key partners depending on whichever side the company is on.

Key Resources

For key resources, there is a variety of functions which govern this.

For human capital and labour, the Human Resources Department is definitely the one in charge.

For resources related to technology and infrastructure, we have the Information Technology Department in charge.

For financial-related resources, we have the Finance Department in charge and if there is no Real Estate department, the Finance Department also owns the aspect of leasing and ownership of commercial space.

Key Activities

The key activities will likely vary based on the business which is in question. While key activities should be carried out by the Operations Department, organisations are becoming more decentralised and constantly spreads out the key activities across various departments.

Cost Structure

The cost structure of the organisation should be helmed by the Finance Department, but as a partner to the various departments. Everyone plays a part in the cost structure but the owner of the costs should be finance.

Revenue Streams

The revenue streams usually stems from the pricing strategy as well as opportunity identification and the Business Strategy Department should clearly be in charge. The Finance Department can track the revenue streams to manage the profit and loss of the company, however the onus is on the Business Strategy Department to consistently look for new opportunities to increase the revenue streams.

How Many Teams Should There Be?

While you first start a business, you may find yourself doing everything, you might eventually want to scale up and see which functions are required by the business. As a general guide as covered, these are the functions in a business:

  1. Chief Executive Office + Business Strategy (To plan for the business.)
  2. Marketing + Consumer Insights + Sales (To manage customer-facing aspects of the business.)
  3. Supply Chain + Operations + Procurement (To run the external operations of the business.)
  4. Finance + Human Resources + Information Technology (To enable the internal operations of the business.)

While the functions can be combined in other ways too, the key is to understand your evolving business needs, as well as the skills of your team to ensure that your business runs smoothly.

Now that you have read the breakdown of how each department comes together in the business model canvas, are you more intrigued to run your own business in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

Are you interested in exploring business ideas? Please drop us a note at

If you liked reading about this post, do follow us on our LinkedIn Page. You may like to build your own hair salon, photo studio, bakery or ramen restaurant.

Image Credits: Photo by Raspopova Marina on Unsplash
Artwork Designed by Tan Wei Xiang


Business Model Innovation: Ramen Restaurant

Remember our previous post on Pricing a Ramen? Now, we have an innovation post which follows the same series! For the Ramen lovers who cannot go to Japan, but would love to set up your own restaurant.

As usual, we will be doing our analysis with the business model canvas. In addition, we got this inspiration for a whole ramen series from a friend who loves dining in Japanese restaurants. Note that this is a possibility, no hard and fast rules. After all, the beauty of the business model canvas is that it is just a hypothesis waiting to be tested! We will be putting together things we observed from various Ramen Restaurants in Singapore.

Unique Value Proposition

The challenge of business models as usual would be the unique value proposition.

In this case, we are offering a ramen restaurant which allows you to choose your own ingredients and is highly customisable.

Customer Segments

In terms of customer segments, we can do a behavioural segmentation: Our target customers are those who are interested in Ramens which offer choice of ingredients.

We could also do a demographic segmentation, younger adults may be more open to looking at a modular approach to buying food. (assumption)

As usual, customer segmentation is a really complex approach and so let’s focus on younger customers who may be interested in highly customisable ramen.

Customer Relationship

In order to maintain customer relationship, a loyalty application is a possibility, including stamp collection, or vouchers for redemption.

Publishing about new launches and special ingredients of the month to food blogs is also a method to keep customers updated.


Through the physical store, an online presence with an own website, which are standard components of a business. In addition, the business could explore working with restaurant concierge applications to reach out to a variety of customers. Over time, developing an own application would allow the customers to be kept in your ecosystem.

Key Partners

Some key partners in this case are:

  • Raw Ingredients Suppliers
  • Staffing Agencies as F&B is manpower intensive
  • F&B Concierge Applications

Key Activities

Some key activities in this case are:

  • Purchasing/sourcing of Ingredients from suppliers
  • Concocting new recipes to keep customers excited
  • Driving Foot traffic through interesting promotions.

Key Resources

The Key Resources in this case are:

  • Ramen Making Machine
  • Ramen Chef


In terms of Cost, these are the possibilities:

  • Rental
  • Salary
  • Cost of Equipment
  • Cost of Ingredients
  • Maintenance of Equipment
  • Marketing (Own website and royalties from platforms.)


In terms of Revenue, these are the possibilities:

  • Revenue from selling the Ramen itself.
  • Side Revenue from fringe items for instant soda drinks, and other sides like Gyoza.
  • Membership Fees / Subscription Model (this model does not seem to be frequently practised though, where customers are locked in for future discounts.)
  • Advertising Revenue (Maybe through partnership with tour companies, or other “Japanese” places like Japan Home.)
  • Consignment Products Revenue (Japanese Snacks Manufacturers, for customers to buy home.)
  • Merchandise Revenue (Think of the Sakae Sushi frog.)

In summary, this is a business model for a ramen restaurant!

Are you interested in exploring other business ideas? Please drop us a note at

If you liked reading about this post, do follow us on our LinkedIn Page. You may also like to build your own hair salon, photo studio or bakery!

Image Credits: Photo by Hari Panicker on Unsplash
Artwork Designed by Tan Wei Xiang


Business Model Innovation: DIY Bakery

It’s the third post of the Business Model Innovation series and also the third post of the year! In this new normal, the traditional bakery businesses have been hit very hard. While there is less people out on the streets, which means less customers, how can bakery businesses cope? This is where your opportunity lies! You can start your own bakery business right here and now!

