President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad

To FINEX members and friends,

November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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The data-driven executive
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Mr. Reynaldo C. Lugtu, Jr.By Reynaldo C. Lugtu, Jr.

MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
April 18, 2017

The data-driven executive

Business Option is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Tuesday & Thursday in Manila Bulletin, business section.

Dashboards have become fashionable in recent years due to advances in data analytics and how processed data is presented and visualized to help business executives in making decisions. They have become a critical and important resource for organizations to improve their profitability, enhance customer experience, and look for opportunities to make operations efficient.

This have spawned the new breed of business executives – one that is data-driven, willing to invest in big data and data scientists to churn out actionable data, willing to learn how to interpret dashboards, and perennially curious about relationships of data sets to tests business hypotheses.

In fact, “big data” has come a long way since its rise to hype-dom in 2014 such that businesses are truly deriving benefits form data analytics. Business executives can now be presented with various forms of data and relationships between and among variables to provide them with descriptive analytics which provides hindsight (what happened?), diagnostic and predictive analytics that provide insight (why did it happen? what will happen?), and prescriptive analytics which provides foresight (how can we make it happen?).

Descriptive analytics is a preliminary stage of data processing that produces a summary of historical data to yield useful information, providing hindsight on what happened. Historical sales presented in a bar graph with a super-imposed trend line or Twitter trending in the last 30 days are examples of descriptive analytics. Diagnostic and predictive analytics, on the other hand, are more advanced data analyses. The former provides a deeper look at data to attempt to understand the causes of events and behaviors. The latter identifies future probabilities and trends by providing information about what might happen in the future. For example, business process outsourcing companies in the Philippines uses diagnostic and predictive analytics to understand causes of employee absenteeism and low productivity, and predict who and how many will eventually leave the company.

Lastly, prescriptive analytics is dedicated to finding the best course of action, given the certain parameters, and suggest decision options to best take advantage of a future opportunity or mitigate a future risk. Some examples of prescriptive analytics applications are self-driving cars which make multiple decisions about what to do given situations in traffic, pedestrians crossing, and so on; or the ones used by the oil and gas industry to optimize operations on where to explore new oil sites to predict performing and non-performing oil wells.

Despite these advances and available opportunities for enhanced decision-making, majority of the business executives use only descriptive analytics. I estimate that in the Philippines, 98% of business decision-makers use this method only to analyze historical patterns and make “guestimates” on future forecasts. Only a measly 2% of business executives, mainly in the banking sector to in risk management predictions and BPO sector to predict employee attrition. A negligible number of executives dabble in prescriptive analytics, mainly those in tech start-ups.

Not only that. Research firm Forrester reported that although 74% of enterprises globally say they strive to be data driven, only 29% say their organizations are good at turning data insights into actionable business outcomes. This means that, whether descriptive or diagnostic analytics, majority of the business executives are not able to take advantage of the power of dashboards to help them in decision-making. This probably stems from the inability of many business decision-makers to formulate hypotheses about their business, test these hypotheses using the tools of advanced analytics, and eventually make decisions.

This only shows the enormous opportunities for Philippine businesses to take advantage of advanced data analytics to help them making better decisions. But its supremely incumbent upon business leaders to create a data-driven culture. It starts from them – to be open about learning these new tools, immersing themselves in creative ways of using and interpreting data, and investing in data tools and resources.

The ultimate winners in business are those that are able to make use of the power of data to provide hindsight, insight, and foresight.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of FINEX. The author may be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The author is a senior executive in an information and communications technology firm. He is the Chairman of the ICT Committee of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). He teaches strategic management in the MBA Program of De La Salle University. He is also an Adjunct Faculty of the Asian Institute of Management.

Managing Millenials
Mr. Ronald S. GosecoBy Ronald S. Goseco

December 14, 2017

Managing Millenials

I was recently asked by our principal how different it is to manage today’s millenials as compared to a similar group of individuals twenty years ago. They asked me this since I previously managed auto dealerships twenty years ago with individuals with the same age profile.

Will RP Fit in the Integrated ASEAN Mold?
Zoilo By: Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III

December 13, 2017

Will RP Fit in the Integrated ASEAN Mold?

THERE HAVE BEEN REAL TRIUMPHS during the ASEAN Meeting in Manila. Sometimes, Filipinos pinch themselves if these are indeed sustainable?

The ASEAN with 600 million people and with the highest regional GDP growth rate-necessarily- attracts many seller-nations and investors. But with the ASEAN integration- with tariffs down among the ASEAN nations- this would ensure ASEAN should be for ASEANs, first.

Asian economic integration
By Mercedes B. SuleikBy Mercedes B. Suleik

Business Mirror (FINEX Free Enterprise)
December 05, 2017

Asian economic integration

On October 25 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a report on Asian Economic Integration and commented on the lessons learned after the Asian financial crisis 20 years ago. It stated that growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific have helped to improve the region’s economic resilience to uncertainties in the global economic environment. Asia’s intraregional trade rose in 2016 and acted as a buffer against headwinds from uncertainties in global trade and policy. Subregional trade integration was strongest in East Asia, followed by Southeast Asia and Central Asia.

Flor G. TarrielaBy Flor G. Tarriela

Business World (FINEX Folio)
November 24, 2017


Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 6.9% in the 3rd quarter but agriculture grew at a slower pace at 2.5% vs 3.0% in 3rd quarter 2016. Still, agriculture showed better growth of 4.6% YTD 2017 vs -1.3% in 2016.

Mr. George S. ChuaBy Mr. George S. Chua

BUSINESS MIRROR (Free Enterprise)
November 22, 2017


A number of months ago, I saw a Bloomberg interview of two young enthusiastic gentlemen who were the co-country directors of this relatively new multinational company called Transportify. As I was listening to the interview of Noel Abelardo and Paulo Bengson, of what Transportify was all about, I thought it was a great idea. The easiest way to explain it is if you have Uber and Grab as an app to transport passengers, you have Transportify to transport goods and packages.

The Importance of Development Finance
Mr. Benel D. LaguaManila Bulletin
MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
October 30, 2017

The Importance of Development Finance

Access to finance is always a daunting topic as it addresses two basic issues. Financial exclusion occurs when those denied access have economic and social return on investment better than those with regular access. The second issue is the response to concerns of inequality and the need for better redistribution of wealth.