Professional services firm KPMG and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have signed a three-year Master Research Collaboration Agreement (MRCA). With this MRCA, KPMG plans to work with A*STAR’s research institutes under the Science and Engineering Research Council to drive the digitalisation of the firm’s capabilities, products and services.
To kick-start this collaboration, KPMG, and A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R) will be launching an inaugural joint laboratory, focusing on the areas of Cyber Security, Text-Mining, Machine Translation and Human Resources (HR) Analytics.
With an initial joint investment of S$5 million, the research facility would be KPMG's first joint laboratory in Singapore; as well as the Agency’s first foray into the professional services industry. This joint laboratory will leverage I²R’s strong capabilities in cyber security and data analytics, as well as KPMG’s expertise in professional services.
I²R’s state-of-the-art algorithms will allow KPMG to offer its clients advanced Cyber Security services through faster and more sophisticated incident detection and response tools facilitated by real-time attack detection and analysis. This includes a unique automated, continuous process that can significantly reduce threats and minimise impact from cyber-attacks.
Text-mining technologies will provide solutions that crunch large quantities of text, documents and data to provide valuable insights and solutions more efficiently. Research in text-mining parameters and machine-learning algorithms will increase productivity in the monitoring, and curation of solutions for KPMG’s clients.
The company will also leverage I²R’s expertise in Machine Translation technology that is focused on Asian languages. The joint laboratory will produce a more accurate engine for the translation of business documents for faster and more seamless multilingual collaborations.
A fourth area of the laboratory’s focus is in Human Resources (HR) Analytics. Tapping on I²R’s strength in data analytics and predictive algorithms, KPMG will also leverage on aggregated data to determine and manage recruitment and attrition trends as well as facilitate more accurate workforce planning.
Mr Ong Pang Thye, Managing Partner, KPMG in Singapore, said: “Almost 90 percent of Singapore CEOs surveyed in the KPMG CEO Outlook 2018 say that digital disruption presents new opportunities. This opportunity to collaborate with A*STAR’s I²R in creating a data-science powered lab will not just empower our internal processes, but will also allow us to raise our game in serving our clients.”
Professor Tan Sze Wee, Executive Director of A*STAR's Science & Engineering Research Council, said, “A*STAR is happy to partner KPMG to drive its digitalisation efforts in the professional services sector. This joint lab with KPMG will bring our strong capabilities in the areas of cyber security and data analytics to help address the needs of the professional service industry and its clients.”