LINK TO REPORT
So the World Economic Forum - Global Information Technology Report 2014 is out. When I thought about doing this post after 12 midnight and in a sleepy state, I thought the best way to simplify this 369 page report is by asking some questions and looking for the answers.
How well did Trinidad do? Trinidad ranked 71 out of 148 countries. In comparison Barbados ranked 55 while Jamaica ranked 86 and Guyana 88. Last report we ranked 72. The technocrats need to tell us why our ranking is not getting much higher and what we need to do to improve on it. Also, what can be learn from our neighbour Barbados and the top ranking countries. Our mark as a percentage has increased over the last 3 years from 43 to 45 to 56. The overall score is based on several sub-scores
Areas that we did well in
- Mobile network coverage, % pop : 100 (rank : 1)
- Fixed broadband Internet tariffs, PPP $/month : 18.71 (rank : 19)
- Mobile phone subscriptions/100 pop : 140.8 (rank : 27)
- Electricity production, kWh/capita : 6651.5 (rank : 33)
- Quality of math & science education* : 4.6 (rank : 36)
Areas that we did poorly in
- Impact of ICTs on new services & products* : 3.7 (rank : 118)
- Capacity for innovation* : 2.9 (rank : 123)
- No. days to start a business : 38 (rank : 125)
- Internet & telephony competition, 0–2 (best) : 1.00 (rank : 126)
- Gov’t procurement of advanced tech* : 2.7 (rank : 130)
What is the NRI (Network Readiness Index)? I found the perfect answer on wikipedia - NRI measures the propensity for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by information and communications technology (ICT). It is published annually. The NRI seeks to better understand the impact of ICT on the competitiveness of nations. The NRI is a composite of three components: the environment for ICT offered by a given country or community (market, political, regulatory, and infrastructure environment), the readiness of the country's key stakeholders (individuals, businesses, and governments) to use ICT, and the usage of ICT among these stakeholders.
What are some key points from the report?
- Countries can extract value from big data.
- Measuring the economic and social impacts of ICTs is crucial.
- In Latin America and the Caribbean, improving the connectivity of the region continues to represent one of its main challenges.
- Overall, Barbados continues to boast an excellent educational system.
- The introduction of Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) allows for trillions of trillions (1038) of devices to connect to the Internet.
- Big data is large data volumes, from a variety of sources and at high velocity.
- Agreement on standards is critical to develop economies of scale by encouraging product and service innovation around a common language.
- Policymakers should promote harmonization.
- There needs to be the appropriate governance model.
- Big data has a remarkable ability to change the world.
- Privacy issues arise with the growth of data.
- The use of data across sectors can drive innovation and economic growth.
- Big data analytics is not a passing fad. It will be a central means of creating value for the organization of tomorrow.
- ICTs have changed the world dramatically over the last decade or so.
The report talks a lot about big data. My wish for reports like this, is for a condensed version that anyone can understand and get some value from. I will admit that at first sight, it was overwhelming for me to go through. I wish that the powers that be, pay attention to what the report is saying and make the necessary decisions to improve on our ICT space for the betterment of our country. Please share with us your thoughts in the comments below.