News & Announcements

Harvard Business School to Nurture Data Professionals in Malaysia

29 April 2016

A strategic collaboration between MDEC, HRDF and TheCADS to grow Data Professionals in the country.

KUALA LUMPUR, 29 April 2016 –Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), in association with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and The Center of Applied Data Science (TheCADS), introduced a customised Big Data Analytics (BDA) programme by Harvard Business School (HBS) Executive Education in Malaysia. The first batch of the four-day programme took place at Hilton KL from 25th April 2016 with 53 C-level participants from key industries. Participating companies include PETRONAS, Celcom, Astro, Maxis, Senheng, KFit, UNITAR, Grab, Chatime among others.

Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer, MDEC said, “It is imperative for companies today to add value and stay competitive by ‘future-proofing’ their businesses through the development and adoption of innovative ‘disruptive technologies’ such as Big Data Analytics.”

She added, “This is a crucial milestone for us in our efforts to nurture local data professionals and to build a robust BDA ecosystem to benefit all sectors of Malaysia’s Digital Economy. Thanks to our partners, TheCADS and HRDF, we can now offer our local industry players a Harvard-quality BDA programme.”

The 4-day programme allows participants to:

  • gain a fundamental understanding of big data and learn how to apply complex analytics methods 
  • explore how experimentation and predictive analysis can improve business model and efficiency 
  • address the ethics of transparency in data collection and the concept of "un-volunteered truths" 
  • examine the implications of big data analysis on marketing, the supply chain, and human resources 
  • recruit and develop data-savvy talent who have the skills to take analytics to the next level 
  • recognise big data as a valuable resource for building and implementing strategic initiatives 
  • build and sustain a competitive advantage by expanding company's analytics capabilities

Professor Karim Lakhani, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School said, “The overwhelming response to the first batch of the programme is a testament to Malaysia’s growing focus on Big Data Analytics and the growth opportunities it offers for medium and large businesses. This unique program can provide a useful bridge between a participant’s knowledge about Big Data and a real-life situation, where they may require specific technical competencies to harness the power of data.” 

Dato’ CM Vignaesvaran, Chief Executive Officer of HRDF said, “We are thrilled to support this collaboration that helps in upskilling Malaysians and has the potential to transform businesses in Malaysia. With MDEC’s support, we have identified Big Data and Analytics as a specialist skill that will contribute to economic development and foster business innovation across industries.”

Sharala Axryd, Managing Director of TheCADS said, “We are very proud to collaborate with Harvard, MDEC and HRDF on this initiative. Our aim is to build the BDA talent pool in Malaysia by bringing world class learning solutions that ensure a consistent and sustainable supply of skilled workforce and that will also help address the talent skills gap in the local ICT sector.”

Kick-starting in December 2016, MDEC’s ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) platform will focus on generating innovative talent development models, including an innovation lab to showcase the latest BDA technologies and encourage ideation among local businesses across key verticals. The platform was first introduced during the 2015 MSC Implementation Council Meeting in October last year as a regional platform to connect the community, enterprises, startups, academia and working professionals in a central location as well as inspire and enable organisations to embrace data-driven Innovation. It also aims to boost pilot programmes on existing use cases for the ASEAN region.

Interested companies and C-level executives can apply for the next HBS cohort with TheCADS via or +603 2201 0236.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Zalinda Zainon
General Manager
Corporate Communications Division
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
Tel: +603-8315-3229