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How Data Science Can Transform India

For the past few years, several industries have leveraged the power of data science in marketing, risk management, fraud detection, business operations, supply chain, business model innovations, and many other such areas. By using statistics, predictive modeling, and machine learning, data science helps enterprises resolve various challenges within the industrial sectors and for the economy at large.

When implemented correctly, data science is a powerful tool and brings positive results. We already witnessed massive changes in how the western countries and industries work and how data science is empowering that change. But when it comes to India, we are still lagging behind the western counterparts. Dr. Avik, Head, Data Analytics, Niti Ayog, stated that “We are trying to make sense of the operational data to get a good picture of the state of the economy.” He also shared his challenges over the collection and implementation of data, as most of the collected data is highly unstructured and difficult to make any sense.

Data science, as we understand, is the study of information such as where it comes from, what it represents, and how to transform it into a valuable resource in the creation of business and economic strategies. It also includes mining of extensive structured and unstructured data. It identifies the patterns which can help businesses or government bodies to minimize costs, increase efficiency, recognize new opportunities, and take other development advantages.

While the data collection is vital, it is only the first step in the process. The ultimate use of data is to derive meaningful and actionable insights.

How data science can transform India

For centuries, data has been the backbone of all the research. Now with the proliferation of advanced technologies, programming languages, and availability high computing power, its use has spread to countless businesses as well as for formulating better government policies.

Let’s take a look at various ways data science can transform India –
Conserving Water
According to the Niti Ayog water index report, 21 cities of India including four major cities namely Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai, will run out of groundwater by 2020. Every summer, we see drought, and the situation is worse in rural areas. The water usage is also increasing, and less rainfall could end up turning it into a severe crisis very soon. The Indian government can use data science to predict water level and the water usage patterns in certain areas. The government can also organize water supply tanks in time after making an informed decision with the help of collected data. Armed with more information and data, it can become easier for the government bodies to come up with more ideas for rainwater harvesting and to increase the groundwater level.

Controlling Air Pollution

As per the World Health Organization report, 11 out of the 12 most polluted cities are in India. India ranked 141 out of 180 nations in the environmental performance index. This shows that the problem is grave, and the authorities need a permeant solution to control air pollution as soon as possible. With the help of data science, the government can take preventive measures to control different variables like pollution from vehicles, crop burning, industry fuel, and biomass burning.

Generating Electricity

Did you know? India is the third largest producer and consumer of electricity? India’s gross electricity consumption during the 2017-18 was 1,149 kWh per capita. The demand for power is soaring every year. The Government of India has also launched the “Power for All” program to provide adequate electricity supply to all the people in the country. Data science can help authorities to understand the consumption pattern of the households classified by states, districts, cities, regions, streets. After interpreting the demand and the pattern of consumption, the authorities can predict the usage of electricity and take appropriate measurements to organize for the required electricity demands and optimize the usage.

Improved Healthcare

Indian healthcare system offers a unique approach to leverage data science to conduct research, clinical trials, and medical data to plan public policies. The healthcare system providers generate data through various resources, including the biometric, patient’s record, medicines, prescriptions, and many others. When stored centrally and analyzed in real-time, this data can provide actionable insights, predict outcomes, and help in better planning of treatment protocols for improved public health.

Enhanced National Security

The security situation in India is unpredictable. The general security officers face a lot of challenges to understand how the information is analyzed, collected, and implemented to protect the country against unforeseen situations. They can use data science to collect information and identify the gray areas associated with security. The police and security agencies can collect and analyze the data and tackle crimes, attacks, and other dangerous circumstances in the country.

Traffic Jam Solutions

Long traffic jams are frequent in India. The Niti Aayog team is working to understand the causes of traffic jam and options to deal with them. The government bodies can use big data to analyze some of the significant aspects of traffic jam like choke points, narrow or broken roads, lack of traffic management professionals, failure of traffic lights, and other such elements. The traffic policemen can use CCTV cameras and sensors to monitor traffic and immediately solve the problem. Road accidents kill more than 400 people every day. The figure is disappointing, and the traffic authorities can use data science to analyze the pattern and take immediate action to prevent accidents.

Build a Better Nation

Data is an essential asset and backbone for the smooth functioning of various government bodies. Government agencies collect a significant amount of data from surveys, programs, public banks, and administration. The roadmap to build an analytical framework to integrate data in public departments is quite promising and will transform the entire nation digitally. The government needs a strategy which merges industries to build successful data and analytical capabilities. This would offer a wide range of social benefits to the citizens and improve their lives considerably.