Sala Muthukrishnan, Analytics Build Leader, Asia, DXC Technology

By Medha Basu

Women in GovTech 2018 Special Report.

How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

I am the analytics solutions lead in Asia at DXC Technologies, covering public sector and non-public sector customers across the region. My focus areas are artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, business intelligence, customer experience and analytics advisory. I have been working with various governments and government agencies in the region to improve customer experience using these tools.

For example, I am working with airports to improve the passenger experience. We use video analytics and advanced algorithms to detect potential anti-social elements. We provide data governance, data protection and data cleansing to give single view of a given citizen to the government while ensuring privacy. We apply machine learning and AI to mine data from public domain to locate potential antisocial objects and to detect fraudulent claims.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2018?

To enable public safety by linking anti-social elements with real time events, by searching through real-time video streaming for a given person or given object; linking targets and people with real time events at a given location; and improving service and customer experience through real-time prediction of people’s behavior and requirements.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2018, what would it be?

I have learnt three key things this year:
  • Use CCTV cameras with sensors to gather real-time intelligence in order to improve citizen safety
  • While safety of women is increasingly becoming a challenge in some regions, real-time geo-tracking can prevent antisocial activities that happen against women
  • A common Intelligence hub across agencies can enable data and intelligence interoperability
What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2019?

Automated machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques using tools such as DataRobot and SAS.

What are your priorities for 2019?

The first is to provide an IOT platform with analytics for the healthcare and security sectors. For example, as the number of patients with cancer and heart attacks is on the rise, early prediction of cancer and heart problems through continuous health monitoring sensors and analysing the data collected is one area of opportunity.

The second is a solution for the prediction, detection and prevention of cyber-attacks on sensitive data and elements.

What is one skill that has helped you the most throughout the course of your career?

I have found critical thinking and deep learning methodologies to be very helpful to my career. When the customer presents a problem, these methods help to analyse it, find the root cause, and create an innovative practical solution with a multi-scenario modeling approach.

What advancements do you predict will happen in your field in the next ten years?

I predict that there will be microbots replacing customer relationship agents. There will be intelligent cameras with inbuilt sensors enabled with AI. Augmented reality with AI will be integrated against every element and event. Meanwhile, robotic process automation combined with AI will improve government processes.

Information is wealth and power, and data monetisation across industries will increase over a period. Thus, cross industry partnerships will increase proportionately. With increasing data collection and monetisation, there will be a need for more tightened and stringent governance process, in order to protect people data, as privacy is important for citizens across the globe.

Coffee, yoga, music… what powers you through your day?

I love gardening and being with nature. My day starts with my plants at home, which gives me energy and inner peace to start the day.

Additionally, my family and the nature of my job are also a source of energy and motivation. Analytics solutioning is an art: it needs logical thinking, critical thinking and creativity. Though customer requirements may look similar, it differs in magnitude; every project or solution we build has its uniqueness, and dependent on customer’s business needs. We in the analytics field face these creative challenges every day, and this has kept me energised throughout the years.