Saturday, July 12, 2014

Big Data and Analytics Summit 2014

Big Data and Analytics Summit 2014 – NASSCOM

When: 27th June 2014, 9:00 AM – 5:15 PM

Where: Hotel Trident, Hyderabad

Sponsored By: Accenture, CapGemini, Paypal, Airtel, EXL, Virtusa, Genpact, Contact Singapore, Target


1.       The Nasscom event was attended by thousands of analysts, architects, data scientists and managers across India. It provided a platform to interact with the market leaders like Mu Sigma, Amazon, P&G, Target, Paypal, Indix, Simplify360 and many more. It was a full day event with lots of presentations, tech talks, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and product demos.

2.       There were many stalls at the event.  For instance, at the Accenture stall were two products exhibited – one was for automobile insurance the other one was for video analytics using Google glass. A car will be fitted with sensors that measure the speed, friction, wear and tear of the vehicle. These recordings are used to calculate the risk in real-time. Insurance premium is determined by the risk; for a safely driven car the premium is lower.

3.       Marc Chemin from CapGemini spoke about the advent of Big Data in Europe.
·         Big data is used in 3 areas – enhancement (e.g. to boost sales), disruption & new business.
·         With the advent of Big Data and Analytics, a lot of Public agencies are being replaced by Private agencies. The public agencies work in silos and don’t usually share any public data. However very intelligent systems can be built by sharing data, and winning people’s confidence.
·         Lastly it was discussion around Data privacy in Europe. There are 29 authorities in Europe and each of them defines their own privacy policies around data regulation. Hence it gets tough to execute some of the Big Data projects.

4.       Michael Barnes from Forrester Research provided a lot of insights to Analytics market.
·         In the earlier days data was used as a system of record, now it is used as system of engagement to touch people. More and more companies are coming out and investing in Business Technologies to provide better customer experience.
·         In the earlier days data was scarce, expensive, easy to manage, neat-rich-structured, manageable number of formats and structures. With Big data we have plenty of data, cheap, impossible to manage, messy & detailed, nearly infinite in format & structure.
·         Getting the right & sufficient data, skills, technology and experience are key requirements to work in Analytics.
·         Currently Big Data is used for real-time reporting. In future it will be used for process automation, adhoc decision support, operational planning, and strategy planning.
·         Michael gave this wonderful definition – “Big Data is not a technology, a project, an objective with a single compute. It is a journey, process, strategic effect. The practices & technologies that close the gap between the data available and able to turn data into business insights”.

5.       This was followed by presentation by Michael Svilar from Accenture Analytics. Some of the projects that they are executing – Connected Cars, Network Analytics, Safe City & Smart Water (to stop wastage of water in UK using Big Data). The statistics shows that in India 94% of the companies that use Big Data are satisfied with the results. Out of this, 65% are using to analyze customer behavior.

6.       The real crowd puller was by Dheeraj Rajaram, founder of one of the most successful startup in Analytics – Mu Sigma. He discussed some of the innovations in Analytics.
·         Innovation 1 – How some of the companies are using Social Score to sanction loans. They analyze how people are spending on and on what they are spending, by analyzing their Facebook posts.
·         Innovation 2 – Real-time video analytics used to determine possibility of fraud in betting industry.
·         Innovation 3 – Field engineers constantly face the risk of their lives. Big Data is being used to put an end to this. By 2015, 6 Billion devices will be connected.

7.       The next session was on Fraud Detection & Risk Management in online and offline space.
·         Online ecommerce companies constantly face the issue of Fraud & Risk (Cash On Delivery - customer might not pay for the item). Money-back guarantee is another big blow for these companies with the U.S dealing with 2.3 b$ worth of returns annually. Amazon quoted about this issue saying, companies need to be customer centric and always start with the customer in mind & work backwards. Consider a scenario where a lady purchases a lot of baby accessories and while billing she forgot to bill a baby wipe which was at the bottom of the basket. Instead of treating it as a theft, the store can be polite in asking her if she would like to bill anything else.
·         In the online space when a customer makes a purchase, all that the company has to predict risk is 50 milli second. In an offline mode user has an identity. However in the online mode, all that the company knows is the customer’s email id. Within 50 ms, 1000s of rules and predictive models have to be executed and validated.
·         In the online space even a tiniest loophole can be disastrous in lightning viral environment. So companies cannot create any space for mistake.
·         Do not just rely on a supervised learning method for your business. You would need unsupervised learning, random forest, neural networks, decision trees and many more.
·         One instance of fraud was discussed by the panel. There were 20 banks in Somalia and in a span of few weeks, 15 of the banks were mugged. The Somalia government approached the analysts to predict when the remaining 5 banks will be mugged, using statistical analysis.

8.       The panel discussion by the startups was the most motivating of all the talks. Bhupendra from Simplify360 & Sridhar Venkatesh from Indix kept the whole crowd on the toes. They spoke about their journey from nowhere to becoming the most promising startup.  Bhupendra shared his experiences of starting a product with no roadmap in 2009, when there was a global recession.  And how the big surprises awaited him at the end, to become the most influential technologist in India. Dedication, Perseverance, Innovation and Team play a big role in startups.

9.       James from the Boston Consulting Group gave the concluding talk and shared light on a lot of key areas –
·         Myth1 – Bigger Data is Better Data.  Actual fact - Size doesn’t matter
·         Myth2 – It’s all about correlation. Actual fact – Causation remains the key
·         Myth3 – Focus on new ideas. Actual fact – Often do the same things better
·         Myth4 – Requires big investments. Actual fact – More capability much cheaper
·         Myth5 – It’s only for advanced firms. Actual fact – All businesses can benefit.

10.   Check out some of the stalls put up by a few cool startups - Veda, Nanobi, Germin8, and DataWeave. One thing in common in all these startups was the factor of Social, Sentiment, and Semantic aspects. The market looks very promising with all these startups providing a hint towards it.

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