As usual, we will be doing our analysis with the business model canvas. Also, we would like to thank one of my colleagues, who always bakes and brings her best creations to share, which inspired me to write this post! There’s no hard and fast rule to run this bakery, so get innovative in the comments below!

Unique Value Proposition

We provide you the freshest baked artisan bread and pastry, right in the comfort of your homes!

We deliver this UVP through a DIY kit of ingredients. Furthermore, this kit comes with a recipe, so you can replicate the best bakes, right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Customer Segments

Younger people, who have picked up the hobby of baking, while they spend more time at home, are our potential customers. A large proportion are likely females, who may value surprises a lot.

Key Partners

The core partners of the business are Bakers, Patisseries and Chefs, whom we can co-innovate with. These partners will be key to develop the recipes which are not only wallet-friendly, but also easy to execute in the kitchen.

Key Activities

Some key activities includes prospecting for sales to customers, as well as enrolling more professional F&B veterans onto the platform.

Key Resources

Online channels for enablement and distribution of recipes.

Supply and logistics network, which impacts the fulfilment of the orders.

Customer Relationship

We may want to consider having a platform, which is necessary for customers to stay excited and expressive. Therefore, creating an Instagram page where customers can showcase their best bakes weekly might be one way to go about it. Furthermore, we can run contests on the Instagram page, for customers to showcase their own creations, stand a chance to be featured on our Instagram, and win exclusive prices.


An omni-channel approach could be taken, which consists of both online and offline channels.

We could have a website and application for e-commerce transactions. This can be supplemented with Instagram, which trends among the young people.

We could do offline marketing at partner bakeries, where there may be foot traffic but not too many buyers due to hygiene concerns. By including a QR code to purchase our baking tools and ingredients online, the expertise in the physical bakeries will not go to waste.


You will incur the following costs:

Cost of goods sold, basically to simply put it, the cost of the raw materials in the ingredients.

Platform fees to maintain your website.

Transportation and Supply chain, which is essential in bringing your products to the consumer.

Marketing expenditure is also one of the costs which are incurred.

(Rental does not apply in this case, as this business is more logistical and taps on the capital investment of existing F&B establishments.)


You can consider these revenue streams:

Per Unit Sales Model, where customers can order through a system.

Subscription model, where customers enrol in a monthly membership to be surprised with new recipes every week!

Advertisement revenue, which can be gotten through sponsored recipes with larger businesses, for instance Gardenia or Sunshine Bread factory in Singapore.

At last, this is a DIY Bakery business summarised in one page! Do let us know if this worked for you!

Are you interested in exploring other business ideas? Please drop us a note at

If you liked reading about this post, do follow us on our LinkedIn Page. You may also like to build your own ramen restaurant, hair salon or photo studio!

Image Credits: Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Analytics Innovation Lifestyle Management Marketing Uncategorized

My Reflections on 2020

2020 might be remembered in history as a year of widespread epidemic and economic recession by many, but to me, it was a really interesting year. It was a year which challenged me to do the best I could.

1st Half of 2020

Kick started my first half of 2020 with my final semester at Nanyang Technological University, taking 3 modules, inclusive of the legendary killer Capstone Business Analytics Module in NBS, Business Analytics Consulting. I had the chance to interact with the brightest minds from business, as well as computing, to deliver viable business recommendations in health insurance strategy to our client company, Aon. Click here you’re interested to know more about why I chose business analytics.

As if dealing with one company was not enough, I took on a Regional Digital & Product Marketing internship with dental company KavoKerr, which recently spun off from Danaher Group. Through the internship, I had the chance to conduct market research, create marketing collaterals, do customer analytics, as well as social media marketing on Facebook. Halfway during my internship, it became a work-from-home arrangement, do read this if you’re interested to know how it is to experience both work in office and at home.

Right after finishing my final class in business school, I managed to secure a job and it was in semi-lockdown in Singapore. Instead of just wasting the time away, I decided to upskill myself through distance learning on Coursera, here are some of my reflections.

2nd Half of 2020

Kick Started the second half of 2020 with my first job on a Graduate Programme with Dairy Farm Group, a multinational company in the retail and fast moving consumer goods scene. Managed to get a chance to learn a lot at work through rotations in Commercial, Operations and Supply Chain. I am really fortunate to have had the chance to interact with many senior business leaders as well as mentors to guide me along the way, and looking forward to more growth in my career. If you’re interested to find out more do reach out to my LinkedIn, where I have documented many posts on the experience too!

For the last few months of the year, I made the choice to return to campus in NTU, to further my understanding of the business sector by taking on a MiniMasters in Marketing Management. While it has been tiring to juggle work with studies, it has been really fulfilling to tackle marketing problems with the brightest minds. (Some have even been in the industry for years!) If you’re considering going back to school while working, do click here!

Last but definitely not the least, I am happy to have consistently posted blog posts this half of the year despite never quite getting myself started previously. Thank you all for the readership this year and we look forward to your continued support over 2021 where we will bring you more posts about analytics, management and innovation.

My thoughts for 2021

Moving forward to 2021, it will be a year of accelerated learning at work, while also completing my MiniMasters programme by the end of March! (Hopefully graduation too, but I am not too sure if it will ever happen now.)

Most importantly, I realised I have not been the most consistent in posting this year, sometimes disappearing occasionally when busy. A resolution for this blog is to consistently generate at least one post for each topic in analytics, innovation and management on a monthly basis, while also not forgetting some of my readers who are still in school as well. Do look forward to more about my past university experience as well as a fresh employee at work perspectives.

2020 has been great, 2021 will be even better!

Tan Wei Xiang

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Image Credits: Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash