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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Morter-De Cecco

The Growing Talent Gap Of Harnessing Big Data In The Middle East

Arguably, Big Data is earning an ever more central role in businesses in the Middle East, offering opportunities such as decision-making, optimisation of service delivery, and company growth. According to Globe Newswire, by 2025, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity will account for over USD $28.36 billion.


Significantly, big data can help business performance by listening and learning about customer preferences, catering to their needs, and encouraging the company to grow. According to the Managing Director of MoEngage for the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), Kunal Badiani, big data can drive up the revenue of businesses by up to 8%, and most of the businesses already utilise this technology for their target data sales.


One key example of utilisation of big data is seen through the lenses of financial institutions, in the area of marketing. Thanks to such access to data at large scales, banks can monitor customer behaviour, for instance, registering their activity with the institutions or potential customers browsing on the company website. The use of such data sets allows banking institutions to publicise and display their loan offers on other websites visited by the browser. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), examples of such customer data use alone would by 2025 reach 175 zettabytes (ZB). That would be equivalent to a stack of BluRay discs reaching the moon and back 23 times.


It is clear then the challenge of containing such astronomically large amounts of data efficiently, particularly in regards to the Middle East region, is eager to become a technological innovation hub at a global level, according to Silicon UK.


Without a doubt, however, such aspirations for the region do not come without challenges. Centrally, typical data storages are not able to handle such large scales and ever-growing demand for increasing productivity and efficiency, holding back organisations. Even if it were possible to download all the customer data of 175ZB within the Middle East region, it would take 12.5 billion drives, and currently, the industry constructing such drives ships just a fraction of them to the region.


Interpreting such large amounts of data storage is vital in ensuring fast access for such businesses to big data. This has led to the creation of a gap in the career market in the region that is ever-growing in demand to be filled. Companies and businesses ought to encourage the operations of teams to access, visualise, and interpret such data sets from centralised databases, to improve efficiency. Teamwork of data analysts in collaboration will help to efficiently handle these sets and improve, for example, customer retention of companies.

Ravi Acharya, Managing Director and Regional Head of SAS Middle East, Turkey and Africa, states how the current data analytics market is not enough to meet its growing demands, creating an ever-increasing talent gap for data scientists and analysts.


To conclude, the data market in the Middle East region is growing at a fast pace, with an increasing demand for how to handle it efficiently. With firms and businesses wanting to put the region firmly on the technology and data innovation map at a global scale, it is vital to find new ways to handle these large data sets to be used. This has created a gap in the job market, where there is an ever-growing demand for a new generation of data analysts participating in this sector.


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