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NIIT Technologies Adapts Data & Analytics Around Big Data & AI


In a recent meeting with NIIT Technologies, we discussed how its Data & Analytics offering has been adapting, with a focus on developments around big data and AI. Here are the main talking points.

Overcoming tool fragmentation

One priority has been NIIT Tech’s Xpress Suite, one of Data & Analytics’ most popular offerings, which seeks to overcome the fragmentation of big data and analytics software tools.

Analytics & Data has taken a platform approach, relying on a standard architecture and pre-integration across software tools, using mostly open source tools. The approach is brownfield and Analytics & Data will integrate Xpress Suite with the client’s existing software investments.

Xpress Suite includes a series of accelerators around four main use cases: migration of data to the cloud, MDM, data lakes/big data, and insights/AI. The most popular to date have been around data migration to the cloud and data lakes/big data.

Data Lab as ideation and prototype centers

Analytics & Data’s second most popular offering is Data Lab, a set of virtual centers used for conducting ideation with clients, identifying use cases, and creating PoCs, within six weeks. The nature of projects varies significantly, with 360 customer data projects and social analytics being recurring themes.

Developing industry relevant use cases

Data & Analytics has also been working on creating industry-specific analytics use cases around customer data. The practice has adopted a start-up-like ‘fail fast’ approach and set up a dedicated team, Incubation Services, that creates reusable use cases, with ML playing an important role in these. The team talks with NIIT Tech’s industry units to identify appropriate use cases.

Development of each use case (not a product) takes around four to six weeks. Where there is client take-up, Analytics & Data will then customize it to that client’s specific needs. Most of these use cases are in the travel & transportation industry, with others in insurance and BFS.

Data & Analytics is also bringing its capabilities to enhance the analytics functionality of the industry-specific software products that NIIT Tech has created or acquired. Two examples are:

  • Airline sector revenue optimization software
  • Insurance sector products for underwiring and financial reporting.

The range of services and scope of projects varies extensively across technologies.

Example clients are:

  • A travel company that wanted to monitor the performance of its sales teams and marketing operations across geographies and across brands. Data & Analytics helped created a data lake for the company’s sales data, using its Data Lake Xpress IP, and then deployed analytics. The PoC lasted six weeks and the implementation about six months. The client now has a modernized platform integrating data from various sources, providing better visibility of its sales, customers and marketing activities
  • A U.S. insurance firm, where Data & Analytics was involved in a project for image recognition of property damage, based on images taken by the client’s property damage assessors, and using AI to process the images and identify the nature and extent of the damage
  • A European wealth management firm set up a data lake using NIIT Tech’s DLXpress IP. The solution ingests financial data, masks it for data security purposes, and provides analytics. It is used by portfolio managers for their fund allocation needs, to understand and explain their investment strategies and risk exposure.

Data & Analytics highlights that it has set up an effective structure and intends to continue investing in use cases via its ‘fail fast’ approach.

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