Jakarta. Generating a data-savvy workforce to face the so-called Industry 4.0 has become one of the government's top priorities, Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said on Tuesday.
As more and more transactions happen online, the marketplace industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Along with that comes big data that companies can extract to reveal consumer trends and patterns.
This fosters the need for data analysts, particularly in consumer-based platforms.
"Big data can potentially become Indonesia's goldmine. Analyses of data can help determine people's behaviors, something that businesses would do well to exploit. Data analysis is also vital in policy-making for the government to determine which policies meet public aspirations the most," Bambang said at his office in Jakarta on Tuesday.
However, Indonesia still doesn't have enough home-grown data analysts. One of the reasons is because tech companies tend to keep hiring foreign ones, according to the minister.
"To keep up with increasing demand, these companies often hire foreign data analysts. We just don't have enough of our own," Bambang said.
The minister said he was aware many Indonesians are worried Industry 4.0 would only result in more job losses.
"This is why we need people to understand that data analysts are in very high demand at the moment," Bambang said.
The government recently partnered with online marketplace Shopee to hold the National Data Challenge 2020 in March.
The competition will involve 3,000 high school and university students coding real data mined from the Shopee platform.
"We are aware of the importance of big data. A more data-savvy workforce will help the national economy. We can offer hands-on experience for young people who are interested to become data analysts," Shopee Indonesia director Handika Jahja said.