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Why do we celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day?

Sharika S Nair
17th May 2017
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The theme for this year is ‘Big Data for Big Impact’.

What is telecommunication? Modernisation through the use of telephones, radio, and computers has brought people closer. Information travels around the globe, and this is very crucial in the development of any field. The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is dedicated to the evolution of communication and is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Initially known as the International Telegraph Union, it was established in 1865. Since then, the ITU has witnessed all the path-breaking milestones in communication technology – the invention of the telephone in 1876, the launch of the first satellite in 1957, and the welcoming of the internet in the ‘60s, to name the most important. The ITU’s work consists of developing and coordinating technical standards worldwide. Apart from this, it coordinates the use of the radio spectrum and encourages cooperation in assigning satellite orbits.

The Union celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. On the occasion, the ITU150 Awards were introduced to felicitate and reward individuals who have contributed through ICT (Information and Communication Technology) innovations that have been implemented and recognised by ITU.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is even celebrated by organisations like UNESCO, with a different theme every year. This theme for this year is ‘Big Data for Big Impact’. The theme focusses on the power of Big Data for development and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, and often unstructured data into actionable information in the context of development. The activities for this day are focussed on building Big Data and scaling up to identify how to initiate sustainable challenges related to development. Data will have a great influence in economies. This year, data and analytics can prove to bring about more efficiency in commerce as well.

Data is available in abundance today, where information is received from a billion sources. Managing that data and using it to our advantage is where we differentiate. The data storage capacity has increased and so have its costs. Machine learning systems have proven to help people across all fields, be it medicine, logistics, operations, and the like.

Companies and businesses are using newer and better methods and strategies through big data. Business models and trends are largely influenced by big data. Using analytics in the best possible way has now become vital. Identifying high-end and useful projects to implement transformation is important. Experts who understand analytics should be able to club it with organisational and industrial expertise. At the management level and other levels as well, people should be educated on how to use these algorithms and analytics.

Data on individual behaviour can be also used to develop and change products to suit the needs of the population. Developing such data isn’t just about what it can do today. Rather, it is all about how it can revolutionise and affect the generations to come. This can open up a wide range of opportunities for businesses that have the potential to thrive. Thus, big data surely has and will have a big impact.

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