Data Innovation Symposium to be held
L-R: Topiwa Chilume, Sreekanth Rallapalli &

1.5 million jobs available for data scientists

Decision makers across various sectors of the economy are expected to meet at Avani hotel on June 28th for a high profile Data Innovation Symposium.

At a press conference to announce the upcoming conference on Monday, the event organiser, Sahar Iqbal Mohy-Ud-Din explained that the symposium serves to provide a platform for business, academia, the government sector and the civil society to showcase how they are using data to drive their every day decisions, what technologies they are using to enhance operations and efficiency and how they are exploiting current gaps in the Botswana market and internationally.

” Furthermore, youth tech and non tech start ups will also have a voice to demonstrate how they define and exploit the data and tech space in Botswana. An ICT company run by young people who partnered with Orange to develop an agriculture application that enables rural communities access to markets and information to farmers have already demonstrated that you can start an organic company in Botswana and grow it in other markets beyond the borders,” said Sahar Mohy-Ud-Din who is also the managing director of Research and Development Africa (RADF) and a data analyst.

Iqbal Mohy-Ud-Din also said that currently everybody is talking about data revolution and how the virtual data room services are getting used more frequently, which entails a lot of Applications that brings a lot of data into the Internet. “We have data from Tweeter, YouTube, Instagram and applications of data from health that generate a lot of data, patients history, diagnosis, medication, and others, data that is highly important and that it should be handled in a very safe way. Data is pouring in from many sources through a variety of mediums and storing it in an everyday manner is not possible anymore. It is this huge unstructured data that requires tools and techniques that collect and organize it before it can be analyzed and used,” noted Mohy-Ud-Din

She said as people welcome the digital migration many remain unclear on what it means and what impact this has on industry and business.

The four themes expected to guide discussion at the symposium are, data driven management, monitoring and evaluation to enhance quality and reliability of data for evidenced decision making, education and the future as well as transformation of government looked at through a data lens.

Giving a highlight of what to be expected at the June 28th conference, Botho University Senior Lecturer, Sreekanth Rallapalli said that recent research has revealed that there are 1.5 million job opportunities for Data Scientists worldwide.

“There are a lot of gaps in this area and we are working on developing new programmes in this field for our students. To qualify for data related courses students must have mathematics, technology, science, and statistics background,” said Rallapalli, emphasizing that there was a serious shortage of data analysts and data scientists even in developed countries like the US and UK.

“The tools that are available currently cannot process big data, which is why the need to develop infrastructure and to build data centers in which to store, process and analyse data is critical” said Rallapalli.

One of the speakers to look forward to at the symposium would be Topiwa Chilume, a partner and head of commercial at Chilume & associates law firm who is billed to provide perspective on the legal framework concerning intellectual property and big data usage.

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