Growing big data industry in India…

Arushi Bedi of Outlook has a nice piece on this emergence of big data industry in India.

Choosing which film to watch at the end of a long day can get to the best of us. S. Anand, an avid movie-watcher, decided to do something about it. After exh­austing the IMDb top 250 list, this data scientist by day spent nights increasing his movie database. Over several months, Anand dec­ided to chart every film name he could find since the early 1920s into software. Result—he had all the films one might ever want to watch on a single platform. He’s made it public ( Now, if you’re in a fix over what comedy to watch at night, all you need to do is type in ­ the genre, the era and choose your pick.

While looking at the social and economic demography of a locality for a client who wanted to open a convenience store in the area, Laveesh Bhandari of Indicus Analytics realised that the inc­ome of the store would increase if it sold wine. The reason: many residents in the upmarket area were wine-drinkers. A detailed analysis of all the shops revealed that none were selling wine in the area. Residents had to go to stores further away from home to pick up their stock. Today, that shop is doing roaring business.

Sounds simple? Well, both Anand and Bhandari are smart guys. They are data scientists—mathematicians, statisticians, computer engineers, all rolled into one. Those belonging to this tribe tease out insights and patterns from big numbers. In doing so, they uncover opportunities and correlations people might not have seen or suspected before. Working behind the scenes, these data nerds draw out the essence of how crowds behave.

That’s why the insurance salesman calling you knows exactly what product to sell you. It is thanks to targeting and technology that all the advertisements that pop up on your browser somehow almost perfectly fit your requirements. Similarly, a data-cruncher will help a restaurant opening shop in a locality to know exactly how much to charge for a burger. Using all these numbers, these data-crunchers have become adept at working the system (see graphic to catch their tips to get ahead of the crowd).

India is the place for big data kind of work. Given the number of people and huge diversity, digging deep into data to get trends is going to be really exciting stuff..

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