Given the number of people and the huge diversity, India seems to be an ideal place for big data. The big data industry in India seems quite exciting as digging deep into data to get trends produces unique, contextual, and varying results. NASSCOM has set a target to make India one of the top three entities in the big data and analytics market, within the next three years. But before talking about the future, it is important to understand the big data industry in India, in its current form.
The Current Picture
Big data can broadly be described as a system that is capable of handling the gargantuan size of data in various formats, be it volume, variety, or velocity. Digital and visualisation capabilities are integrated by big data to secure business growth for understanding complex data patterns in business.
India has witnessed the implementation of big data across industries such as public health, finance, banking, and FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods). According to K.S Viswanathan, the Vice President of NASSCOM, the big data sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26% over the next five years, reaching an expected value of $16bn by 2025. Viswanathan also predicts that, by 2025, India will have a 32% share in the overall global market.
The big data industry currently employs around 90,000 people, across various sectors. This growth is propelled by demand for cloud-based solutions and predictive analytics capabilities. With around 600 companies in this space, 400 being startups, another 100 were added in 2015 alone. While the North American IT services and analytics firms currently dominate the global market with their big data solutions, companies emerging in the Indian market are expected to catch up soon as the region continues to grow as a hub for high-end data solutions.
The Promising Future
With big data analytics being employed by both government agencies (like Aadhar and UPI) and private companies, the big data industry in India has been growing exponentially. A shining example of how serious India is about its data comes from India’s biggest auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, which drafted a ‘Big Data Management Policy’ to improve their functions.
CAG aims to exploit the data-rich environment in the state and union governments, building capacity in the Indian audit and accounts department. Similarly, distributed companies (DISCOMs) in India are capturing the data from sensors that are installed at the last mile of power consumption and analysing it in association with historical power usage patterns to hypothesise what preventive measures can be taken for Aggregated Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses.
The most recent and perhaps also the largest entrant in the field of big data is Reliance Jio – a company intending to usher in digital data abundance. Slowly and steadily, even non-profits are turning to big data to increase the impact of their products and services while simultaneously optimising their finances.
To cite a prominent example, the Akshay Patra Foundation in Bangalore uses data analytics to deliver food to schools in a cost-effective manner. The NITI Aayog, in its attempt to optimise private businesses and public goods and services, is furthering the development of India’s capability in big data; incorporating skills and human development and developing platforms that can compliment the rising demand.
While the use of big data technology faces challenges like applicability, storage, security, and scope, it also creates a new paradigm with data being created by various kinds of satellites, smartphones, sensors, and social sites. With rapid advancement in fields like AI and deep learning algorithms, the next phase of growth for the big data industry in India is clearly visible.