This week, the country’s first provincial market entity data analytic system was launched in the central province of Hubei after a year in the making and another two-month test run.
The provincial industrial and commercial administration has accumulated tons of company information, law enforcement records, market monitoring reports, consumers’ complaints over the years. But those data were like isolated islands; once documented, they were stored in office computers and soon forgotten.
“Take consumers’ complaints for example, we used to address them individually, and documented separately, until the ‘big data’ system put them together to tap the potential value in reader-friendly charts,” said Shen Jun, vice director of the administration’s information center.
The consumers’ complaints section of the system alerted them of more than 10 different sources reporting the same cosmetics company for fraud in two months from May to June. “We reacted by setting up an investigation team targeting at the company,” Shen said.
The other three sections in the system are subject registration, administrative law enforcement and market supervision, with detailed columns under each item. A user can browse various key indicators collected from all the areas in the province, and search for detailed data, extract them and make convenient tables and charts.
“During the test run and in-house training, we were frequently taught to click more. Some colleagues were surprised by analysis charts they made themselves,” Shen said. “The system stimulates our creativity by offering us a tool for comprehensive inquiry and free analysis.”
Industrial and commercial data already must be uploaded and networked province-wide. But Shen Zhiliang, chief analyst with Wuhan-based Dameng Database Co, said accumulation of data does not equal big data. “Data are dead if we fail to dig useful conclusions and trends out of them.”
“Development of big data theory and innovation of advanced data mining techniques make it possible for regulators to use big data in their daily work,” Shen said.
An office clerk said every year-end the administration will hand in an analysis report on market entities to the provincial government, which usually takes nearly a month to complete. But with the new big data system, most parts of the report can be generated automatically in less than a minute. “The new system saves us time doing routine work, so we can focus on cultivating promising market entities and adjusting industrial structure,” the clerk said.