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Are We Ready For Big Data 2017


Buzz word or not, Big Data has become the topic of discussion across the globe and even taken root here within the ASEAN region, with many governments taking great efforts into creating the awareness and building pipelines.


Malaysia is not an exception. Through the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation, the country is setting the stage to make a big impact come 2017.

A gigantic step, which has been in the planning for some time now, and due to come to fruition by January next year, is the Regional HUB for analytics, the ASEAN Data Analytics eXchange (ADAX) office.


MDEC Director of Innovation Capital, Dr Karl Ng Kah Hou

According to MDEC Director of Innovation Capital, Dr Karl Ng Kah Hou, “ADAX will bring together innovative talent development models, and it will also have a physical lab where the latest big data technologies will be showcased. People with datasets can come to the ADAX office and learn about how to make use of their datasets.”

The office will showcase state-of-the-art digital technologies in both visualisation of data sets as well as to give those with a thirst for understanding more of how the digital economy will effect their business, the knowledge they will need to take advantage of it.

Not lacking experts, the ADAX will house 11 Data Scientists to share knowledge, give advice and assist start-ups with their ideas. The Data Scientists will be stationed there full time, giving the opportunity to businesses to take advantage of their expertise.


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“Imagine having a platform where we have startups, academia and businesses solving BDA problems together,” said Dr Karl of the ADAX office set-up. “It will initially be launched by MDEC but given time, we expect it to be driven by the private sector and be self-sustainable as more and more SMEs (small and medium enterprises) look into BDA to better their business,” he added.

The ADAX will be a collaboration with the private sector to put Malaysia on the map within the country and internationally.

Apart from that, MDEC has been hard at work at the grassroots level encouraging students and enthusiasts of the data revolution, to be part of the Big Data integration by encouraging and promoting hackathons throughout the year, which saw the finals from the professional and academia routes take home cash prizes ranging from RM5,000 to RM20,000.

From here, the promising winners and their innovations will be given opportunities to put forward their ideas to Venture Capitalists to look for funding and put their ideas to use.


To fill the lacking skill sets required in the region for the digital economy, the target set for 2020 is 2000 Data Scientists and 20,000 data professionals. Both the private and government sectors have been hard at work to build up the workforce. However, many have said that that initial number will grow to much higher once the data analytics take root within the businesses in the region.

Much has been said about what will happen with industries, governments and even how our homes will change with the advent of Big Data. 2017 looks to be the year that will reveal those changes whether or not we are ready for it. Many feel this is the era of change in human history which will be remembered for ages to come. From driverless cars, to Artificial Intelligence and beyond smart phones. A good year for technology is in the cards.