In India, with over 400 start-ups in the Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning domain and over $150 million privately invested fund in the last two years, the growth seems obvious but there is a substantial lag in growth, compared to the US and China, tells Amit Ray, MD-Data Analytics Practice, Protiviti Member Firm for India. But the Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Warehouse market in India is expected to grow at over 20 per cent CAGR with major thrust on developing data science and modern BI platforms. This represents the fastest growth globally in any country. Excerpts from the interview:
Business Today: How analytics is reshaping the businesses globally? Where (which aspects of business) are the major changes happening?
Ray: Analytics is the ability to convert unstructured information into insights that facilitates decision making and action, which in turn unlock value for businesses. Thus data and analytics driven organisations have a competitive advantage and are able to differentiate themselves from the competition. Top level executives rely upon data to provide insights into business problems rather than their experience or instincts. Effective analytics strategy can drive revenue growth, help improve operating margins, enable leaner operations, uplift customer experience, and provide timely visibility into risks and performance of the organisation.
BT: What are the opportunities and what are the common pitfalls?
Ray: Opportunities are immense for organisations ready to take the plunge; from cross-selling and up-selling to opening doors to new customer segments; from identifying your customer preferences to customising your marketing spend; from identifying inefficiencies in your supply chain to plugging revenue losses and detecting fraud; from optimising your workforce to enhancing customer happiness quotient; the right use of data and analytics can open up endless possibilities.
A lot of organisations today still struggle with their inability to capture and collect all relevant data about their customers, suppliers, partners, etc. in a timely manner. Lack of governance and ownership around this critical asset in the company has resulted in failed analytics initiatives. If your data is bad, analytics becomes ‘garbage in, garbage out’. Successful analytics program is about understanding business problem we are trying to solve and then driving a culture change along with the adoption of analytics to ensure it becomes embedded in BAU.
BT: What are the latest and futuristic trends in data analytics? Please support with examples?
Ray: Data and Advanced Analytics is the backbone for a lot of emerging technologies and applications. Examples include work in the field of deep learning (applications in autonomous vehicles, Google translate, Alpha Go algorithm etc); Internet of Things and Industrial Internet of Things (Smart Home Appliances, Smart Medical Devices), Conversational AI and Virtual Assistants (Siri, Alexa, Chatbots), Augmented and Mixed Reality (Wearables like Samsung Virtual Reality Headsets, Virtual Reality mobile applications), machine vision, machine speech technologies (physical robots), and Process Mining and Robotic Process Automation.
BT: How Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics is expected to bring disruptions to traditional businesses?
Ray: What Internet did to the world in the past two decades, we foresee Machine Learning (ML)/Artificial Intelligence (AI) similarly transforming the entire economy to a different dimension altogether in the next decade or so. Time is not far away, when ML/AI enabled applications would traverse consumer mind so skilfully that even before the customer knows what he needs, his digital twin would recommend him.
All pervasive technology will challenge the basic construct of all traditional businesses, for example, telecom industry has been under a lot of stress since VoIP Audio and Video applications started to eat away into their margins. Fin-tech is doing the same to traditional banks and financial services organisations. It will be tough for traditional banking businesses with huge cost bases and physical assets to compete with nimble and all virtual Fin-tech companies who can provide same services faster, more efficiently and with a far lower cost. We have seen how Uber is disrupting taxi businesses globally or Air BnB disrupting the hospitality industry or Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are disrupting broadcasting and TV industry. Middle men and agents have no place or have been marginalized in most businesses. ML, AI and Advanced Analytics will only equip the disruptors with more power and ability to challenge the status quo. Traditional businesses are faced with a choice to either adapt fast or become irrelevant.
BT: How do you see the analytics space evolving in India? Who are major drivers? What is the market size and how it will expand? Where is the major spending?
Ray: From growth of Fin-tech analytics, rise of self-service analytics, democratisation of data to significant prominence shown by AI in businesses, several of these trends shall continue to find their space in the coming years in India.
In India, with over 400 start-ups in the AI/ML domain alone and over $150M privately invested fund since 2016, the growth seems obvious but there is a substantial lag in this growth when compared with the likes of US and China. Big IT firms along with government shall be the driving force behind the growth of this sector wherein specific trainings to the STEM graduates can be provided to expedite the skill gap in AI programming.
The Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Market in India was projected to reach $2.3B in 2018, according to Source Global. The analytics market alone in India is expected to touch $340 million in 2018, says Gartner, Inc. The market is expected to grow at a staggering rate of over 20 per cent CAGR with major thrust on developing data science and modern Business Intelligence (BI) platforms. This represents the fastest growth globally in any country.
Banking and Financial Services Institutions are the highest spenders in data and analytics, followed by Retail, Marketing & Advertising and e-Commerce. Pharma, Healthcare and Technology & Media companies are expected to infuse a lot of investments into data and analytics in the near future. From a region perspective, Delhi/NCR, Bangalore and Mumbai continue to be the hubs where most of data and analytics talent are located since a lion’s share of the work in this area is being done from these locations.