Can Bangladesh ride the ‘Big Data’ wave?

Bijon Islam
June 10, 2013
Can Bangladesh ride the ‘Big Data’ wave?

With 90% of the world’s data created in the last two years, big data (a vast amount of data available in every economy, sector, and business) has become big news almost overnight, with interest in the topic growing exponentially. As of March 2013, a search on reveals 250+ books, articles, and e-books on the topic and why not because if correctly leveraged, big data becomes a strategic asset to drive big business returns. With the proper approach, the predictive potential of data analysis is unlocked to improve financial performance, strategic management, and operational efficiency.

Wal-Mart has successfully implemented a data-driven strategic framework allowing them to become the world’s leading retail super shop. Companies like Microsoft, Google, and Samsung increasingly depend on big data analytics to make optimized decisions and develop market-leading initiatives.

However, to take full advantage of this big data wave, organizations need data scientists who can internalize external, internal, structured, and unstructured data to create insights and communicate the analysis via visual models for decision making. The market nevertheless faces a dearth of analytics talents. The United States alone faces a gap of 140K to 190K data scientists and 1.5 million analysts who can make decisions based on data analytics. This space has created a global big data analytics market.

India has already successfully tapped into the big data market using its already robust outsourcing structure. Companies like Tata Consulting Services (TCS) are taking in-depth market studies in this front. Moreover, with its significant domestic consumer traction industries, Indian firms are also adopting big data analytics models increasingly.

Bangladesh has a twofold opportunity in this industry. First of all, Bangladesh enjoys a cost arbitrage relative to India and given its strategic location can tap not only into the western market like the US but into the Indian market as well. This might indeed create a robust knowledge process outsourcing industry for us. The worldwide big data industry is estimated to be around US$ 300 billion per year. Capturing even a minimal part of it will result in a significant export industry for Bangladesh and will increase employment opportunities for knowledge workers.

Secondly, with over 40 firms adopting Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) in Bangladesh, companies here are becoming more data-driven. With economic growth, Bangladesh firms are to expand and go global in near future. Not only will big data analytics help the organizations to become competitive in the domestic market, given Bangladesh’s significant consumer base,  but will also help them to make optimal decisions for positioning the firms in the international arena.

Bangladesh must seize this timely opportunity and ride the big data wave now. Otherwise, someone else might tap in and we may find Bangladeshi firms outsourcing their analytics function to Indian companies.

WRITTEN BY: Bijon Islam

Bijon is the co-founder and CEO of LightCastle Partners, an organization that focuses on creating data-driven opportunities for growth and impact for development partners, corporates, SMEs, and Startups. Over the last ten years, Bijon has led the company in engagements across 150+ businesses/development partners, 650+ SMEs/Startups, and 40+ accelerator programs in multiple industries including Technology, Agriculture, Health, Ed-tech, Energy, E-commerce, Logistics, and Manufacturing. Previously Bijon has worked with Citibank, N.A. and Citi Foundation and oversaw the execution of Bangladesh's first Interest Rate Swap, Equity Convertible Bonds, Largest IPO, Microfinance Securitization, and Block Equity Trades. Due to outstanding performance, Bijon received the CEO Excellence Awards for two years in the organization. He completed his BBA and MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka.

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

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