Malaysia is entering into the competition to be the next hub for big data, up against neighbouring countries like Singapore and South Korea. The Philippines are training 200,000 students, while India is teaching a massive 500,000 students to use R, a big data statistical platform. Where Singapore has invested S$180 mil into training a slew of new big data scientists and has even appointed the first ever government chief data officer, Malaysia lags behind. But Pulsate aims to change that with setting up a big data facility to train 3,000 specialists, taking candidates from among those with tertiary education in mathematics and economics.
“Pulse group chief executive officer Bob Chua says the big data centre and data academy are on track for completion by year-end in collaboration with global partners like Dell, Intel and Revolution Analytics.” With the global demand for data scientists expected to rise dramatically from 2,500 at present to over 200,000 by 2017 Malaysia is stocking up and gunning for a starting position in the race.
Not only is big data being compared to striking oil, but some see it as a winner-take all game, where to be late is to miss out on an opportunity completely. Taking into consideration all the fringe benefits that come with creating a new data center, including but not limited to direct foreign investment, increased high-level job creation, and paving the way for an new generation of well-educated individuals, Malaysia may have well chosen a long-term plan with enviable results.
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(Image Credit: Udey Ismail)