Q and A with Pius Okoh, Head Data Science, Viisaus Technology Limited

Blossom Academy
August 11th 2020
Digitization of Data

Q and A with Pius Okoh, Head Data Science, Viisaus Technology Limited

Data Science in Governance

1. Tell us about yourself and your transition from software engineering to data science?

I’m Pius Okoh, I had my Bsc in Computer Science in Mathematics. After my BSc. I worked as a software engineer at MTN Nigeria and in 2015 I did my MS in data science. My experience at MTN caved my path to data science due to the large data we managed. My background in software engineering makes my transition into data science seamless.

2. What problems are you most interested in solving and why?

I have solved many problems during my career, but talking about now, the kind of problems I solved impact people’s lives. My work revolves around government and international agencies that are helping people to live better lives and data science is helping in such regards.

3.  How do you foresee achieving SDG in Africa?

One big problem in Africa is the lack of digitized data in the public domain. But it will interest you to know that there are a lot of grants for projects involving digitizing data. Working on a data science project that focuses on digitizing, doing analytics, and learning from digitized data will be the starting point of achieving SDG in Africa. Although a lack of digitized data is a big problem it also presents an opportunity.

4.  How do you deal with data protection in compliance with GDPR?

The biggest help in this area is called anonymization. Working with highly classified data sets comes with NDA, which means you can not share the documents with any unauthorized user. The combination with NDA and anonymization will keep you from any trouble with data privacy.

5.  What skills do you recommend to someone without a software engineering background coming into data science?

One key focus in building a data science career is programming. I will recommend you learn python because most advanced projects and libraries in data science are in python. Python has the biggest open source community so in other to excel in data science you need to learn to program.

6.  How can the youths pick opportunities in addressing socio challenges?

One great problem in Africa in the data science space is the lack of digitized data. So projects in data science can focus on digitizing.

Blossom Academy is a technology talent development company that recruits and develops African data science talent, with the goal of connecting them with job opportunities. To learn more, kindly visit our website at www.blossomacademy.co.

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