Implementation of Goods and Services Tax(GST) is based on a strong technology platform.While technology has created certain complications for the end users but it is the back-end of GST which is generating some really valuable Big data.As the name suggests, Big data is a high volume, high velocity data from which variety of meaningful information can be derived.It is different from normal data in terms of variety , volume and periodicity.The best analogy will be stock market prices which are captured every second and are then used in regression models to forecast their future movements.But it seems stock market’s Big Data may soon find a competitor in GST’s Big Data.
GST’s technology system is handled and managed by GSTN (GST network) which also owns the data generated from the GST network. GST is capturing a large variety of data almost covering all the goods and services in various geographical locations of the country. Infact, GST today boasts of capturing almost all the information which is related to supply chain of almost all the goods and services in India except products like petroleum or alcohol which are outside the ambit of GST. GST captures the GSTIN number which identifies the credentials of supplier and reciever. A GST invoice contains all the pricing information of the product along with its HSN code.And to top it all , it has a concept of E-way bill that captures the transportation data.Any good transported through air, land or sea will require a generation of E-way bill.Thus, GST’s database is capturing some very exciting information about business environment in India.
Any good policy decision or business decision is directly proportionate to the extent of data that backs that claim.Till now, most of the government systems were based out of paper and thus, it was very difficult to extract proper data out of manual files.However,advent of strong technology systems like GST is going to be a game-changer not only for government but also for businesses.For example, GST’s Big data can enable real time pricing on any commodity or service in various geographical location of the country.Thus, one major application of the GST’s Big data could be generating a single market data for any commodity or service traded in India.Such an application will be of huge importance to traders and businesses as the market data captured by GST is actual transaction price and not the nominal price written on the item.Many such kind of analyses can be done through GST’s Big data.
Similarly, India’s logistic landscape could change by using the Big Data generated by GST. E-way Bill carries all the information regarding the freight links and thus, can establish freight links for all the items at granular level.For example, how much cement is transported by a road on a particular freight link can be compared with similar freight link with railways to analyse which sector is dominating in a particular link and what should be the ideal distribution between rail and road.Such examples are only illustrative but not exhaustive. It is India’s time to go gung-ho on Big data and either create an in house Big Data vertical or create a policy of securely sharing the big data with knowledge companies like Deliotte , Mckinsey etc by striking the deal at the price of gold.