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Decoding ‘datanomics’: data analytics, security strategies and its economical impact for scale-ups

On a recent webinar powered by Dell Technologies, a specially curated panel of data experts got together to decode the nuances of leveraging data in the emerging ‘techade’ and the role of data analytics, security strategies and its economical impact for scale-ups.

Decoding ‘datanomics’: data analytics, security strategies and its economical impact for scale-ups

Monday February 20, 2023 , 6 min Read

British mathematician Clive Humby once famously said that ‘data is the new oil’. The comparison is not far-fetched, as data has become one of the most sought after and competed for assets in the world.

Also, data like oil, isn't useful in its raw state. Data analytics can process raw data and provide hidden insights into the daily operations of organisations, helping them to come up with more efficient and productive ways of working, pricing risks, and predicting market trends

According to The McKinsey Global Institute, data-driven organisations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain them, and 19 times as likely to be profitable when they use data analytics.

Data is clearly the current and future source of competitive advantage.

On a recent webinar powered by Dell Technologies, a specially curated panel of data experts got together to decode the nuances of leveraging data, analytics, security strategies and the economical impact, thereof, for scale-ups. The panel featured Pankaj Goel, Senior VP & Head Of Payments - Engineering, Razorpay; Harsh Kundra, CTO, LEAD; Sudiip Goswami, Director & GM – Global Alliances, Service Providers & Startups – India, Dell Technologies; and Srihari Thogare, Systems Engineer, Dell Technologies who drew from their professional journeys with data to present first-hand perspectives and insights.

Managing an evolving threat landscape

For scale-ups looking at data strategies, data protection goes hand-in-hand with data analytics. What’s the use of a strong data analytics strategy if your data security posture is vulnerable? asked Sudiip.

When it comes to securing data, today’s security challenges include managing an evolving threat landscape with a modern work environment in mind. Cybercriminals are leveraging sophisticated attacks to target multiple vulnerabilities, he added.

Any startup, as a growing business, is the most vulnerable, as it is operating and scaling in a dynamic environment. Its top priority must always be to secure its data and devices. What you buy and who you buy it from matters greatly. Hardware, and its silicon infrastructure, is the core component of all computing systems. They literally cannot function without it, and every endpoint on the planet relies on it, said Sudiip, talking about how to differentiate between a trusted device free of tampering and one that contains a latent threat which may only surface once the endpoint is in use.

Transformation of classrooms across 3,500+ schools in India with data

LEAD is an organisation which is working on the digital transformation of classrooms across 3,500+ schools in India. And Harsh spoke about how the School Edtech Company uses a whole bunch of heterogeneous data sources to deliver on student performance improvements.

Data plays a very central role for us in everything that we do. All the data we use is collated, processed, tagged and improvised-on to improve the curriculum and student learning outcomes,” he said.

We overlay this with assessments of students’ performance in the classroom, which also helps us suggest any remedial actions that may need to be taken in the classrooms, thereby further improving to the learning outcomes he added.

Harsh also cited several examples of how LEAD was able to process data effectively to improve learning outcomes. Looking at student performance, across sections of our kind of educational knowledge graph, we are able to pinpoint challenges to learning by region, subject or multiple other factors. That gives us great insights, to go back and improve our curriculum, he said.

Typically, it takes between three to seven years to update a textbook. However, thanks to our data analysis we are able to make very, very decisive and very, very specific improvements to the curriculum on an annual basis. That's mind boggling. If you think about it, he revealed.

Razorpay’s data playbook

We ingest about 10 terabytes of data on our data platform every day. We process around 500 terabytes of data on a daily basis, with around five plus data processing pipelines. We also handle around three petabytes of daily data query volume on our platform, said Pankaj of Razorpay.

Razorpay processes millions of transactions in hundreds of currencies, powering lakhs of businesses, and Pankaj, called out two key challenges, namely data standardisation and data literacy across the company.

Creating a data-cognizant work culture requires some level of tech skills and we need to invest into a lot more in terms of being self-service capabilities to ingest, process and consume data across the board. So make it easier for everyone to be on board with this, he said.

Pankaj also spoke about the need for data security when it came to data lifecycle management. When we think about the visibility or access of data, building alerts around that, and then making sure that we have the right corrective actions across data sources in the system is so critical for us as a fintech company, he said.

The right Threat Modelling across our data sources, identifying possible misuses of data, and getting alerted on those anomalies is a critical and continuous journey for us, he added.

Hardware concerns when it comes to securing data

When it comes to data security, the BIOS (the program a computer's microprocessor uses to start the computer system after it is powered on) has emerged as a new and unique avenue for attack with potentially systemic damages throughout an organisation.

It is said that 95 percent of the threats and breaches occur at the endpoint level. The increase in cyber attacks was about 98 percent in the last 12 to 24 months, and ransomware attacks occur every 11 seconds once, said Srihari, quoting from a recent Forrester report.

With today’s hybrid employees working from anywhere and using multiple devices, security perimeters can be breached accidentally or deliberately. Ensuring that the security of an endpoint device becomes very critical, therefore, he added.

Srihari also spoke about how Dell Technologies worked on keeping the BIOS protected with the Dell Trusted Device agent which includes BIOS verification, image capture, and BIOS events and indicators of attack.

BIOS Verification provides customers with affirmation that devices are secured below the operating system, a place where IT administrator visibility is lacking. It enables customers to verify BIOS integrity using an off-host process without interrupting the boot process, he said.

Collectively, Dell’s technology is a collection of endpoint security solutions. And that makes it one of the most secure commercial PCs, he added.

If you are looking to scale up, make the most of what Dell for Startups has to offer. To connect with a Dell representative,