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Indonesia’s big data goldmine key to its digital ambitions

Industry 4.0 and the digital economy are going to be key strategic areas of focus for Indonesia.

Generating a data-savvy workforce to face the Industry 4.0 has become one of the government’s top priorities, Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said recently at a press interaction.

With the convenience of web-based commerce, there are dramatically more transactions happening online. To stay abreast, the digital marketplace and industry at large are expanding at a tremendous pace.

Big Data, Data Analytics, Cloud and similar relevant technology has become a necessity for companies to determine consumer trends and patterns.

Across the world, the biggest deposit of data resides with the government, and Indonesia is no different.

“Big data can potentially become Indonesia’s goldmine. Analyses of data can help determine people’s behaviours, something that businesses would do well to exploit. Data analysis is also vital in policy-making for the government to determine which policies meet public aspirations the most,” Bambang opined at this interaction.

However, a challenge was Indonesia is the paucity of local data analysts. For the most part, companies tend to engage international organisations or foreign expertise.

This trend could lead to a loss of job opportunities domestically. On the other hand, if seized and addressed in a timely and appropriate fashion, this need could translate into massive employment gain for the nation.

The government is working strategically, independently and with other stakeholders to remedy the situation.

Recently, the government recently partnered with online marketplace Shopee to hold the National Data Challenge 2020 in March.

The competition will involve 3,000 high school and university students coding real data mined from the Shopee platform.

“We are aware of the importance of big data. A more data-savvy workforce will help the national economy. We can offer hands-on experience for young people who are interested to become data analysts,” Shopee Indonesia director said.

Such initiatives are in line with Indonesia’s digital strategies and ambitions. Not only does it seek to drive its national digital economy, but Indonesia also aspires to be the regions digital hub.

The government is determined to improve the regulatory framework related to Indonesia’s digital economy to be in line with its aspirations to be Southeast Asia’s digital hub in 2020.

A report forecast that Indonesia’s digital economy is expected to contribute USD 150 billion to the GDP by 2025.

These ambitions are not new, and earlier OpenGov reporting show that Indonesia is keen on being a significant regional digital player.

Global developments also will help bolster Indonesia’s plans. One such initiative is the Trans Pacific Cable. The 16,000-kilometer cable is expected to be completed within the next three years.

With partnership negotiations in their final stages, Indonesia will be a major beneficiary of the world’s longest fibre-optic telecommunications cable linking peninsular Southeast Asia directly to the United States mainland.

The Indonesian government is already implementing a massive infrastructure development, the Palapa Ring Project, which will provide 4G network to all Indonesian cities and regencies.

As part of the digital transformation, the government has launched several national programs including Go Digital Vision 2020, e-smart IKM and 100 Smart City Movement.

These programs aim to develop local startups, support small to medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as to prepare and embrace the Internet of Things (IoT).

In the near future, digital technology will deeply influence the country’s development, said Rudy Salahuddin, an official from the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister.

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