It is very surprising to note that over 90% of the world’s data today has been created merely in the last two years. With the advent of social media, huge volumes of data are being generated on a daily basis, unlocking several new possibilities for different stakeholders in the global ecosystem.
Even in India, the last two years have seen initiatives like Digital India, Aadhaar, 100 smart cities mission, and MyGov etc. being envisaged to enable proactive participation of citizens for good governance. The data originating from these initiatives, combined with the vast volumes emerging from social media and other such sources on a daily basis, are together leading to a boom in the generation of digitized data and subsequent implementation of analytics in the country.
Such has been the scale of adoption, that‘data analytics’ has robustly progressed from being just a buzzword to becoming an indispensable tool for every business across every industry in the country. To put this into perspective, the domestic analytics market in India is estimated to be $3.03 Bn in size in 2019 and is projected to grow seven times in the next seven years, according to a recent study by Analytics India Magazine (AIM) and Praxis Business School.
Such growth figures indicate how Big Data is real and is here to stay, and India, with its vast pool of IT talent and rapidly-upgrading industries, has not only come aboard the data-led transformation but can also become a model nation for enabling successful data-based decisions.
But the question is, how? Here is how data analytics can help transform the face of Digital India for a better, smarter, and brighter tomorrow.
Enabling Smoother E-governance
In a bid to further the ‘Digital India’ vision, the Indian Government has been actively undertaking data-intensive initiatives and projects in the public sectors. From agriculture, trade, and transport to banking, policy-making, and even ensuring equitable water supply—the governments across states are initiating data-led projects to undertake more efficient and corrective measures.
For instance, Kerala Government is utilizing data analytics to analyze, monitor, and manage water distribution in the capital city, while Odisha Government is banking on it to enable true penetration of Government Welfare Schemes, thereby ensuring access to food and other facilities to the least served areas.
The 2017 ‘Project Insight’ also stands as a success story of leveraging data mining techniques and its subsequent analysis to catch tax evaders and procure information on black money. By utilising Big Data, AI, and ML, the government was not only able to flag accounts with sizable black money deposits but also find patterns and trends in these to flag other bank accounts.
NITI Aayog is also working on a model that will leverage AI to improve the crop yields of small landholding-farmers across the country, thereby giving the agricultural industry a boost. Through such stellar data-driven initiatives for governance, the government is striving to modernize administration across all states to enhance transparency while simultaneously enabling efficient delivery of essential services to the citizens of India.
Optimizing The Business Ecosystem
Analytics is increasingly becoming an integral part of the business ecosystem owing to its versatility and the accuracy of the outcomes that it predicts. By leveraging data analytics, AI, and other advanced technologies, businesses can truly harness data and discover insights that can play a transformational role in optimizing their operations through data-driven business decisions.
One of the most significant use-cases is monitoring and subsequent improvement of a business’ key performance indicators (KPIs). These data analytics tools can also help HRs measure the impact of their organization’s culture and engagement strategies to facilitate better employee retention.
It can also help with fundamental processes like supply chain optimization. Most importantly, data analytics will enable businesses to enhance customer engagement by understanding the needs and demands, staying updated with the market trends, and observing the kind of content that appeals them the most. Such analysis will help businesses improve their customer acquisition and retention strategies, boost sales and thus increase their overall revenue.
Better Understanding Of And Facilitation For The End-consumer
Data analytics helps with a complete picture of the behaviour and preferences of the end-consumer, which is the most important step towards expanding the market share for any product or service of a business. Implementation of data using a predictive analytics model can help target end-consumers better and enhance their experience to a considerable extent. Moreover, the spectrum of these computation powers does not stay limited to industries like retail and financial services etc., but can also prove to be beneficial in sectors like healthcare.
For instance, by gaining rich insights into factors like health condition, calorie consumption, activity levels, and sleep patterns etc. through wearable devices, the subsequent analysis can result in better monitoring and understanding of disease patterns, prediction of epidemics and disease outbreaks, finding new cures and for other diagnostic purposes.
For example, Telangana Government’s Aarogyasri Health Care Trust has developed and deployed a data analytics model to monitor and identify disease trends, along with fund management, etc. Therefore, through such measures, the public and private sectors in India can leverage data analytics to not just understand end-consumers better but to also facilitate the delivery of efficient value-added services and products.
The Road Ahead
The above-mentioned applications of data and advanced technologies indicate how this robustly-growing phenomenon has become an important asset for the government. Harnessing this data and integrating it into the public departments will enable the government to build analytical frameworks and design citizen-centric policies and services, thus digitally transforming the entire nation.
Further, one of the biggest reasons for the current economic slowdown is the poor demand-supply ratio, driven majorly by the rising unemployment rates and MSMEs being rendered financially underserved, thus bringing down the overall purchasing power.
Amidst such a scenario, if businesses leverage data analytics for cost-optimization, they will be able to facilitate workforce development. Further, through optimum-utilisation of these data sources, fintech lenders have the potential to accurately assess an MSME’s creditworthiness and extend financial aid, thereby addressing the humungous credit-gap in the segment.
Additionally, through an effective transformation of the academia to cater to the emerging job roles, the impending skill-gap can be addressed, thus leading to further employment generation. Therefore, through such proactive and sustainable data-based initiatives and successful public-private partnerships that wed private interests with the public good, the government has the potential to develop a win-win approach for an enhanced impact on the businesses, the society, and the economy on a whole.
Essentially, the need of the hour is to tap into the unparalleled possibilities that the vast mine of digitized data presents by leveraging analytics to improve e-Governance initiatives and the business ecosystem, while making digital technology an indispensable part of everyday lives of people across all demographics. As we steadily tread on the path towards being a truly ‘Digital India’, harnessing data and leveraging advanced technologies, especially Big Data and AI, are going to be the very foundation to build a better, smarter and brighter future India on.