DailyPost 1741

The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen traces our hoary tradition through highly charged disputes in various conventional areas but as we move deeper and deeper into the technology age, the debate is more of noise, if any.  The substantive part of the debate is lost or it seems it was never there. We are in the midst of a Data Revolution, has the country been gaining out of it? Data is the new oil, and is not only indicative of the asset part of it but metaphorically it is the running fuel of every engine of the nation. They say whichever country makes this revolution hugely successful would surge miles ahead in the battle for world supremacy.  The  IT Behemoths have for the US extracted the world of data for processing in their economic engine. Not to talk of what the government does with its data.

The Big Data Mindset is missing in this country. While our data is used day in and day out by the MNCs to even predict our market behaviour, our sentiments and may be the best route for the Amazon delivery guy, what is our capability with big data. The IT industry would take a long time to get into the data mode distinct from the marketing mode. With body shopping and trading somebody’s products and services mainstream, we are not sure what worth that data would be for the country and whether it can be treated as their data. The integrity and honesty of data of the  IT behemoths created through their own systems and value added through wide and varied technical tools propelled the Big Data Revolution.

Government is replete with humongous databases and once the base level credibility is established, the data tools located, we will be able to find newer insights into every aspect of our functioning. What can the humongous railways reservations data throw up? If the correlations are established, it can help predict the nature of trains and frequency required. If all this data were to be connected with the data on  the businesses happening on Indian platforms? Railway station CCTV data could throw up another set of data points, all these together with big data analytics used for real life problem statements can throw up immense possibilities. We have to transform our latent data, into one full of business and life evolving opportunities. To find a few percentages here and there is what we use our date for, rest is a Data Tomb.

Have we even tried out for what else our census data can be used but for the conventional ones. It will add a new meaning if it gets connected to various areas of its usage. Have we even mapped the connects? Data not available instantaneously for the right usage is no data. We are still suffering in the sub RTI age. Humongous data bases throw up patterns that can be relied upon. If the whole public health system of the country becomes a Big Data Laboratory, with reliable data points added up and analysed, it can itself throw up its solutions. The first challenge is to create a system which is real time and dynamic,  the first move towards  data credibility. If we cannot unravel the mystery of our Big Data, we will never be able to find our way to progress and prosperity with confidence. Only Big Data Analytics can deliver the results given the fact that the Big Data Deluge has made scientific methods obsolete.


Sanjay Sahay

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