Monday, March 31, 2014

Multi-Lingual Big Data – The Bigger Data

Recent technology trends shows that Big Data is one the emerging trends that is picking up fast across the organizations. It helps in unlocking the huge potential hidden underlying the huge set of information spread around us in different formats and types. And there are lot many articles already shared about what and how Big Data can be used in various industry scenarios. In this article, we try to add a totally new dimension to the Big Data thinking….a Multilingual Big Data.


Imagine a scenario, any international level enterprise – say some travel agency, or some hospital, or any international food chain, or some international retail chain having its presence across multiple continents across the globe. They need to daily deal with local people residing in the respective areas, and often need high level of interaction with those local people for churning out a good business. As reflected in a well-known quote from Nelson Mandela, communicating in native languages makes the easiest way to establish trust among the people.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”              ~Nelson Mandela[1]

The enterprises can hire local people for all the verbal communications, but then there is equal amount of written communication (tickets, bills, instructions, instructions etc.) required for almost each step of interaction.
Now imagine having robust IT Systems for supporting for these native languages, so as to manage and maintain all the native communications as-is in digital formats. And not just keep the digital records, but also leveraging this digital data directly for critical business elements like business analysis and marketing strategy development etc. Ability to leverage the support for native languages can result into miraculous results in many ways. Let us take an example of the second most spoken language in the world to understand the situation better.

An example of Multi-Lingual Bigger Data - Hindi:

Hindi language is the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese[2]. Indian songs and hymns have been adapted and used by various popular rap and pop music artists. From science to commerce and business to various multimedia as shown India to becoming a viable world economy with increasing interest in the world.
Recent study by global firms also mentions that many Top global IT firms have more staff in India than home nations.[3] This fact is enough to suggest that almost every big enterprise is now willing to have presence in India. With having a such a huge workforce working for all major enterprises of the world, just image the way things could be turned around by putting an integrated system for taking inputs in their local language (most prominent of which is Hindi), doing analysis of that data within its native format, and then producing outcome analysis and reports directly in the same language. Employees getting training in their local languages, using Hindi language take feedback from end customers, and leveraging them directly into analytical purposes. Information available on page-scans written in local languages can directly go into systems. Preparing product collaterals (like user manuals), or doing analysis (sentiment analysis) could become so faster if data can be leveraged directly from source into the advanced IT systems. Instructions can be generated in native languages, so that every local native can understand them. This can just accelerate the rate at which entire business cycle moves.


Other benefactors:

Ability to leverage the support for native languages can result into miraculous results not only for the enterprises, but also for the local agencies like Government departments, small and medium industries, where mostly local people are both the employees and the end users. Entire departments running on their local languages would be able to take advantage of the faster  processing and analytical capabilities of such advanced technology concepts…known as big data, and targeting to  (soon or later) become a Bigger Data.

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