Strathmore University has launched a Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics (MSc. DSA), a unique graduate program to equip participants with a deep mastery of the business and IT underpinnings of Data Science and Analytics and provide the Kenyan market with highly skilled data scientists.
The programme is a collaboration between Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences (SIMS) and @iLabAfrica Research and Innovation Centre.
We are currently in an era where government and industry are moving towards data-centered decision-making to better serve their constituents and clients. Skills such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning ML), and Big Data Analytics are in high demand everywhere. To help uncover the true value of data, the MSc. in Data Science and Analytics is for all professionals looking to harness data in new, innovative ways and make data-driven decisions.
Speaking during the launch, Chief Guest speaker, Dr Julius Kipng’etich – Group CEO Jubilee Insurance said, “We need to use data science to understand customer behaviour. Even the media industry needs to understand the customer in a very special way. Where data will help customise the news they provide across various different platforms depending on the consumers generated patterns.” He added, “We need to start thinking of our education system. Is it competitive enough to drive the culture for the demand for knowledge generated from data? Something which gives information that generates knowledge that finally gives us the wisdom we need in decision making. This is what I believe the Masters of Science in Data Science and Analytics will achieve. We need to put a lot of emphasis in the education system on science and mathematics. We must re-look at how we teach them because it is an ingredient skill in creating a data science culture.”
95 per cent of the world’s data has been created in just the past 2 years. Data is the next natural resource and Big Data is becoming the new differentiating factor of production. Faced with overwhelming amounts of data, organisations are struggling to extract the powerful insights they need to make smarter business decisions.
During his opening remarks, Dr Vincent Ogutu, the – Vice-Chancellor Designate, Strathmore University, mentioned, “The answers are already there in the data, which is everywhere, but somehow we are not using this data. We keep using the old methods. Yet, if we just did the analysis, we would find the appropriate answers we are looking for in our organisations.” “It is scary to think of how much power people who hold your data have over you. I am hoping in this course we will get professionals who can help us find solutions from data and at the same time be ethical enough to help us understand how to protect ourselves.”
Dr Sevilla, the Director of @iLabAfrica stated, “Data science is a combination of skills where people are able to understand mathematical models, how to implement these models using computer programs, applications, and software and then apply this knowledge into businesses.” He added that “We are bringing out the skills of business, IT, and mathematical modelling with the aim of shaping people who fall under business, IT, and Mathematical modelling and are going to apply these skills in businesses.”
As the Dean of Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences, (SIMS), Dr Godfrey Madigu said, “There has been a lot of work which has been put into this launch. It has not been easy, but we are actually confident that what will be delivered by Strathmore University is really outstanding.”
Others in attendance and shared the concerns about the scarcity of data scientists during the panel discussion were; Anastasia Kariuki, Associate Director KPMG EA, David Nyamai, the Head of Big Data and Business Analytics, Safaricom, Bhartesh Shah, the Group Chief Operations Officer I&M Bank, Prof Thomas Achia, a Senior Statistician at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, University of the Western Cape and Dr. John Olukuru, Head of Data Science and Analytics.