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


University Internship Search Guide (Tips from 3 MNC Experiences)

Hello everyone! It’s me again. I understood from a few of my NTU NBS juniors that first year students are now required to do a compulsory internship as part of their curriculum. I am sure many of the other universities will start to have this requirement in place, and even if there is none, I definitely encourage you to think of how you can make full use of your time.

I did not have a year 1 Summer Internship unlike many of my peers so if you are reading this and did not manage to secure an internship in your first year, you are not alone! Here are some steps which you can take to find your internship.

1. Have a Good Resume or Portfolio with Unique Value Proposition

The first thing you need is your job hunt apparatus — your resume. I heard of many formats in the resume which may or may not work, but personally when I was looking for internships and my graduate job, I used the one page resume format. Some key parts to include is Education, Skills (Especially when you have no work experience), Work Experience, Projects, Co-curricular Leadership and Achievements.

However, the key focus is not on the format, but how your resume tells a story. Personally, I took a Business Analytics and Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Degree with an intention to apply these skills in management. Having the technical skills on my resume without work experience helped me in getting my resume spotted by the hiring manager for a Regional Talent Management role at my first internship company, Schaeffler, a German MNC operating in the Automotive industry. As for my other internships, I believe that most of my interviewers also looked at my co-curricular leadership as well as achievements in making the holistic decision to shortlist my resume for interview. One way to do it is to focus on what is transferrable to the job. With a business analytics degree, I am well-positioned to join almost any business function of any sector since it is a very broad and general degree with the technical power to do wonders in many functions and sectors.

If you need some reference, I recently ported most of my resume to my own portfolio site. If you need help refining your resume, do drop me a note in the comments section below or reach me through my LinkedIn! Do let me know you reached me through this blogpost!

2. Prepare a Good Cover Letter Format

In all honesty, when I found my first internship, I did not use a cover letter. However, I found out that after hunting for my subsequent internships and full time job, I had a higher rate of success whenever I included a cover letter in my applications. So please prepare a cover letter.

Each cover letter should be in a specific format which the recruiter wants to see. It is not merely sharing about your value proposition, but about how your value proposition aligns with the job description provided by the employer.

The general rule of thumb I have when writing a cover letter is to write it accordingly to the job description. This will do your recruiters a great favour when they comb through the many job applications for the particular role.

Same as before if you need assistance, do drop me a note in the comments or LinkedIn!

3. Utilise the resources you have in the Job Hunt

For starters, here are some resources which you can use during your job hunt:

A. Career Services Office(s) in your University

In Singapore, most local universities have a dedicated career office. Some like NBS has an extra one in the school for dual job search prospects! These career offices have dedicated career coaches and advisors who can help you with your career planning as well as internship search. Do reach out to them early!

The career services offices in my alma-mater also have exclusive job portals, CareerAxis and CareerFit for NTU and NBS respectively to help students with their internship and full-time positions.

B. Job Portals

To gain more possible avenues for internships and jobs, especially from the hiring freezes due to COVID-19, you could try job search portals too!

I have previously consolidated a list of useful job portals which could be used over on my LinkedIn post!

C. Professional and Personal Network

Another way to find an internship is through professional and personal networks. You could create a LinkedIn profile to reach many professionals who would love to connect with students and might even offer a role!

Some students have managed to secure internships through their professors, family members or friends.

If you love this post so far and want to connect with me, here’s my LinkedIn Profile!

4. Rehearse for Your Interviews

Forget those memorised long model answers for all the possible questions. From my internship and job hunt experience, the key questions a recruiter wants to know are these:

A. Is the candidate interested enough?

This is through your research about the company, their key achievements, how you want to grow while taking up the internship roles. Do prepare some questions which show your interest in the industry as well as proper research about the company.

B. Is the candidate able to do the job?

This part looks at your past experiences, how these experiences could help you with the role you are applying for. You might want to try learning the STAR and CAR approaches to tackling these types of questions when they are posed.

C. Does the candidate fit in?

For this, just be yourself. Do not try to be someone you aren’t. Many recruiters and hiring managers can tell if you are faking it. Even if you made it through, personality and cultural mismatch may be a potential cause for a less than ideal experience. Therefore, be as genuine as you can! Basically, most questions which don’t fit the first two belong here! (E.g. What’s a superpower you want to have, what is your favourite hobby, etc.)

5. Do Start Early

There is a saying that the early bird catches the worm. This is also true when you search for an internship. Some companies love to confirm their head-counts earlier as internship hiring may be just a small part of what they need to do. Therefore, do start early!

