Startups globally have access to incredible amounts of data collected during their operations, and this information can provide much value if used correctly. New companies should incorporate more innovative technologies, such as machine learning, to better understand the data they are collecting to help effectively meet customer needs and enhance customer experiences. According to the latest big data trends, data annotation is one technique that can help to harness the gleaned information’s true potential.

Data annotation is labelling data so that artificial intelligence (AI) applications can add it to their datasets and learn from it to generate a specific output. For example, if a search engine’s AI has enough, higher quality, and better-categorised data, it would most likely deliver more relevant results. However, it is still somewhat limited by its cost and human error, which affects data quality.

Annotation is the process of labelling images, text, and videos using various tools and software. The supervised machine learning model or algorithm will then use the labelled data to deliver a user-friendly experience through accurate results, better speech recognition, searchable images, face detection, seamless interactions with virtual assistants, and more. 

Growth of data annotation tools market

The Asia Pacific (APAC) region, like the rest of the world, has seen a growing demand for data as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated digital transformation. In 2021, the global data annotation tools market size stood at $629.5 million USD, with experts predicting it to have a likely compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.6% from 2022-2030. In APAC, the number stood at $183.5 million USD, expecting a CAGR of 28.2% from 2022-2030.

As a result of consumer demand and increased digitisation, there has been a significant need for businesses to find space to store data safely and securely. To solve these issues, data centres and colocation facilities are sprouting up. A data centre is where a company has its IT infrastructure to store and access digital information on servers. In contrast, a colocation facility is a data centre where a company can rent space for its servers or lease third-party IT equipment. 

Southeast Asia’s data centre market had a value of $8.71 billion USD last year and is expected to reach $12.34 billion USD by 2027. Data centre real estate capacity has grown in four APAC countries: Australia (Sydney), Hong Kong, Japan (Tokyo), and Singapore. Yet, the demand for data centres is rising in emerging markets such as China, India, and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam). 

The allure of using emerging markets as prime locations stems from being underdeveloped but having strong potential, signalling that high growth is expected. Thus, there have been significant investment in the region and increased data centre launches.  

Some factors limiting growth for startups in APAC are the slow adoption of big data solutions and the failure to incorporate data annotation. APAC is also affected by inadequate tech talent and land shortages in countries like Singapore, which has become a popular destination for new data centres, despite these challenges. 

The future of data annotation in APAC

The healthcare and financial services sectors stand out with increased demand for data collection, analysis of customer desires, and reporting. There is potential for data annotation tools used to enhance patient and customer experience, respectively, in the two sectors. 

The IT infrastructure segment has the highest demand and the largest market share, with startups seeking rapid growth, expansion, faster internet speeds, and innovative technology. APAC’s proximity to underwater cable networks and the need for more data centres will continue to drive the industry.

In 2021, the APAC data centre market garnered investments worth $63.15 billion USD and is expected to acquire around $94 billion USD in funding by 2027. Investors sense there is a robust market for them to use their funds.

One of the key players in data collection and annotation is TicTag, which is a Singapore-based company, that raised $1.3 million USD in June 2022, led by M Venture Partners. Its user-friendly mobile data platform offers 99% accurate data for its client’s AI. The funds will likely be used for expansion and improving its technology. Other investors included Investible, East Ventures, and Farquhar Venture Capital.

With the development of 6G, the introduction of 5G technology, an increase in cloud adoption, and an upsurge in the Internet of Things (IoT) use, companies will be able to collect even more data. The big data trends show that startups in different industries can thrive by adopting better data management solutions. Governments in APAC should also do their best to create better laws to safeguard the collection, collation and storage of people’s personal data.

Ultimately, APAC startups must adopt data annotation policies to boost their competitiveness and provide value to consumers, or they will be left behind by the global community.