29 Oct 2020 17:34 IST

AI and data science skills are relevant beyond the scope of the IT sector

AI tools in industries and manufacturing units   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Companies with good scaling practices, across sectors, are adopting AI to innovate rapidly

The scope of artificial intelligence and data science has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years. It has moved beyond the IT/ITES industry as organisations across sectors are looking to capitalise on artificial intelligence and data science applications. These algorithms help in extracting insights from the large volume of data produced by businesses. This in turn helps organisations to increase efficiency, transform customer experience, withdraw unwanted pitfalls, and offer effective business solutions.

According to a recent report, the BFSI sector contributed 35.6 per cent of the analytics revenues, the largest contribution after IT, followed by marketing at 25.8 per cent and e-commerce at 14.4 per cent. Let's take a look at the top sectors that are in a stage of metamorphosis with the advent of AI.


    Although big data technology and services have become widespread across industries, the financial sector is at the forefront of their adoption. IDC predicts that global revenues of big data and business analytics will grow from $130.1 billion in 2016 to more than $203 billion in 2020 at a CAGR of 11.7 per cent. Banking accounted for 13.1 per cent of total revenues in 2016 and is expected to witness the fastest spending growth in the forecast period.

    The sheer volume of data generated daily has necessitated holistic data monitoring, gathering, and analysis solutions. The velocity of this data creation has been increasing exponentially. Banks are now leveraging these to understand data sources to help them make real-time decisions. The use of big data technology and services has assuaged banks to overcome critical challenges including unorganised data, fraud identification, and operational inefficiency. Big data is swiftly growing to be the most effective technology tool for the BFSI sector.

      Pharmaceutical and healthcare


      Hyderabad-based IT firm has developed an AI-powered app that identfies risk factors in respiratory diseases by recording cough sounds


      Big Data, along with AI-powered analytics, has brought about a radical shift in the innovation paradigm of the pharma sector. Data science helps both in disease prevention and control by helping pharmaceuticals in accelerating drug discovery and a better understanding of patient trends and behaviour. According to our recent report, the pharma and healthcare sector saw an increase in the proportion of analytics jobs from 16.1 per cent in January to 16.3 per cent in August because of the focus on developing vaccines and other cures for the Covid-19 virus.

      When it comes to the healthcare sector, data science processes large volumes of data for clinical and laboratory reports and enables a more precise diagnosis process by utilising deep learning techniques. It plays a major role in monitoring data generated by wearable devices.


        Data Science is creating a significant impact on the e-commerce industry by analysing factors affecting purchase behaviour. Leading e-commerce companies are creating personalised recommendations to consumers by tracking their buying patterns. With the help of data science, organisations are able to drive more footfalls on the websites through excellent content marketing, targeted ads, and interesting products.

        Data science techniques such as natural language processing (NLP) helps in analysing ratings and reviews which in turn helps companies in making necessary changes in their product and service offerings.

          Media and entertainment

          With an increase in the penetration of smartphones, everything is just a click away. A lot of people now depend on social media apps and digital portals for news. This has created a competitive environment for existing companies in this space. Attracting customers’ attention has become an important prerogative. Organisations are investing in data science to get a detailed understanding of consumers’ media consumption preferences and related behaviours to find a way to differentiate themselves from the clutter.

          Data science algorithms can recognise existing and new customers and extract out valuable information in real-time. It can help companies to perform cross-channel tracking and tailor personalised offers and messages based on behavioural insights, which further helps in influencing and retaining a potential group of customers.

            AI and data science have applications in almost every sector leading to numerous job opportunities. The demand for skilled professionals in this field is at an all-time high. It’d be wise for aspirants to invest in learning the right skill sets to build a career in this domain.

            (The author is Co-founder, Great Learning, an edtech company for professional and higher education.)