Hope that this helps with your internship hunt! Do let me know down in the comments below if you have other ways to hunt for an internship as well as you want to learn next!

Hope you liked our story today. Do bookmark this site, leave a comment in the section below, and follow us on our LinkedIn page as we look forward to curating new content for you!

Got your internship and want to make it a memorable experience? Here are some rules that I follow!

Tracking your web traffic? This post on Google Analytics may give you some business insights.

Working from home during this period? Here are some key takeaways from my in-office turned work-from-home internship.

If you are looking at acquiring some technical skills to stand out, try reading these selection guides for Business Analytics Modules or for General electives!

Image Credits: Photo by Peter Nguyen on Unsplash
Original Post Date: 27 Jul 2020


Analytics: Analysing Fortune Global 500 Companies with Tableau

Today, we will explore the top 500 companies in the world with Tableau! (Inspired by touching Tableau at work non-stop and assisting with lots of queries for the past two weeks! Yes, I keep getting inspired from work.)

Recently, I had the chance to use Analytics Software, Tableau at work, which reminded me that I have a student license which has recently been renewed during my digital marketing class. While I could, it’s time to demonstrate the capability of Tableau to be showcased on my blog. One of the reasons why I would use Tableau is the ease of use. Of course since that comes with a hefty price tag, we could always use PowerBI (too bad I’m a Mac User here though so no PowerBI for me!)

Where are Fortune Global 500 Companies Located?

The countries where each Fortune Global 500 Company is Located
The countries where each Fortune Global 500 Company is Located

Fortune Global 500 Companies are Located in a total of 35 countries. The countries are:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA.

Which Countries Have the Most Fortune Global 500 Companies?

China and USA are tied at having the most Fortune Global 500 Companies

Well a surprising answer to the question! We managed to get a tie between the USA and China, with 121 Companies in the Fortune Global 500 in 2020 each!

Which Country has the Most Total Revenue Earned by Fortune Global 500 Companies (In USD Millions)?

USA Companies Earned the Most Revenue in 2020.

Despite having the same number of Global 500 Companies in USA and China, the companies in the USA has generated above 20% more revenue than in China in 2020. The third largest revenue is generated by Japan, followed by Germany, France, UK, etc.

Which Fortune Global 500 Companies Hire the Most Employees?

Walmart Hired the Most employees, followed by China Natural Petroleum and China Post.

In 2020, the company which hired the most employees is Walmart, at 2.2 Million, that is about 1/3 of Singapore’s (My Home Country) Population!

Dashboarding and Filtering

A look into Japan on the Fortune Global 500

Since we have talked enough about China and USA, I decided to take a look further into a third country on the list, Japan. I clicked on Japan on the world map to filter the revenue earned, as well as seeing the largest Japanese companies in terms of Employment. The largest Fortune Global 500 employer in Japan is Toyota, with 360k employees, followed by Nippon with 319k employees.

Do you know what else comes from Japan? Ramen, and here’s some pricing analytics on Ramen prices!

Wow it’s quite hard to show this analysis on the blog, perhaps it is time to create a new YouTube Channel on the analysis or something to show videos.

Will definitely miss having Tableau once my student license expires.

Hope you liked our Analysis of the Global 500 Companies. Now that we are done analysing companies, how about analysing universities in Singapore?

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

Image Credits: Original Artwork by Tan Wei Xiang
Data Source:


University Graduation Reflection: The Best Time to Challenge my Comfort Zone

Last Wednesday, I attended my physical convocation at Nanyang Technological University. It was a unique experience as it was the first time any graduate from NTU attended a graduation ceremony with a mask on to receive his certificate, or rather just the folder. (the certificate was already at home!) Over the weekend, I was reflecting on my experience at university being the best time to challenge my comfort zone. Here is 7 ways where I challenged my comfort zone while in university:

Jump to Sections:
1. Joining Countless Co-curricular Activities at University
2. Starting my Own Business
3. Doing 3 MNC Internships
4. Going for a Semester Exchange in France
5. Taking Part in Case Competitions and Hackathons
6. Overloading in University to do Interesting Electives
7. Picking the Business Analytics specialisation at Business School

1. Joining Countless Co-curricular Activities at University

During my first two years of university, I engaged in more Co-curricular activities than I ever did for my other schooling years. I saw myself challenging my comfort zone, taking up leadership positions for the first time in NTU Students’ Union and NTU Entrepreneurship Society, to contribute to the broader student community. It was through these experiences that I learned to be a better leader.

