Big data and analytics is helping ‘Digital India’ initiative in a big way. Seeing the potential of Big data, Great Lakes Institute of Management offers many courses in this regard. Mohan Lakhamraju, Vice – Chairman and CEO, Great Lakes Institute of Management, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN). Excerpts:
Give us an overview of Great Lakes Institute of Management.
Great Lakes Institute of Management was founded in 2004 by Padma Shri Dr. Bala V. Balachandran with a vision to make it the leading management institution in India providing quality education at an affordable cost and human capital for emerging economies. In 2014, Great Lakes was accredited by Association of MBAs (AMBA, UK) for its Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) and Post Graduate Executive Programme Management (PGXPM) and became the youngest B-school in India to receive this prestigious international accreditation.
In 2015, Great Lakes received the South Asian Quality Assurance System (SAQS) accreditation making it one of the few B-Schools in India to receive two prestigious international accreditations. Led by exceptional academic faculty, steered by an outstanding advisory council and buoyed by the international collaborations, Great Lakes, within 12 years has emerged as a top-ranked business school.
Great Lakes has been ranked No.1 for its Analytics programme by Analytics India, what kind of programmes do you offer in Big Data and Analytics category?
Great Lakes offers three programmes in Business Analytics domain — PGP-BABI (The Post Graduate Programme in Business Analytics & Business Intelligence), BACP (Business Analytics Certificate Programme) and CFRA (Certificate in Financial & Risk Analytics ). These programmes are offered by Great Lakes through its technology enabled online and blended learning platform called Great Learning.
PGP-BABI, offered at Chennai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune, is a 12-month programme that helps participants develop business and analytics competency through the use of real life case studies and hands on training on relevant tools, that makes candidates industry ready for business roles in analytics. The programme is a blended learning (classroom + online) management programme for working professionals.
BACP enables participants to gain an in-depth understanding of analytics techniques and tools that are widely used by companies globally from their homes without any location constraints. It is an online learning programme. Participants are expected to take nearly six months to complete this programme which involves 160 hours of learning comprising about 100 hours of self-learning, 40 hours of mentored learning and another 20 hours of assessments. CFRA is a highly specialised programme designed for professionals working or aspiring to work in banking and financial institutions in the area of financial and risk management. It helps them gain the conceptual and practical knowledge required to assess and manage risk across various metrics and comply with various regulations.
What is your view on Big Data and Analytics?
There is a substantial change underway across the business world in terms of how decision making happens across the board. The earlier way of experienced managers and leaders taking decisions based on their experience and intuition is giving way to data-driven decisionmaking. This is driven by a few factors:
Availability of Data: Since all business processes have become technology enabled through the use of systems like ERPs, CRMs, etc, it has become possible to record data about every aspect of these processes. Thus, it has become possible to take data driven decisions which was not the case earlier.
Explosion of Data: Because everything is recorded, the data volumes have exploded leading to the term ‘Big Data’. The rapid adoption of mobility around the world has led to an explosion of devices that record data. Going forward, with new technologies like the ‘Internet of Things’, even non-computing devices are now generating data, which is increasing data volumes by orders of magnitude.
Scalability: Earlier business analysis techniques and solutions have not been able to cope with the defining characteristics of Big Data such as its volume (size), velocity (fast rate of new data creation), veracity (accuracy and validity of all data is not assured) and variety (relational, text, image, video, streaming, social, etc)
Proven Impact: Now there are many examples and case studies of the impact and value created by data driven decisions. This is resulting in wide spread adoption of Big Data and Analytics.
We believe that data-driven decision-making is a fundamental shift in how the world works just like usage of computers and technology changed the world over the past 20 years. This will impact and disrupt all sectors of business as well as governance at every level over the next decade.
Governance by definition involves and impacts large number of people. Therefore, most aspects of governance will end up having to deal with Big Data and will require Analytics to make data driven decisions. To do this, a large number of skilled and qualified manpower will be needed by the government as well as the private sector vendors and consultants that the government employs to undertake its various initiatives.
Great Lakes programmes are contributing to the “Digital India” initiative by developing skilled and qualified manpower. The working professionals that are taking our analytics courses are working at a large number of leading Indian and MNC corporations, many of which are working on projects for the Indian government.
The Great Lakes Business Analytics Programme has been ranked No. 1 in the country by Analytics India magazine. Over 2,000 professionals have already undergone our yearlong programmes and made career transitions into Analytics and Big Data.
Further, Great Lakes can organise special learning programmes in Analytics and Big Data for various arms of the government.
Big Data and Analytics are also used in building up Smart Cities in India, what are your views?
While the phrase smart cities is used in a variety of contexts meaning different things at different times, one of the key aspects of smart cities as is that there would be ‘smart’ governance and provision of various public services. ‘Smart’ by definition, implies the use of technology extensively in governance processes that hitherto have been done provided in a very manual and cumbersome manner. ‘Smart’ also implies a digital approach to service and governance delivery as is done in advanced smart cities like Singapore where almost the entire citizen interface with the government is digital.
Once a digital medium is used for the delivery of all services and governance, this will result in the creation of a large volume of digital information which would require Big Data and Analytics to manage and analyse. This would make it feasible to take data driven decisions. Usage patterns of different services and effectiveness of various governance initiatives could then be measured and analysed which will help in better governance, better accountability and more efficient use of public resources.
Great Lakes programmes are contributing to the “Digital India” initiative by developing skilled and qualified manpower.
For instance, decisions on number of staff, number and location of offices needed etc. to implement a certain government initiative such as a land reform can be predicted using Big Data Analytics instead of being found out through trial and error. Patterns in tax filings and compliance can be detected and defaulters automatically flagged. These are just a couple of thousands of potential cases where Big Data / Analytics can help in building smart cities.
Thus, not only do Big Data and Analytics have a role to play in building smart cities but also it would be one of the core foundations on which smart cities can be built.
What new courses are in the pipeline as far as Big Data and Analytics is concerned?
The CFRA is a new programme that has just been introduced. It is our attempt to create a high-end sector focused programme that serves a very specific need in a specific sector. In the future, we may launch more sector specific programmes.
We are also developing a programme on Big Data Analytics that is much more technical and intended for early career professionals who would be implementing Big Data technologies. In future, we plan to launch more advanced programmes in areas like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.