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MDEC Big Data Week 2016: National goal increases to 18,000 data professionals

AvantiKumar | Sept. 21, 2016
During Asean's largest big data congregation Big Data Week 2016, MDEC's CEO speaks of the increasing awareness and adoption of BDA.


Image (Credit - CIO) - Big Data Science


During the launch of Big Data Week 2016, national ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) noted the rapidly increasing awareness and adoption of Big Data Analytics (BDA) in the country.

MDEC chief executive officer Dato' Yasmin Mahmood's welome address during the launch included comments about Malaysia's goal to produce data scientists to meet national digitisation efforts.

"In 2014, based on the estimated demand, we had targeted for 1,500 Data Scientists by 2020," said Yasmin. "But due to the increase in awareness and adoption, this figure has now been revised to 2,000 data scientists and 16,000 data professionals."

Big Data Week - Dato'Yasmin Mahmood - MDEC

Photo - Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, CEO, MDEC.

"With the support of our partners - Cloudera, Coursera and TheCADs - we are producing Data Scientists through innovative working models that include forging Industry- University collaborations and formulation of industry relevant curriculum," she said.

"Last year, we saw 70 data scientists emerge from this model representing corporate MNC's, government linked companies and even start-ups," said Yasmin.

She said recent talent cultivation initiatives include Data Science modules, which are being introduced into non-ICT degree courses such as Actuarial Science, Business, Management, etc. As of September 2016, there are five Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) offering Postgraduate degrees in Data Science and seven IHLs offering undergraduate degrees with Data Science specialisation.

Redefining BDA approach

"Malaysia as a country has long realised the importance of digital transformation," said Yasmin. "MDEC now 43 locations all over the country. We now host 3,881 companies from more than 40 countries, employing close to 160,000 high-income knowledge workers with 87 percent being Malaysians."

"[Looking ahead] digital disruption now has taken on a whole new meaning," she said. "The next 10 years will see the coming of age of some of these cutting edge innovations and the coming together of innovation in the areas of Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things or IoT, Artificial Intelligence(AI), robotics, virtual reality, augmented reality and so on. What we need to do is to ensure that we are at the right end of this fore of disruption."

"I think that in a world where innovation is so fast paced and where change is the only constant," said Yasmin. "It is a big lesson for us that we need to put in a lot more focus so that we continue to be leading, especially in a few key areas of enabling fundamentals."


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