NTU Students' Union Information and Research Committee 18/19
NTU Students’ Union Information and Research Committee 18/19

I also joined multiple other activities as a committee member, putting myself out there to interact with new people, and honing my communications skills through activities like Toastmasters, as well as volunteering for the main committee of a camp for underprivileged children.

While being from an A Level background, while it was uncomfortable to let my studies take the back seat, I am satisfied with the holistic development in university!

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2. Starting my Own Business

I was doing a bit of research online about university and one of the conclusions which I had was university was the best time to give it a go at running my own business! I decided to sign up for the Minor in Entrepreneurship programme at NTU, where I had the chance to run my own business with a passionate group. The business we ran, EcoTumble, was a business which sells collapsible cups, and reusable straws, with the purpose of reducing the environmental footprint from takeaway drinks and food! I remembered that back then, reusable straws were starting to be popular, and instead of just saving the straw, why not save the whole cup too!

Showcase Night with my Minor in Entrepreneurship Team with our Business: EcoTumble
Showcase Night with my Minor in Entrepreneurship Team with our Business: EcoTumble

While the business was not the most profitable, we did manage to make a 40% profit off our initial investment, which was an incredible feat!

Running the end-to-end of the business also gave me the opportunity to understand how various business functions come together, and how to continually pivot from the various challenges faced.

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3. Doing 3 MNC Internships

To be honest, I started my internships at university quite late. I only had my first internship in the winter break of my penultimate year! When I was at Schaeffler, I decided to take up an internship in Talent Management, which was a field very different from what I intended to do. For me, any internship experience was important to know more about the corporate environment and I was glad to have been with the APAC Human Resource Team.

Schaeffler Dinner and Dance 2019
Schaeffler Dinner and Dance 2019

Following that, I went for two internships with the marketing department, understanding about research, CRM, Digital Marketing and Product Marketing.

In my last internship in Kavo Kerr, managing the internship part time while juggling my final semester of studies challenged me to keep my timetable and priorities in order. I managed to find ways to work more efficiently, as well as keep my calendar properly documented so that I could do an internship, while study at the same time!

As internship season looms, here are some internship tips which I have previously written for my juniors!

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4. Going for a Semester Exchange in France

In my final year of studies, despite having only 6 modules left for the final year, I decided to go for an exchange programme at ESSEC Business School in France, where I could only do 3 of my university courses. Despite that, I decided to overload some modules in marketing, where ESSEC is famous for, and also met international friends along the way.

Outside ESSEC Business School with my product innovation classmates!
Outside ESSEC Business School with my product innovation classmates!

While on the exchange programme, I also had the opportunity to travel to several countries and experience different cultures. For instance, I went to Munich, Germany to attend the Oktoberfest; I shopped at the various Passages (iconic shopping places) in Paris, France; I embarked on a solo trip to Belgium during one of the weekends! This gave me a more complete view of the world and if you are considering to go on exchange (once COVID ends), I strongly urge you to go for once as it is a transformative experience of a lifetime!

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5. Taking Part in Case Competitions and Hackathons

While I did take part in some case competitions, time is limited and I did not take part in as many case competitions as many others in university. Of the various case competitions I took part in, I am happy to have made one podium finish for the NTU-AXS Video Case Challenge, where I challenged my comfort zone by putting together multiple clips of videos taken by my team!

NTU-AXS Video Case Competition
NTU-AXS Video Case Competition

In my final semester, I also took on the most difficult capstone business analytics course in business analytics consulting, where we did a business analytics consulting project for the course partner, Aon, an insurance brokerage firm. Months of hard work came to fruition when we claimed the best team title for the course.

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6. Overloading in University to do Interesting Electives

Yes! That’s right! I overloaded by 5 electives while in university.

Electives are courses which are seemingly unrelated to the major of study, which for me is business analytics. As I took up a minor in entrepreneurship, I had no more electives left after my first year. However, I started sending in my first overload request for my 4th semester in school. The overload was wonderful, as I saw myself doing a few modules in Marketing, Innovation, Web Design and UI/UX Design. Being trained in the Analytics space, the exposure to marketing and design helped me further hone my interest that Analytics is a cross-functional field which integrates knowledge from various fields!

Snippet from my group video for AB0502 Managing Sustainability
Snippet from my group video for AB0502 Managing Sustainability

I also did video content creation while doing one of the electives from a compulsory basket of sustainability electives, AB0502 Managing Sustainability. In this course, we explored the sustainability of culture, while making a long term sustainable business concept out of it!

