The Jakarta Post
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global economy and financial markets.
In Indonesia, the government has made various efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, including implementing large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), which were first imposed in April.
However, the restrictions greatly impacted the economy.
According to a research study conducted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) between June and July, around 60 percent of small businesses might only survive six months if the pandemic restrictions remain in place.
In the study, which involved 147 small businesses, 92 percent of the respondents expected a more than 50 percent year-on-year (yoy) fall in revenue.
Haryo Aswicahyono, a researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said it was indeed a challenge for the government to work on flattening the curve while also stabilizing the economy curve.
At times like this, Haryo considered high frequency data or time-series data collected at an extremely fine scale as key to better mitigate the crisis.
“High frequency data is very important for evidence-based policy,” said Haryo on Thursday, during a webinar hosted by Tenggara Strategics, a business and investment research and advisory institute.
“[During a pandemic], economic activities, variables and behaviors change quite rapidly. So we need high-frequency data or real time indicators to be able to create a good policy to mitigate the crisis,” he explained.
From a business point of view, Prasetiya Mulya University School of Business and Economics dean Fathony Rahman mentioned that high frequency data could also be used by entrepreneurs to make predictions and make quick decisions for their business.
“You can create possible scenarios based on the data and your understanding of the business,” he said.
However, he noticed that only several pieces of data were available for free.
Haryo shared a similar view to Fathony, mentioning that high frequency data was not only valuable for policy-making, but also for businesses, particularly start-ups.
“If the big data is available free of charge, [maybe because it comes from the government], start-ups then could use the data,” said Haryo, “The bloodline of start-ups is data.”
The government is currently working on the use of big data to leverage Indonesia’s digital transformation and push for data-driven decisions.
Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said his office had developed a national strategy for artificial intelligence development that would serve as an example of the use of big data in the public and private sectors.
The strategy, which was launched in August, aimed at helping economic development and reducing inequality by focusing on the use of AI for health services, bureaucratic reform, education and research, food security and mobility and smart cities, Bambang said during The Jakarta Post’s Jakpost Up Close webinar on Wednesday. (jes)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.