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India which has created perhaps the biggest data repository in the world now faces the challenge of using the information for better governance, experts and officials said here on Friday.
At the first workshop on "Big Data Analytics in Government" organised by the National Institute for Smart Government (NISG) it emerged that India owns the largest complex of data gathered via digitalisation of records for purposes like IDs, passports and payment of subsidies.
Big data is characterised by its volume, variety and speed and the analytics involves its processing in a cost-effective way in order to draw conclusions for their useful application.
"There are a number of areas where huge projects have been implemented, like Aadhaar, passports and the inception of MCA 21," Electronics and Information Technology Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney said inaugurating the workshop.
The MCA 21 Mission Mode Project is the e-governance initiative of the Corporate Affairs Ministry.
"All this has opened up a lot of opportunities to apply this data to improve the citizens' customer experience, to improve government efficiency, especially in delivery of services and to boost business...to create capacity to serve both domestic and export markets," Sawhney said.
Big data analytics, which then merges into fields like deep learning, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), has tremendous possibilities, the Secretary said.
With IoT (Internet of Things) now coming onto their own after AIT and ITeS (information technology enabled services), a whole new world is opening up for data with things like sensors, for instance," he said.
According to experts here, the importance of big data can be gauged from the fact that 90 per cent of digital information worldwide has been created over the last two years, while processing power has increased by 40 per cent between 2010-16.
At the same time the cost of storing data has gone down 500 per cent.