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Kenya among six countries to pilot use of big ICT data

By Dominic Omondi | Sep 30th 2016 | 2 min read
By Dominic Omondi | September 30th 2016

Kenya is among six countries selected by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to pilot the use of big data for better ICT measurement. The other countries are Philippines, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Korea and Georgia.

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

According to Margus Tiru, a consultant with ITU, the pilot study is part of an initiative that seeks to explore innovative ways of using big data for development.

Tiru noted the countries were picked based on their geographical areas and the level of ICT penetration in the countries. ITU will provide the countries with data scientists to coordinate the pilot studies.

“The aim is to move away from static traditional data collection methods like household surveys, to use of indicators that are much faster,” Mr Tiru explained during the inception workshop for the big data pilot study held in Nairobi.

Big Data is a phrase used to mean a massive volume of both structured and unstructured data that is difficult to process using traditional database and software techniques. In most enterprise scenarios the volume of data is too big, moves too fast or it exceeds current processing capacity.

This data, when captured, formatted, manipulated, stored, and analysed can help a firm to gain useful insight to increase revenues, retain customers, and improve operations.

Richard Tonui, Acting Assistant Director/Market Analysis and Tariffs, who spoke on behalf of the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA’s) Director General, Francis Wangusi, said big data, if well analysed, has the capacity to provide input into processes to save lives, improve education, enhance Government services, increase marketplace efficiency, and boost economic productivity.

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