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Data Analytics Will be the DNA of New Economy Nandan Nilekani has expressed concern that increasing aggregation of data on a few platforms will create a new set of monopolies and a whole new model of colonization

By Alex Suh

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The twenty-first century has ushered in a new age of data science and analytics. With the advent of automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (MI) companies are slowly adapting and changing their learning curve towards software analytics.

Data-driven innovation forms a key pillar for the sources of growth in the 21st century. The confluence of several trends, including the increasing migration of socio-economic activities to the Internet and the decline in the cost of data collection, storage and processing, is leading to the generation and use of huge volumes of data — commonly referred to as "Big Data".

These large data sets are becoming a core asset in the economy, fostering new industries and ecosystems, processes and products and creating significant competitive advantages.

A majority of the firms and companies leverage Big Data to identify the business potential, merchant-customer relationship and possible approachable services to customers. The growth, revenue, operational excellence and cost reduction are optimized to finer levels because of implementation of Big Data technology in India.

Indian Scenario

Already a key business destination for analytics and data science, the position of Indian analytics industry is only going to grow in the coming years. A recent report by Nasscom predicts that India's analytics industry is expected to grow eight-fold to $ 16 billion by 2025. Another report by Analytics India Magazine and AnalytixLab state that the Big Data and Analytics industry in India is currently estimated to be $2.03 billion annually in revenues and that it is growing at a healthy rate of 23.8 per cent Compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Studies quite evidently represent a positive picture of the Indian analytics industry and are likely to create more opportunities for professionals dwelling in the space. The increased adoption of Big Data by SMEs is a strong indicator of sustainable growth for the industry. The growth in this sector will also bring more employment prospects and equal opportunities for all - starting from fresher to experienced professionals in the space.

Key Challenges

Regarding how Data Analytics and Automation will transform India, Nandan Nilekani the former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, who crafted the Aadhaar plan for identifying Indian residents, expresses concern about the increasing aggregation of data on a few platforms that is likely to result in the emergence of new set of monopolies and a whole new model of colonization. It creates the need of adopting new data policies in India to give individuals control over the usage of their data by corporations or governments.

There is a distinct possibility that in the coming years, the future intelligent applications will be very much like the web applications of today. It is easily predictable that just a few years from now, big data is going to be driving the growth and the usefulness and the value across industries, whether it be healthcare or retail or enterprise technology, or even emerging companies, they're all going to be built on big data analytics. Hence, for a company indulging in different strategies to manage, validate and analyze big data, adopting new technologies is inevitable.

Future of Big Data in India

Amongst the several factors driving this exponential rise of the Indian analytics industry is the growing data generation at an individual level. India, with its burgeoning population of more than a billion, Internet users in excess of 400 million and smartphone user-base of around 300 million, is deemed to generate massive data, making each click an important information point that can be processed using Big Data tools to reveal user behavior and come up with useful and profitable decisions. The growth in the Internet-enabled devices and thereby data generation is only expected to grow in future given its easy accessibility, low-cost, ease of use and overall economic growth of the country.

An example of this is the recent 4G data wave thatwas created with the entrance of low cost telecom carriers. It enabled the low income Indian population to join the digital bandwagon, allowing a larger chunk of data to be captured, giving a better understanding of customers to businesses and government programs. Mobile applications have also now capitalized on this vast pool of information available to help users understand their mobile data spends as can be seen in apps like True Balance.

The recent demonetization in India has brought about an attitudinal shift in the minds of the Indian people with more individuals now migrating towards digital payment mediums and this increasing digitization of transactions is a positively correlating factor for the Big Data Analytics demand in the country.

In addition, there is also the government's unique identification project, which aims to provide a unique digital identity — an AADHAR number to each of its citizen for efficient delivery of services. Linking of the AADHAR to various services like finance, healthcare etc. is expected to create a gigantic pool of data which would require Big Data analytics to convert the raw data into meaningful information and facilitate analysis.

In conclusion, with India being amongst the top five social media and mobile consumers in the world, generation of vast amount of data is indispensable. It is estimated that by year 2020, Big Data analytics would synthesize into a booming market providing abundant opportunities to firms and investors wanting to explore this space.

Alex Suh

General Director (data analysis), True Balance

Alex Suh is the General Director of data analysis at True Balance.
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