From Tracking Turtle Migration to Toyota Big Data

The Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics and Business Insights (CEDABI) – a dedicated centre for research and learning at the MYRA School of Business, was launched in the presence of global experts from Boeing, Indian Institute of Science, Minacs, ReMSL, Toyota and others at Hotel Ritz Carlton, Bangalore on Friday, March 11, 2016.

At the seminar, two secrets of Toyota were revealed by Mr. T R Parasuraman, Deputy Managing Director and Board Member, Toyota Industries in his inauguration speech. First, adopting the principles of the 5S Model in their factories and offices – a Lean Manufacturing tool designed to improve workplace efficiency and improve productivity, while also reducing costs, complete with visual controls and order. The name 5S Model originates from 5 Japanese words which when translated stand for Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

Second, the A4 Format – a complete report that fits on an A4 sized paper – containing everything from description of the problem to an overview of possible solutions to a description of the implementation of the solution on a limited scale to those actions that need to be monitored, milestones and last, the description of the successful implementation of the solution, on an A4-sized paper.

The launch was preceded by a Seminar on Data Analytics and Business Intelligence. The vision for CEDABI and its focus at the intersection of data analytics and business insights was outlined by Dr. Michael Shepherd, CEO of CEDABI, MYRA and Professor of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Canada.

He shared his vision of data-driven innovation contributing to economic growth. Noting that the unemployment rate for data scientists in the US is less than one percent, Dr. Shepherd emphasized the tremendous opportunities in the field of Data Analytics. The central theme of his keynote was about how analytics helps decision making across scenarios from tracking leatherback turtle migration to market basket analysis in retail.

Position analytics as a bridge between hard data crunching approach and a soft intuitive one, reasoned, Dr. Shesha Shah, Founder & Director, LeBoom Technologies & eRx Solutions Pvt. Ltd. She said that organizations today have to rise to the occasion and make conscious changes in the processes and hence there is a strong need to evolve from a tactical perspective to a more strategic, holistic approach with their data.

A contrarian view and a sense of realism to the much hyped domain of big data was brought by Dr. Jayant Haritsa, Senior Professor, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC), Chair, Department of Computer Science, Indian Institute of Science. He lamented the fact that ‘testing’ is not given its due in the software industry.

Mr. Santhosh Nair, Analytic Edge Pvt. Ltd., said that today, while leaders face an environment that requires real-time decisions and accurate, reliable and timely data in their oversight, rather than guessing or hoping for the best, leaders have to use data effectively to develop and foster a culture in which all members understand, apply and manage data as a dynamic entity to support the focus and improve outcomes. He opined that business houses prefer to accommodate slightly imperfect solutions at the right time to deal with the pressures of decision making and that these solutions should be palatable and less complex.

Mr. Gaurav Bhalotia, Flipkart, opined that data-driven organizations should have a strong data culture and a strong data infrastructure. A strong data culture is one where data-backed decisions, not opinions matter; data drives actions without human interventions, he added. It has its focus on – measure, monitor and improves factors with data flowing seamlessly across boundaries. A strong data infrastructure is one where there is strong accountability for every form of data and with an easy access to data in reports and visuals.

The traditional lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries marked the formal launch of CEDABI.

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