Analytics in India: The Growth Story and What the Future Beholds

Contributed By: Ankit Saxena

Analytics industry in India gained steam in the late 1990s and early 2000s when prominent IT giants in US such as HP and Adobe set up their global analytics centers of excellence in India, leveraging India’s cost-effective and highly-talented IT workforce. Since then, the industry has grown exceptionally fast, generating $2.8 Bn annually at a growth rate of 35% per annum. The proliferation of this profession is being compared to the IT and BPO revolution of the early 1990s. Analytics is turning out to be one of the most sought-out professions in India, with multitudes of opportunities, respectable salaries, and high job satisfaction.

The industry now spans almost all sectors which one can think of – banking, healthcare, retail, telecom, automotive, e-commerce, travel, marketing & sales and consulting sectors – with global MNCs either opting for developing in-house analytics capabilities or outsourcing this function to prominent domestically-grown analytics players in India such as MuSigma, ZS Associates, Fractal Analytics etc. Bangalore, which has been home to India’s startup revolution, has emerged as the Analytics capital in India as well, housing many of these analytics startups and outsourced analytics arms of the global giants.

The analytics professionals in India come from various backgrounds, indicating that an individual does not necessarily need a technological background to pursue these opportunities. The skills expected from candidate revolve around the application of statistical techniques, making sense out of data and drawing necessary insights and potential recommendations from it. The technical skills (R Programming, SAS Programming, Big Data and Hadoop, Python, SQL) can be learned on the job. Almost 50% of analytics professionals in India hold a post-graduate degree with an average work experience of 5 years. Women constitute almost 25% of this workforce but they are slowly catching up in numbers. The industry is estimated to grow to almost 7 times to $20Bn by 2025 and is expected to generate maximum jobs in the service sector.

If the early 2000s were about understanding the present metrics of the company and transitioning into data-driven decision-making, the current decade has transitioned into predicting the future and handling humongous and complex datasets. Big Data analytics and predictive modeling have been the buzzwords in all analytics-capable companies. Currently, 22% of the tasks across companies are affiliated with big data while 11% can be attributed to data sciences, modeling and machine learning. The problem statements have changed from mere data visibility and dashboard generation to actually understanding the consumer and market behavior through data and drawing valuable insights from the same.

If one wants to explore a profession that not only holds great future prospects in terms of growing demand but also some of the most exhilarating problem statements that the companies are trying to solve, analytics should be the place to be. As was the case with the software professionals of the IT industry, who are currently enjoying the fruits of the choice they made 10-20 years back, analytics professionals of today would surely enjoy the same success in the years to come, if not more.

Ankit is a student of PGP 2018-2020 batch of IIM Bangalore and a member of Analytics Society.

Analytics Society is aimed at bridging the gap between academia and industry by providing a platform to the student community to collaborate with industry experts to remain abreast with the latest developments in the corporate world. They are involved in capability development by conducting training sessions, workshops, and lectures to develop skill in analytics & modeling. They are also focused on corporate outreach by conducting guest speaker sessions to understand the importance of analytics in the industry.

Media Cell IIMB is the student run outreach and communication committee of IIM Bangalore dedicated to form the bridge within the student community and the outside world.

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