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Demonetisation: Data Analytics could have traced black money in India

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Parliament has come to a standstill, millions are queued up at banks and ATMs and there is a raging debate in the nation about the government’s drastic step of banning of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 currency notes. The measures are supposedly aimed at controlling black money, ensuring transparency, and annihilating graft from the economy. Whatever be the intention, one thing is sure—the exchange of currency by a billion people would be a Herculean task—millions hold the currency, with 85 percent of the money in circulation held in those high denominations.

However, rather than resorting to such steps, there are new technologies that can be leveraged to trace black money without having the population pay such an absurdly huge price and inflicting lesser pain to the people. Big Data Analytics can unearth black money being circulated in the Indian economy. The new-era technological tools indicate monetary malpractices in real time. They detect currency corruption through the existing infrastructure only.

All currencies and notes have a country identifier, a denomination, a unique serial number, and a mechanism to prevent counterfeiting. There are cash counting machines in banks and financial institutions that can be equipped with currency detection, along with improved tools that would store serial numbers of notes that are run through them at a central repository. All that data though huge for any mechanised system would be easily tackled by Big Data which has been invented to tackle such huge data sets.

“Big Data and Analytics can be effective in collecting information about financial fraud. The data that is provided by banks can be easily analyzed to find out if there is unusual activity in currency flow at an end point or the person using the currency, no matter whether it is happening at individual or regional level. Mathematical models and algorithms would indicate the approximate location of stashed money after the Big Data is run through the tools,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a leader in cloud business software, which has developed its own Big Data Analytics tool.

The tools analyze complex and unwieldy data sets. This wasn’t possible earlier with conventional data-processing methods. The tools process the Big Data to uncover unknown correlations and hidden patterns. Financial institutions and banks can leverage the meaningful trends and tips to scrutinise suspicious transactions, improve detection and surveillance, and predict and prevent financial fraud.

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