If you are looking for some electives to take, here is a post on some general electives which I recommend taking in NTU.

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7. Picking the Business Analytics specialisation at Business School

When it came to picking my specialisation after my first year in university, I was making a choice between marketing and business analytics. Eventually, I did a specialisation in Business Analytics.

Why did I say this was out of the comfort zone? Well for one, two-thirds of my cohort in Business Analytics took a double degree, which meant that I would be pitted against the best of the best in the cohort. However, embracing the challenge, I decided to go into my course with both eyes wide open and put in my best effort into it. I ended up doing surprisingly better than I expected! The moral of this story is to stay true to your passion and try your best at whatever choice you decide on.

Do read this post on why I picked the Business Analytics Specialisation at Nanyang Business School!

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With my first degree done and dusted, I feel ready to tackle the challenges in my next phase of life!

Well that was a really long reflection, and if you read till this point, hope that this experience may inspire you to challenge your comfort zone in university!

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Photo Credits from: Nanyang Technological University


Pricing Analytics: Maximising the Value of Your Ramen

Have you always been intrigued by how Ramen Restaurant priced their dishes? Most of the time, the Ramen is a modular product, which can be broken down into many ingredients: The Ramen, the broth, the toppings, etc. Today, we have specially broken down the prices on the menu of a Ramen restaurant which has recently set up an outlet in Singapore, and present to you this pricing analytics piece. Our main questions of the day is how much is each component of the ramen valued at, and which item on the menu gives the most value.

The Dataset: 15 Bowls of Ramen

To start off, we found the menu of a restaurant (which we shall not link because we aren’t sponsored, and also potentially not wanting to swing the sales for the restaurant after our analysis.)

Next we listed the prices, as well as the ingredients offered. This will be the dataset that we would use.

Menu and Price of Ramen
Menu and Price of Ramen

Exploratory Data Analysis

Firstly, let’s get the assumptions out of the way. For this case, the base ramen is assumed as the same for everything in the menu. We also assume that having “Chef’s Recommendation” or “Most Popular” will not influence pricing, though it probably does in many business settings.

Well, we could safely assume that every ingredient will be important in the analysis right? Ironically, no. The first step is to look at any correlated values before we do the analysis. By running a correlation plot, we realised that Spring Onions are missing only in the truffle ramen. We also learned that Leek is always in the Chicken Broth, and Bean Sprout and Pickled Onions are always in the Spicy Yuzu Broth. We are also removing truffle menu items from the analysis as they are way too different from the others and will influence the data. This way, all Tonkotsu broth has wood ear fungus too which should be removed. These data should be counted as part of the broth for a more reflective pricing model which will not exclude any variables.

Correlation Plot of Ingredients and Price
Correlation Plot of Ingredients with Price

Pricing Analytics: Which Ramen is the most and least worth it?

So we ran our model. It fits on a perfect straight line!! The restaurant was very clear on their component pricing. Basically, all the menu items were equally worth it. That was not what we expected but it’s an entirely possible outcome.

Pricing Analytics: How much do you pay for each component in your Ramen?

We looked at the output and thought what’s next, we basically obtained a price chart of the Ramen components! (Assuming the Base Ramen is included in the broth.)

Ramen Price Analytics Outcome
How each part of your ramen is priced

If you ordered just a Tonkotsu Broth (which comes with Wood Ear Fungus) without toppings, it would be $8.90, $9.90 for chicken broth (With Leek) and $12.90 for a Spicy Yuzu Broth (With Pickled Onions and Bean Sprout). Each of your toppings of each Belly Chashu, Hanjuku Egg and Collar Cha Shu is $2 Each. Your Seaweed is more or less free and should not be calculated into the equation, but you do get a bigger seaweed for your large bowls so this should be a plus point!

In conclusion when ordering your ramen, pick the bowl which gives you seaweed of your choice (at least in this store.). In addition, now you have this chart to make a rational decision when ordering Ramen in future.

Hope you liked our post today. Hope that this post will inspire you to do your own analysis of your favourite restaurant menus. If you’re interested in starting your own Ramen restaurant, do take a look at our business model analysis here.

Do bookmark this site, leave a comment in the section below, and follow us on our LinkedIn page as we look forward to curating new content for you every week. Next, do read about how we used Google Analytics to Analyse our top and bottom posts of 2020, or on how we text mined 400 spam comments!

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