Chandramouli Sarkar, Cluster Head East India, ESAF Small Finance Bank & Former Vice President, Axis Bank
In the recent years, the industry is moving toward Big Data and it is interesting to conjecture how the industry would look after a few years.
With the passage of time, many a industry has become obsolete and new industries have taken their places. Some other industries have changed so much with the evolution of technologies that they hardly look like the earlier ones. The obsolescence of technology was slow and the transformation was quite smooth in the earlier days. However, the specter of obscurity has been drastically transforming the technology-driven industries in the last few decades in a way that was never known before.
In the recent years, the industry is moving toward big data and it is interesting to conjecture how the industry would look after a few years.
Big data deals with large and complex data that cannot be handled by conventional data-processing applications to generate information of value. The information and the advantages derived from random, unstructured data through efficient analysis and applications are huge in terms of identification of new opportunities, higher financial returns, customer centricity, cost reduction, higher operational efficiency, and smart business strategies.
Most of the time big data loosely refers to big data and business analytics but the industry actually covers the entire chain of data capture, curation, storage infrastructure, networking, data center infrastructure, discovery tools, applications, analytics, security,information privacy etc.
Big data analytics has definitely helped in deriving various benefits for the businesses but the mode of application may limit the outcome. It is observed that quite a few businesses, particularly the starters view the big data initiative as a separate project and they fail to integrate it with the basic goal of the company. This failure of taking a holistic view of the business often defeats the purpose of the initiative.
According to some estimates, the analytics business alone is expected to grow more than 50 percent to be over USD 200 billion in 2020 when the worldwide IT spending is projected to be about USD 2.7 trillion. So the big data analytics industry alone would have a 7.5 percent share of total IT spending. It is also expected that the big data technology and services market will reach USD 57 billion by 2020. India currently features among the top ten countries in the world in data analytics. So India as a country and the Indian data scientists have immense opportunities in this field. In India, big data analytics has made inroads in a wide range of industries. It is being used by government departments, businesses in private and public sectors, and even by NGOs. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has recently drafted the Big Data Management Policy for Indian audit and accounts departments.
In India, most of the big data vacancies remain vacant for want of qualified people. Even in the United States, it is estimated that only about 40 percent positions of data scientists can be filled. Estimates, according to some placement agencies, state that by 2020 the vacant positions of data analytics may go beyond 20,000. This has created big employment opportunities for the students of mathematics, statistics, and engineering. The companies have designed programmes to equip their employees with these skills and there has been some discussion about modification of curriculums in engineering with the introduction of big data analytics.
There has been an intense speculation about how the big data industry will look like in the next decade. While any prediction is most likely to be proved wrong, one is tempted to make the following assumptions about the trend of the industry.
Real-time decisions will be used with the help of big data applications. Information privacy is going to be the biggest challenge in the days to come. Use of autonomous agents like virtual advisors, robots etc. would become a common sight. All businesses would try to extract value from their data and ultimately relevant and useful data may replace big data.