February 24, 2024

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Big Data Key for Achieving Malaysia’s Digital Economy Aspirations

Big Data for Malaysia Digital Economy

Malaysia still faces challenges in implementing big data strategies as a result of fast-changing technology in the development of digital infrastructure, including data centres, according to the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (WKB2030).

The vision launched by Prime Minister emphasised the need to put together big data would also require heavy investments and close cooperation between the government and industries.  In addition to this, there is a need for expertise in the field of data analysis to support this initiative. At the same time, awareness to use data wisely and effectively are important factors in ensuring data secrecy and to ease delivery methods and help make effective decisions.

Big data is among the main factors that contribute to changes in the way decisions and business transactions are made. The use of big data and technological availability, according to the document, has led to innovation growth, a boost in the quality of delivery, and added value to industries.

This element is key in ensuring the implementation of the digital economy is realised in line with current global trends for the country’s economic growth. It further stated that there are five proposed strategies to implement big data, including reviewing existing legislation and introduce policies for a holistic digital ecosystem.

Besides this, there are also proposals for a new business model to be introduced to develop sustainable digital infrastructure, including data centres as well as modules for advanced skills and workers skills retraining in industrial institutes and within the industries themselves.

How Malaysia is Nurturing Data Analytics Talent

  • According to another report, global revenues for big data and business analytics will surpass US$210 billion in 2020, amid a 20,000-fold leap in data volumes between 2000 and 2020.
  • MDEC’s data economy director has said on several occasions that big data will bring benefits such as better efficiency and productivity for Malaysia.
  • With the vision of becoming a high-income, knowledge-based society by 2020, MDEC has spearheaded many ICT initiatives with a special focus on the data economy that will serve as the foundation for artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives.
  • Besides promoting continuous learning as a vital aspect of Malaysia’s digital culture, MDEC has spearheaded talent programmes to increase the number of data specialists in Malaysia from about 4,000 to 16,000, as well as the number of data scientists from 100 to 1,500, by 2020.
  • Private-public collaboration remains a cornerstone of Malaysia’s strategy to grow the country’s data analytics talent pool.
  • This includes facilitating curriculum reviews by industry and partnering universities to offer data science courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • In a 2018 report, Malaysia’s progress was lauded for initiatives such as the ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (Adax), a regional platform that brings together talent and development models and showcases the latest analytics technologies.
  • Since its inception in 2017, Adax has helped to train 1,800 people from 298 companies across 19 industries as data practitioners, data managers and data leaders.
  • With the initiatives currently in progress, many organisations, both on the demand and supply sides of the big data analytics and AI ecosystems have benefited in terms of investment, talent, advice and funding

The Need for Big Data in Malaysia

In an exclusive interview with the CTO of MIMOS, Thillai Raj, OpenGov Asia reported that for a country like Malaysia, with a population of about 35 million people spread over a vast geographical area, Big Data Analytics is critical to the delivery of efficient citizen services.

By analysing and harnessing vast amounts of data generated by people’s daily activities, MIMOS has been able to map public health patterns, enhance safety and smoothen travellers’ journeys.

Big Data is transforming the Malaysian government’s service delivery in new and powerful ways.


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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


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