Increasing Efficiency with Big Data Analytics
Organisations all over the world, across every industry use big data to help them predict their future trajectory, and to align themselves with their goals. Whether they aim to increase profitability or decrease social inequality, big data analytics (the process of capturing, managing and analysing huge amounts of data to generate useful information) plays a crucial role for every organisation.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation turned to big data analytics to find a way to deliver the mid-day meal to Government and Government-aided schools across the country in a cost effective manner. "We were taking 34 routes to deliver food to Government schools in Bangalore and each route costs us an average of Rs. 60,000 a month," says Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice-Chairman of Akshaya Patra.
However, using data analytics to study the number of vehicles used, the time and fuel consumed on each route, it was found that the number of routes could be reduced by five, resulting in the Foundation saving Rs.3 lakh.
"NGOs are traditional and bring heart into an issue but the hard reality is that heart and intent are not enough. NGOs need the rigour of corporates," says Chanchalapathi Dasa. "In our country, issues are large-scale, and if an NGO wants to address such a scale, it needs technology like analytics."
Akshaya Patra uses big data to streamline raising and allocating funds, forecasting trends and planning campaigns to further the cause of providing food for education to underprivileged children in India.
To this end, the team at the organisation took a close look at how much it would cost to raise donations through different mediums like tele-funding, internet funding and high net-worth individuals. Using big data analytics, the organisation found that less expensive mediums like the internet and telephone resulted in more funds. "We have been able to increase funds obtained by liaising over the internet and telephone to 17 per cent of our total funds, up from the 4 per cent it used to account for two years ago," says Chanchalapathi Dasa.
Aiding Akshaya Patra in finding the most optimum routes to transport food to the schools, the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) used its data analytics lab to help the NGO free of cost. "NGOs have a lot of stress on their finances and they need analytics to be cost-effective. For our students, it is good exposure, so it is a win-win," says Dinesh K., head of the data and analytics lab at IIM-Bangalore.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been supporting relief efforts in flood-hit Gorakhpur city and its neighbouring towns and villages. Kitchen on Wheels, a customised vehicle designed by Akshaya Patra to support flood relief efforts, is stationed at
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