Singapore reaffirms big data commitment

Singapore reaffirms big data commitment

Rahul Joshi  |   January 22, 2014
Enterprise Innovation
Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has reiterated its commitment to analytics and big data solutions, in the form of a keynote by IDA executive deputy chairman Steve Leonard at the inaugural EmTech 2014 conference in Singapore Monday.
 
“Unlike some other resources, data does not deplete as you use it. Data becomes more valuable the more you share it and use it. The knowledge created through intelligent analysis of data enables us to deal with priority issues such as healthcare. Data and analytics underpin our development towards being an increasingly Smart Nation,” said Leonard.
 
A McKinsey study cited by the IDA projects that Singapore can generate up to $17 billion through harnessing the power of big data and analytics. One of the main steps in this big data journey is the release of data sets that can be used by the public, by the industry, as well as by government agencies to build applications on.
 
Data.gov.sg’s Apps4SG Competition is one such platform: earlier this month, Tan Choon Seng, 19, walked away with the top prize of $10,000 for his app "EduChoices". The app enables students and parents to leverage education data to make informed decisions about choosing schools. 
 
IDA’s Data Innovation Challenge is a crowdsourcing effort to address data-driven business challenges with data sets provided by government and corporate entities. The DEXTRA initiative, a collaboration between IDA and startup Newton Circus, connects "User Enterprises" and "Data Providers" with data specialists, ICT companies, research institutes, and institutes of higher learning to develop prototypes, proof-of-concepts and analytics solutions for "data-driven commercial problems".
 
The challenge, claims the IDA, is unique in that it brings together "cross sector, cross geographic, public and private datasets". As a start, 9,000 data sets are available from the Health Promotion Board, National Environment Agency, Land Transport Authority, Metro Parking, Smart, United World College, BuuK and others.
 
More than 300 entries were received and six prototypes were shortlisted in the first challenge issued by DSM Engineering Plastics. The Living Analytics Research Centre team from Singapore Management University won Round 1 with a predictive sales forecasting model that was the most "accurate and innovative".
 
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