Table of Contents
How are African Companies Deriving Value from Big Data?
Big Data solutions are emerging across Africa, driven by increased connectivity and Internet usage, the rapid proliferation of connected devices and the continued investment in Africa-specific innovations. However, the threat of data overload continues to challenge potential adoption as businesses are still struggling to pinpoint how best to monetise these solutions. Some of the key challenges include a lack of reliable data sources, concerns about data security and individual privacy and a lack of specific Big Data-related skills. This study presents the current status of Big Data solutions across Africa, illustrates the core value chain, identifies key participant groups, and highlights industry-specific case studies and trends.
- The Big Data value chain consists of data collection, data management, data processing,
and end-user applications.
- Thus far in Africa, the focus has been on data collection and data management, which
together form the enabling platform for Big Data solutions.
- Technology advancements are being witnessed at each stage of the Big Data value
chain, notably in terms of the proliferation of sensors and other connected devices. The
ease of adoption of various analytics platforms is also contributing to the emergence of
Big Data solutions.
- The absence of the appropriate infrastructure, the lack of relevant skills and knowledge,
and problems arising from the integration of various disparate systems, are the key
challenges in the market.
- Other challenges stem from the lack of market education, the difficulties associated with
quantifying the benefits of additional information, and the lack of standardisation of Big
- For most companies, the starting point for an integrated Big Data solution is a complete
map of all possible data sources.
- The benefits accrued from Big Data solutions arise either from improved operational
efficiencies or new business opportunities.
- Operational enhancements include reduced storage costs, predictive maintenance,
enhanced communication, self-regulating systems, faster response times, improved
utilisation of resources, and increased customer intelligence.
- New business opportunities are usually industry-specific and examples are evident in a
range of industries and locations across Africa.
- Telecommunications providers will play an increasingly important role in the provision of
Big Data solutions; industry-specific solutions will also emerge over the next few years.
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