In my first article ”Big data is the shift of the dimension towards the data or just a buzz word?” I have covered the vision for the new world and how big data is the way to shape it. If you have missed reading my first article read it here. While I was curiously thinking about when and how this data revolution has started, this is what I have uncovered.

Email is the first tool that has united citizens globally, made web a common place to revisit. The second big step was when google acquired you tube, I started envisioning a different future. The third big step was when social networking was widely becoming popular and people were embracing the new approach to access and share information and it all became quite clear in my mind that the world is changing forever and the future of the planet is going to be quite different. It was evident that we are taking baby steps towards being the data driven society.

The first comprehensive example of big data was India’s Election analysis on the television (the largest democracy of the world with 1.25 billion people). The data was shown at the booth level and the results were projected with great accuracy even before the counting was done. This gave me a glimpse of what is possible in other areas of business. India’s Aadhar project(similar to that of social security number for each citizen in the US) and Jan dhan yojna( Bank account for the poor for financial inclusion) are two large steps in the same direction.

Each government department collects huge data but instead of progressing further, it remains as an information silos creating friction for smooth functioning of the government.

Electricity Bills, Water Bills, Gas Bills, Property tax, Income tax, Property registration, Traffic tickets, Vehicle Registration information, Company incorporation, Filings with Register of companies, Ration card data, Pension data, Insurance data, Criminal database, Accident information and much more. Private organizations too are storing information pertaining to credit card usage, Loyalty cards, billing systems, bank transactions, Telephone data, Health information, logistics, ecommerce and scientific data to name a few.

Now the question is what can be done with this data?

Well the answer is

  • Address the fraud in all the government spends
  • The schemes designed for poor should genuinely reach them
  • The farmers should be given more information on which crop is good for them to be profitable and how the cultivation can be cost effective and provide financial support needed for the crop.

This should be the first benefit that one should reap as a country.

All the data is still not captured well So, We should make certain data that we capture today more visible, that means, we must Capture certain additional data and use existing data for specific needs of individuals & businesses.

Let me give an example to explain this

Make data visible

If the meters become smart enough that Electricity, Water and Gas bills go to cloud and also give access to the consumer in real time on mobile.

  • There is no need for thousands of people to visit each facility to note down the meter reading both respective departments and consumers save time and money.
  • When anyone defaults and not pay in time, the electricity connection is disconnected.
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if the power automatically is switched on as soon as the bill is paid without any human intervention
Capture some more data

Every traffic signal, High ways, Police cars & Bikes can have cameras to capture number plates of vehicles, date and time with geo location. This information can be pushed to cloud

  • The traffic police personnel do not need to stand in the middle of the road under the sun and heavy pollution taking pictures of the vehicles that jump the signals anymore; they can be dedicated for core police functions and put in place people friendly policing.
  • Traffic bills can come to your home just like electricity bills and if not paid in time next month bill will carry the fine amount
  • Mobile apps, satellite navigation systems will have the real time traffic data to help citizens and organizations
  • Crime rates will come down dramatically
  • Tourism will increase when safety improves
Use data that is being stored

Simply providing the data that is being stored at finger tips via cloud or mobile seamlessly creates numerous new opportunities for police, citizens and businesses

  • Society becomes transparent and accountable, because everything is visible to all
  • Make things predictable, Things that you can predict you can manage well (like election analysis every department will be the subject for analysis giving more clarity to things)

This gets us to the end of this article. Hope you have enjoyed the insights. In my next article ”4 pillars of big data” I will discuss who are the stakeholders and how it can be got into action. Stay tuned!