Malaysia focuses on building a data driven Asean

  • Congregation has been officially recognised as the biggest in Asia this year
  • Malaysia making steady progress in becoming a hub for BDA solution providers
Malaysia focuses on building a data driven Asean
Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDEC joined by Dr Karl Ng, Director of Innovation Capital, MDEC and CM Vignaesvaran, CEO of HRDF during the Data Professionals’ Recognition Ceremony of the Top 10 participants to complete Data Science MOOC Coursera in Malaysia

MALAYSIA Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Olygen Sdn Bhd officiated the start of Big Data Week Asia 2016. The week long congregation will host over 3,500 participants from across the region, 84 world-class speakers, 38 leading exhibitors, 41 sponsors and 17 satellite events focused on building a data driven Asean.

Kuala Lumpur is the 2016 city partner of Global Big Data Week and the congregation has been officially recognised as the biggest in Asia this year. 
BIGIT Technology Malaysia 2016, the anchor event for Big Data Week Asia 2016, is being held on Sept 19 and 20 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

The event will also feature Pepper, a robot that is capable of reading emotions and feelings.

The two-day event is part of MDEC’s efforts to catalyse digital innovation ecosystems in expanding opportunities in the area of Big Data and Analytics (BDA).

Speakers include Professor Karim R. Lakhani (Harvard Business School), Daniel Castro (Director of Centre for Data Innovation, US), Amr Awadallah (Co-founder and CTO of Cloudera) and Lutz Finger (Data Scientist, Cornell University) along with a host of regional and local speakers.

"Transformational technologies such as BDA play a pivotal role in helping Malaysia become a high income economy by creating new business value solutions and encouraging significant innovation and advancements across multiple industries. In fact, Big Data is one of the most important focus areas for MDEC.

What we are projecting is that Malaysia needs to have 2,000 data scientists, the real top-tier end of the whole ecosystem by the year 2020. They would be supported by 16,000 data professionals," said MDEC CEO Yasmin Mahmood.

MDEC innovation capital director Ir. Dr. Karl Ng feels that excellent results have been achieved through the BDA initiatives.

The launch of the Asean Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) will redefine the approach to Big Data entirely by bringing together the community, enterprises, startups, academia and working professionals at a single venue.

Malaysia as a leading BDA solutions hub in the South-East Asia
Malaysia is making steady progress in becoming a hub for BDA solution providers. As of August 2016, there were 22 multinational BDA companies in Malaysia.

These include IHS Markit and SiteCore. In addition to this, Fusionex and Data Micron are among the Malaysian companies who have expanded globally.
In total, there are 32 BDA companies that have exported their services/solutions and 47 BDA start-ups continuously innovating and testing cutting edge technology in this space.

Addressing the talent gap in Asia
Technology is nothing without the people behind it and talent development is the key component of building a BDA ecosystem.

As part of the BDA initiative, MDEC is also focused on filling the talent gap in Big Data Analytics.

Along with key strategic partners, MDEC has been actively building industry-university partnerships to groom and nurture talent in Big Data and Analytics. In addition to introducing postgraduate courses on Data Science, undergraduate IT-related degrees with Data Science specialisation are also being introduced.

In order to reach a wider audience and lay the ground work for more future talent, Data Science modules 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 offering postgraduate degrees in Data Science and seven (7) IHLs offering undergraduate degrees with Data Science specialisation.

Additionally, MDEC has tied up with Coursera to offer Massive Open Online Courses for working professionals across industries. Since the start of the programme, 200 participants have completed the course.

As part of the professional development pathway, MDEC is also working with the likes of Dell EMC, SAS Institute, Cloudera and TheCADS to offer professional courses. To encourage local adoption, MDEC and the Human Resource Development Fund are also identifying training needs that corresponds with the advancement of technology, system and processes in in the area of BDA.
Related Stories:
MDeC to launch Asean Data Analytics Exchange by year-end
MDEC developing ‘digital maturity index’ for digitalisation
Reinventing Edison's invention factory with big data
Slow Internet speeds damping Malaysia’s digital economy aspirations: MDEC CEO
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