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Behind Malaysia's drive to the data economy: Big Data Week 2017

AvantiKumar | Sept. 20, 2017
Government agencies MDEC and HRDF join with Knowledge Group to organise this year's big data drive.

Big Data Week 2017

Photo: (From left) Sashikala Devi Gopallan, Director of SME Division for HRDF; Selva Nagappan, Managing Director of Knowledge Group and Somasundaram Nagappan, Head of Strategic Partnership, Data Economy Division for MDEC at the official launching of Big Data Week Malaysia.


When announcing the big data drive called Big Data Week this time last year, ICT government agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) also revealed the nation's ambition to develop 18,000 data scientists by the year 2020.

As the data economy is the glue that is fast binding together the various strategies in play behind Digital Malaysia, the ambition to address the talent shortfall is on the mark.

This year, MDEC, the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and the Knowledge Group have joined forces to organise Big Data Week 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. As before, the central aim is to drive further the need for urgent adoption of Big Data Analytics (BDA) in the country - but the talent gap has not been forgotten.
The week-long festival, which will feature more than 3,000 attendees, 60 global experts and chief data scientists, is to kick off on the 2nd - 3rd October with the anchor conference Next Big Tech Asia alongside with Smart Cities Asia in

 Promoting data science

Dr. Karl Ng, director, Data Economy, MDEC, said, "MDEC sees Big Data Week as an ideal avenue to promote Data Science as a career as well as to highlight the successes obtained by organisations adoption Big Data Analytics."

He confirmed the main event will gather more than 60 global experts and chief data scientists from organisations like Google, Facebook, San Diego City, Helsinki City, New South Wales Government, Fusionex and iflix.

"And, for the first time, we will be introducing the topic of Artificial Intelligence to ensure that Malaysians are able to leverage off this up and coming, market-ready technology,​"​ added Dr Ng.
HRDF is to sponsor 150 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to further deepen participation in the conference. HRDF's chief executive officer Dato' CM Vignaesvaran explained, "Training is expensive - especially for SMEs - but as they do make up the majority of businesses in Malaysia, this is now one of HRDF's initiatives to help them become part of substantial programmes such as the Next Big Tech Asia 2017."

Meanwhile. Knowledge Group along with MDEC and ADAX (Asean Data Analytics Exchange) will also be jointly organising free big data trainings throughout the week.  

Selva Nagappan, managing director, Knowledge Group, said, "The close collaboration between Malaysia's key players like HRDF, MDEC and Fusionex is certainly a very encouraging sign for the data economy movement. MDEC's continued support as a co-organiser throughout the entire process is a testament of their commitment towards as custodian of the data economy initiative."​
 Big data analytics hub
In the vanguard of the digital transformation push, MDEC started to step up the Big Data Analytics hub note a few years ago. (For more on the hub strategy, see - MDEC exclusive: Looking for the X factor behind Malaysia's Digital Hub strategy


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