Top three data challenges for the Middle East
MEED talks to Kai Chan, economist and distinguished fellow at French business school Insead, on what the Middle East has to address to gain the maximum benefit from Big Data.
- Big Data requires highly numerate people to work with the data
- Data must be robust, reliable and correct
- People, businesses, and governments need to be more curious to use the power of Big Data
- MEED talks to Kai Chan, economist and distinguished fellow at French business school Insead, on what the Middle East has to address to gain the maximum benefit from Big Data
- MEED: What are the top three challenges that the Middle East has to address if they were to gain the maximum benefit from Big Data?Kai Chan: One, bringing up the human capital skills that can work with Big Data. Big Data is complex; it requires highly numerate people to work with the data and, more importantly, to understand the data and the insights that will come from asking the right research questions and applying the right theories and mathematical or statistical tests to generate fresh insights that can be used to make actionable plans and recommendationsSecond, Big Data is only as good as the data are robust, reliable and correct. So it is imperative to ensure data are compiled correctly and that the types of socioeconomic data a country produces comply with international standards
And three, build a culture of innovation. Big Data already exists; what we need are people, businesses, and government agencies that are more curious to use the power of Big Data and analytics to generate the insights that will help transform our society
MEED: What are the top three factors the region (or the UAE) might possess that would help it carve a niche in terms of Big Data-led innovation?
Chan: The UAE has shown it is open to attracting talent into the region and that it offers an attractive lifestyle to lure the right talent. But it will need to do more; for instance, attracting the right talent is currently impeded by the short-term nature of expatriate stays.
There are less legacy issues in the UAE or the GCC, so the region could start from a fresh slate and leapfrog barriers that currently impede other places.
The region shows a strong, active leadership role of government. Creating an environment that will encourage data-led innovation will require cooperation from the private and public sectors.
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- Article as it appeared on-line.
The below is an excerpt from a separate article (“Putting Big Data to work” (Sep 2016)) based on that interview: