Indian Brains Powering Global Decisions

Published By : Business Standard

During the last one-day international series between visiting England team and India, Mu Sigma, a provider of decision sciences and analytics services, got a chance to test its analytics tool to help take intelligent decisions on the cricket field. Though none of the predictions the analytics tool made were made public, some of the suggestions and predictions it had come out with before the match proved to be unbelievably accurate.

For example, at the beginning of the game, the tool suggested what could be the winning factor and what kind of combinations the teams should play to snatch the match, crunching tonnes of cricketing data available.

Indian cricket using analytics tool may be a long way off but cricket is just one of the many applications of what analytics is capable of.

Big data and analytics has started to play a significant roles across global corporations today for faster and intelligence decision making. Even though corporations belonging to different sectors are at the various levels of maturity cycle in harnessing the power of analytics, most of them realise how significant it is going to become for their future.

According to a recent survey by Capgemini, most of the respondents acknowledged that ‘data’ has actually become the fourth factor of production now, even as essential as land, labour and capital.

According to the survey estimates, the respondents agreed that in the processes where Big Data and analytics have been applied, they have seen 26% improvement in performance over the last three years. They also said that they are expecting those processes to improve by 41% over the next three years. The survey saw participation from 607 executives and decisions makers from different corporations across the globe in February last year.

“Customers today are seeing real value drive through analytics, which is boosted by the amount of data that is available today through various delivery mechanisms. Corporations are clearly able to see the benefits of Big Data and analytics to take meaningful decisions,” said Andrew Cameron, Head of Business Information Management at Capgemini UK and Middle East.

While global technology giants like IBM and Accenture are aggressively warming up to the opportunities in Big Data and analytics, Indian pure-play analytics services providers are not far way. Companies like Mu Sigma, AbsolutData and Fractal Analytics are taking the mathematical skill of the Indian workforce to offer a host of analytics services such as marketing analytics, risks and supply chain analytics, clinical trial, sales analytics and social media analytics.

These services are shaping the future of the corporates in many different ways.

Take for example the case of Gap, a US-based clothing retailer. In 2010, it launched a new logo to give it a more contemporary and modern look. However, within hours of the launch of the logo, it witnessed lot of negative publicity in various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which was conveyed to the company by its Indian service provider. Finally, the company decided to go back to its old logo. But by that time, the company had lost so much of its brand value.

Globally, Indian analytics services companies have managed to give the country a distinct identity in the area of data analytics working with global clients, mostly leaders in their own spaces. Mu Sigma, a company founded in 2004 by a former Booz Allen Hamilton consultant, Dhiraj Rajaram today works with over 100 companies across the globe.

For example, it is working with one of the largest insurance company in the world, helping them predict pure premiums. It helps the insurance company in determining the amount of money it should charge a customer, analyzing various factors.

Similarly, AbsolutData is working with large global computer manufacturers to help them identify potential customers, who can be provided with customised discount schemes, which will help the company in cross-selling many other computer peripherals.

“It is a huge cost saving for the company since they don’t need to give a discount scheme to each and every customer,” said Suhale Kapoor, Executive VP and Co-founder, AbsolutData. AbsolutData does it after analyzing tonnes of internal data available with the customers and marrying those with external data available in Internet and social media platforms.