As high speed connectivity become more ubiquitous, Smart Cities projects are proliferating across many countries. A key enabler and driving force behind this is the innovation that is going on in the area of Big Data analytics. One of the emerging Big Data analytics companies is DataSpark, founded in mid-2014 and based in Singapore, a country which has the aspiration to be a Smart Nation. ShaoweiYING, COO, DataSpark says, “DataSpark is in an increasingly crowded landscape of broad-based and boutique analytics providers. However, with our deep understanding of telco network data, we have developed innovative advanced data science methods to harvest huge amounts of Big Data for insights about people and places. We are confident that we are strongly positioned for upcoming Smart Nation/ Smart City analytics projects in the region.”
DataSpark began as an internal department within Singtel, a regional telecommunication service provider headquartered in Singapore with a growing presence in multiple countries across Asia and Africa. Recognising that much of its data analytics competencies will also be treasured by external parties,DataSpark has re-oriented its operations to two lines of business: (1) developing specialized data science methods and software tools and (2) providing analytics consultancy services using the insights produced from the software.DataSpark’sdistinctiveness is in using data science methods to generate granular insights of people and places from very large data sets.
At the core of DataSpark’ssoftware solution called GeoAnalyticsis an ensemble of several patent-pending data science methods and analyticsalgorithms that ingest a variety of streaming and batch location and identity data from telco networks to create stable location patterns for profiling people.
Shaoweielaborates, “DataSpark GeoAnalytics enables a telcoto accurately map out and even predict crowd movement. Questions such as “how many unique visitors are there to a retail mall, how long do these visitors spend at the mall and where else do these visitors also go to?”are easily answered.By capturing people's habitual location behaviors that could reveal consumers' profiles, interests and lifestyle, GeoAnalytics not only tell the footfall volume but also the footfall profile – who these people are and what may be their interests.”
Such mobility insights of a huge population base has helped the companydraw keen interest from a large cross-section of private industries and the public sector.For these interested parties, DataSpark offers analytics consulting services to use mobility insights to inform decisions in marketing, planning and operations. In fact, the company has already delivered on major contracts with government agencies and private companies in Southeast Asia.One such example is the recently held Southeast Asia (SEA) Games, a regional sporting event that has drawn tourists from the region to Singapore. DataSpark has helped an advertising agency better understand the impact of such large-scale events on international visitors. By evaluating the anonymous and aggregated location traces of these international visitors, DataSpark has provided granular analyses of how they spend their time in Singapore (i.e. where they stay and hang out) and was thus able to suggest when and where advertisers could reach their target audience.
What makes DataSpark different from most other players in the Big Data analytics space is its early Smart City applications
What makes DataSpark different from most other players in the Big Data analytics space is its early Smart City applications as a result of investing in data science ahead of the curve. DataSparkis now gearing up to become a pre-eminent international player in applying telco-enabled geo-spatial analytics. “The next few years should see us aggressively scaling our business to other geographies and industry verticals, through a combination of organic build, partnerships and acquisitions,” Shaowei concludes.