With almost 80 million population and 47% of it being between the ages of 15-45 (active users of technology and social media and creating data in various sources), we can say Turkey has a big potential in the big data market.
Big data has emerged as a crucial source of information, which allows governments and private organizations to make strategic decisions about consumer risk modeling, sectors, fraud detection, temperature forecasting, traffic management, security and cost intelligence to name a few. With the spreading use of Internet of Things (IoT), now sensors are integrated into various devices, such as smart phones, industrial machines, automobiles, home appliances and smart energy meters, among others.
The level of big data know-how and utilization in Turkey is not quite satisfying with the need of more collaborated projects, skilled professionals, scientist and engineers in business analytics. However Big Data is started to be taken seriously in Turkey, which leads to new projects in government and private sectors. As you can also see from the survey held in 2016 below, a big amount of Business Analysts are planning to focus on Big Data, BI and CRM in the near future.
Let`s now take a look at the current Big Data practices in Turkey;
Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and Ministry of Development are recently working on a project called B3LAB (Cloud Informatics and Large Data Research Lab) which was announced in their 2014-2018 development plans. B3LAB aims to build a research laboratory where Big Data and Cloud technologies will be researched and transform the information achieved into economic values.
- Social Security Institution
Social Security Institution introduced some projects such as; e-advice, MEDULA and ALO 170 which manages all health payments in the framework of defined rules, provide information regarding allocation, tax and pensions.
They also created a data warehouse which can build reports by querying tens of thousands of different types of data combinations.
- Ministry of Education
The large-scaled projects that use big data in Ministry of Education (MEB) are MEBBİS, e-school, e-yaygin and ALO 147 projects which are a collection of modules that students and Ministry of Education officers could log in to reach information in addition to a hotline for citizens. The information could be the education history of a student, seminars or any other comments/complaints about Ministry of Education.
In addition to usual Big Data uses, MEB introduced FATIH Project which aims to provide a laptop, projector, and smart board to all of the classrooms. It is also planned to provide a laptop to each student on the next stage of the project. The main objective of the project is to create an information society and to make technology useful in education.
- Ministry of Health
Ministry of Health presents services where they use Big Data technology and these systems are also integrated into each other: e-pulse, UBYS (National Healthcare Information System), MHRS (Doctor Appointment System) and Vaccine Track System. These services enable officers and individuals to reach and use health records, make appointments with the hospitals and doctors, track their reports etc.
In 2015, Turkey’s first and only ‘Big Data Behavioral Analysis and Visualization Lab’ was established by Sabancı University in association with MIT and with the support of SAAS. The main focus of the Lab is to practice big data analytics that will meet the needs of the industry and businesses. The big data analytics work in the Lab is aimed to explain the behavior of individuals, groups and consumers in different settings by analytic models and relations. Models and findings acquired from these studies will have the potential to help associated groups, industry analysts and executives to create prototypes for developing new business models for organizations.
Turkcell (Turkey’s leading mobile operator) has built Turkey’s biggest data center in 2016, which aims to cover Turkey’s digital data management needs effectively.
Many cities have already been introduced with smart applications, particularly in transport and urban services, however except for the major cities, such as Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara; the majority is only in initial phases. The Ministry of Transportation has announced in their Action Plan 2013- 2023, that smart traffic light systems will be implemented to all cities which work according to traffic volume, green wave system that enables drivers to pass through green lights if they maintain a specific speed, digital traffic signs and solar powered bus stops with digital arrival time boards. They plan to spend over $5 billion over the next 5 years for the implementation of smart grids, smart metering and intelligent street lighting.
IBM and Vodafone Turkey are cooperating with IMM Transportation Corp for a smart transportation project. Vodafone is using their mobile communication technology while IBM utilizes its data processing and analysis solutions. Transportation Corp supports the project with their analytical and transportation knowledge. IBM also launched Turkish Smart Cities Technology Center, which provides technological solutions to the urban life problems.
Turk Telekom and Innova launched Akilli KenTT-smart city project in Karaman. Akilli KenTT covers a large scale of applications (some listed below) and they predicted if the project achieves its goals, the energy loss in street lighting alone will make it possible to save up to 30% a year.
- Smart Stations for busses and trains
- Security Cam in the Cloud:
- Aerometer in the Cloud
- Wi-Fi Management System
- Smart Intersection System
- Smart Home and Office Management System
- Intelligent Parking System
- City Lighting System
- Disabled Amenities
- Missing and Unidentified Persons System
- Intelligent Waste Collection
- Meter Reading System
Big data market is still on its first phase in Turkey and it really needs to be underlined in both government fields and private sectors. More innovative approaches with experienced and skilled professionals, solid infrastructures and more collaboration among organisations will take the barriers away from growing.