Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Union and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda visits Kenya

By Grace Makovu and Wanjala Danson

Nairobi- Kenya has been selected by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as one of six countries to pilot the use of big data for better ICT capacity.  Kenya was picked based on its geographical areas and the level of ICT penetration in the countries.

In this, ITU will provide the countries with data scientists to coordinate the pilot studies.

Big Data is a phrase used to mean a massive volume of both structured and unstructured data that can’t be process using traditional database and software techniques that aim at move away from static data collection methods to use of indicators.

The Big Data pilot study is in line with the outcomes of the World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS), which called for a data revolution and use of new data sources to complement sector statistics.

The study is part of ITU’s initiative that seeks to explore innovative ways of using big data for development and improved measurement of the information society.

Speaking on behalf of the director general for communication authority of Kenya ,Richard Tonui, the acting assistant director and market analysis said big data  will provide input into processes to save lives, improve education, enhance government services, increase market place efficiency, and boost economic productivity.

“The main aim is to identify big data sources for ICT measurement, to engage with new partners, and to implement concrete, big data case studies that could later be scaled up as part of a larger, long-term project,” stated  Margus Tiru, a consultant with ITU

This data, when captured, formatted, manipulated, stored, and analyzed can help a company to gain useful insight to increase revenues, get or retain customers, and improve operations.

According to a research conducted by IDG Connect, in 2013, most organizations and businesses are ready with the infrastructure but the necessary analytical skills remained a big challenge.

At 75 per cent either have or are planning on the necessary infrastructure for Big Data projects whereas 64 per cent are either at the planning or pilot stage of their Big Data projects.

The other countries picked for big data are Philippines, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Korea and Georgia.