(File pix) Malaysia is making steady progress in becoming a big data and analytics (BDA) hub in Southeast Asia. EPA Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is making steady progress in becoming a big data and analytics (BDA) hub in Southeast Asia.

Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said there are 22 multinational BDA companies from six countries currently setup in Malaysia as of August 2016.

“These include IHS Markit and SiteCore. In addition to this, Fusionex and Data Micron are among the Malaysian companies which have expanded globally," she said while officiating Big Data Week Asia 2016 today.

Yasmin said that there are 32 BDA companies in total that have exported their services/solutions and 47 BDA start-ups continuously innovating and testing cutting-edge technology in the big data analysis sector.

In terms of addressing talent gap in Asia, MDEC and its key strategic partners have been actively building industry-university partnerships to groom and nurture talent in big data and analytics.

"In addition to introducing postgraduate courses on data science, undergraduate IT-related degrees with data science specialisation are also being introduced," she said.

Malaysia aims to produce 2,000 data scientists and 16,000 data professionals by 2020.

Currently there are over 300 data scientists in Malaysia, both local and foreign.

“With the support of our partners - Cloudera, Coursera and TheCADs, we are producing data scientists through innovative working models that including forging industry-university collaborations and formulation of industry relevant curriculum," Yasmin said.

She added that there were 70 data scientists last year who emerged from the model representing corporate multinational companies (MNC), government-linked companies and startups.

Big Data Week Asia 2016 is a week-long congregation at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre initiated by both MDEC and Olygen Sdn Bhd.

The event is part of MDEC's effort to catalyse digital innovation ecosystems in expanding opportunities in the area of BDA.

The event will host 3,500 participants from across Asean, 84 world-class speakers, 38 leading exhibitors, 41 sponsors and 17 satellite events focused on building a data-driven Asean.

Kuala Lumpur is the 2016 city partner of Global Big Data Week and the congregation has been officially recognised as the biggest in Asia this year.

Some of the speakers at the event include international thought leaders such as Harvard Business School Professor Karim R. Lakhani, director of Centre of Data Innovation in the US, Daniel Castro, Cloudera co-founder Amr Awadallah and Cornell University data scientist Lutz Finger, along with a host of regional and local speakers.