Growing demand for big data expertise

MDEC targets to have 20,000 big data professionals by 2020


MORE experts are needed to fill up the positions in the data-driven industry, backed by the growing demand from local companies, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corp Sdn Bhd (MDEC).

MDEC head of strategic partnership Somasundaram Nagappan said there are currently 6,000 working professionals in big data analytics sector through MDEC’s programmes.

The corporation targets to have 20,000 professionals by 2020.

“Our target for big data experts produced by MDEC was initially to reach 14,000, but we have to raise the target two years back as there was much demand from companies to adopt the new technology.

“We also have other organisations which are creating big data expertise, and with our forces combined, we will surely be able to supply sufficient talent,” he said at the media launch of Big Data Week 2017 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

According to Somasundaram, uncertainties over big data analytics and its capacity to perform have been the sector’s main dilemma in getting more firms to adopt the technology.

“Human capital has always been a challenge for a new technology as MDEC only started introducing the big data (sector) five years ago.

“Although companies’ adoption to big data is ramping up, it is still not fast enough as there are still concerns and confusion over the technology and its capabilities,” he said.

MDEC, which has been spearheading the development of big data, launched the Asean Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) platform last year to address the setback in implementing big data analytics.

The regional data analytics exchange platform has been collaborating with local universities and organisations to raise awareness as well as to address the misconception on the new technology.

“The adoption of big data has always been our priority and that starts with addressing the misconceptions, which were that the technology is only suitable for large organisations and can only be accessed at an expensive cost.

“We have been addressing these two things through our programmes, such as ADAX, that big data applies across all sectors and it is relatively cost efficient compared to the benefits that the companies will have,” Somasundaram added.

Going forward, he said MDEC is looking at introducing local companies to adopting artificial intelligence (AI) in their businesses.

“After big data analytics, we would like to expose AI to the local companies, especially to the mature ones in big data.

“AI has been a market-ready technology elsewhere in the world, but in Malaysia, it is still being developed by research and development in universities and companies, and not commercially- viable yet,” he said.

Big Data Week 2017, to be held between Oct 2 and Oct 7 in Kuala Lumpur, is expected to be attended by 3,000 visitors and 60 global experts and data scientists from leading organisations to exchange information on data technology.

The event is organised by the MDEC in collaboration with Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), which includes the participation of 150 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Apart from data science exhibitions, it also includes a conference that will discuss the current matters pertaining to the development of the data-driven industry.