Advanced analytics is transforming economies around the world. From North America, through Europe and across to Asia, it seems as though all sectors are harnessing machine learning and AI to drive performance.

FREMONT, CA: While Japan is renowned for its inventive and forward-thinking approaches to fields like hardware manufacturing technology, its standing in the digital economy has lagged behind other top-tier economies. Although Japan may be the world's leading supplier of robotic units, data capture is still in its infancy. As a result, one might still be asked to fax critical documents and come across flagship stores that sell CDs. The population of Japan is diminishing drastically. For the foreseeable future, the nation will lose the equivalent of a mid-sized city annually, and by 2050, it is predicted that the labour force will have decreased by 25 per cent.

For Japanese enterprises, this steady population decline presents a major obstacle.  Furthermore, the country’s economy depends heavily on domestic consumers, and a large number of homegrown businesses depend on the declining number of domestic consumers, which causes their operating margins to constantly contract. Advanced analytics now have a huge window of opportunity. Analytics allows businesses to improve how they operate, how processes function, and the value that can be derived from the available resources. By using AI, it is possible to address Japan's contracting labour market. When there are more open positions than applicants, equipping personnel with automation technologies will help them produce the kind of outcomes that would typically be anticipated in a much bigger workforce. Businesses that depend on Japanese consumers can use analytics to increase productivity in the interim. Finding cost-saving opportunities and promoting consistently better performance will help Japanese brands offer healthier margins, keep customers, and fend off foreign competitor brands that have started to penetrate Japan's hitherto exclusive market.

Japan's talent pool currently falls behind that of its neighbours, even though Asia has recently become a hub for AI and data expertise, with countries like South Korea leading the way. Companies all across the world will be aware of the challenge to find and keep qualified analytics specialists, but the competition for digital talent is particularly fierce in Japan. Demand for data scientists and AI developers is outpacing supply in all industries. Japan struggled to fill 220,000 tech jobs in 2018, and by 2030, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry predicts that number will rise to almost 550,000.  To develop the talent of the upcoming AI generation, steps are being done. The government said earlier this year that it would require nearly all scientific and certain humanities students to take data-related courses in college to cultivate 250,000 AI professionals each year as early as 2025. To provide incoming data professionals with an appealing corporate culture that makes them feel valued, Japanese businesses must embrace advanced analytics. The wider private sector also has a role to play in this.

The largest businesses in the world used to be centred on manufacturing (a sector in which Japan excelled), but today's economy is dominated by data-driven tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Alibaba. Japan in recent times has relied more on foreign suppliers for data management, access, and innovation since it hasn't adapted to the data economy as quickly as its rivals.