Nigeria’s 1st Big Data Summit was held on 12th October, 2017, at the Oriental Hotel. The events was well attended by leading experts, players, and enthusiasts in the emerging big data ecosystem, from the industry, developer and academic communities. Below are some reflections of the key highlights of the Big Data Summit, hosted by Data Science Nigeria, a vision of the MTN’s executive, Mr Olubayo Adekanmbi.
Summary of the key note by Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician General of the Federation
- A rapidly growing universal truth in international business today is that all roads lead to data.
- The sexiest and most sought-after job in the 21st century is data science.
- Policy-makers have ignored official data and made up their own, irrespective of the fact that it was largely “guesstimating”.
- We’re now in an information driven economy where data is the main currency.
Highlight of the welcome Speech by Bayo Adekanmbi, Convener, Data Science Nigeria at the Big Data Summit:
- Our focus at Data Science Nigeria has been on capacity building and world-class mentorship, and our vision is to see Nigeria become the hub for data experts and machine learning in the next 10 years.
- We must change our data analytics practice from descriptive and predictive to prescriptive and cognitive.
- Data Science Nigeria already has three major big data products on local language, the emoticon analysis of tweets, and an integrated marketing dashboard that uses daily weather/inflation/national sentiment to predict sales.
Industry perspective speech by Olumide Olayinka, Partner and Head of Analytics Practice, KPMG at the Big Data Summit:
- Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are not taking away our jobs. It’s the rise of humans to create better jobs.
- In God we trust, but every other man must bring data.
- The faster the information is provided, the faster decisions can be made. Data allows us to see patterns, understand changes, and make accurate predictions.
Executive Perspective by Uzoma Dozie, CEO, Diamond Bank:
- The organization that makes the right decisions all the time wins.
- Twenty years ago, accountants were important as they look at historical records. Today, datascientists are important because we want algorithms that understand the future and can predict how to meet the needs of customers.
- If your data doesn’t address your organisation’s growth concerns, cost concerns, and risk concerns, it’s useless.
Panel Discussion 1: Roadmap for Nigerian Big Data Development:
We have the local capacity for massive data analytics in this country. We must not look down on ourselves
– James Agada, CEO, CWG
Nigerians don’t want to know all the background analytics. They want to see things work! A good use of big data makes the developer look like a magician – Chika Nwobi, CEO, L5Lab
We will not have a tech ecosystem until we focus on developing fundamental STEM pillars. We cannot be excited about being software consumers without leveraging core research through our universities to drive breakthrough innovations – Emeka Okoye, CEO, Cymantiks
Asking the right questions helps us to capture the insights from data. Before we consider the applications, let’s look into the fundamentals. – Yomi Akinyemi, Senior Manager, Analytics, KPMG
Big data can be simplified to data on demand via a cloud based approach in which you get the best of what you want at the lowest possible fees that you can afford – Wale Olokodana, Director, Enterprise Commercial Segment – Microsoft
Data is breaking away from the IT department and becoming an integral part of every department in a company. We must build a data-driven economy where data solves the problems of transactions without any limitations – Babafemi Ogungbamila, CIO, Interswitch
Unstructured data from local Nigerian sources can be properly analysed with many currently existing solutions using natural language algorithms, and the necessary customisation can be made to make technology serve our local nuances with ease – Chidiebele Ifediora, Technical Sales Leader, IBM
Panel Discussion 2: Practical local case studies on big data solutions at the Big Data Summit::
To build the Nigeria big data ecosystem, we need passionate learners, world-class mentors, learning communities, and local solutions. – Nadayar Enegesi, Andela
A smart city will only be possible by using big data. When we are able to make sense of the multiple data around us, we will be able to track diseases, and make the nation safer, better, and well-structured for our collective well-being. – Bernard Ewah, CCO Keoun.ng
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will disrupt advertising and media, but this does not mean it will take our jobs. – Steve Baba-Eko, CEO X3M
There is a whole concept of individualised learning pathway that can be built to support a personalised education per individual based on an intelligent use of big data to understand variation in our learning style, approach and cognitive capabilities. There is no one size fits all. – Dr Tunji Adegbesan, Founder, Gidimo
With advanced analytics, we can score drivers, predict their risk level, and even use our data to advise insurance companies. – Mr Foh Patrick, Software Enginner, Maxdotng
At Paylater, we take your data, make a prediction, and credit your account within minutes if you’re eligible.
–Ngozi Dozie, Director, OneFi
Nigerians don’t like maps; they want to ask someone. We are an agent-based economy, hence the reason why we created Lara.ng as local alternatives to Google maps
–Samuel Odeloye. Co-Founder Lara.ng
We must go back to the primary schools and fortify our science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The kids have capacity to learn faster by being exposed to data science earlier. – Dele Tejuoso, Founder, Wifi Combat.
Case study presentation of Zenvus, precision agriculture solution by Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe:
- Zenvus’ precision farming intelligence solution is an intelligent solution for farms that use proprietary electronics sensors to collect soil data, such moisture, nutrients, pH, and send them to a cloud server via GSM, satellite or Wifi. Algorithms in the server analyse the data and advise farmers on what to do to maximize yields.
- In product development, go beyond the needs and expectations of your customers— go to the level of your customers’ perceptions.
- Let us promote the need to learn the fundamentals so that we do not become limited by existing platforms. Let us learn the mathematics of these things, and not become a victim of the final products’ consumers.
- You have to believe that you are good. If you don’t believe you are good, then you’re not.
Industry Showcase of Microsoft Azure by Damola Solanke, Apps & Infrastructure Lead at Microsoft
- There is a lot of intelligence in the Microsoft platform to help you get better insights from your data.
- Data is good, but data with meaning helps a business to grow faster and smarter.
- Microsoft Azure makes it easy for companies to access world-class tools without the traditional cost of software and hardware.