This is part of a series where we speak to graduates to discover what drives their interest in working with data and what they hope to accomplish. This week, we highlight Isaac Owusu Akowuah.
Isaac Owusu Akowuah is a certified and experienced Data Analyst who has worked as a Data Personnel with some reputable institutions. He has his Undergraduate studies in Mathematics at the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, Western region of Ghana and continued to have his Masters in Mathematical Sciences at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Isaac recently completed a Machine Learning Fellowship at Blossom Academy.
1. Tell us about your background and experience with data.
I had my undergrad studies in Mathematics at the University of Mines and Technology and Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Along the line, I have completed MOOC'S in data analytics. I have a Certification from Big Data University, University of Texas System, Austin and Stanford University. I worked as data personnel with an FMGC where I analyzed data with Excel to provide an insight that guarded the company's sales and marketing strategy. I also extracted data from the sales van tracker system to analyze and support the routing pattern in the sales territory.
2. What problem are you most interested in solving and why?
Currently, my focus is on using data to improve students' performance. In our part of the world, Africa, we are gradually gaining ground in our education reporting system. Implementing a data collection system alongside can provide the platform where students' report cards will be easily generated and data analyzed for insight that will well resource management with information indecision making for our educational development. This will go a long way to reduce stress teachers face in manually generating report cards. The time for teaching will also be maximized.
3. How are you leveraging data to solve this problem?
I plan to engage with educational institutions that can store and transmit data electronically about students, teachers and their activities. Then on agreed periods students' report cards will be generated. Visualization tools including Power BI and Tableau will be used to provide insight. The classification model will then be developed to predict whether a student will graduate or not with Python.
4. And how has Blossom Academy prepared you for this journey?
Following courses on classification and regression modeling on Datacamp and Blossom Academy have been good to me. I learned how to import data, do exploratory data analysis, pre-process data, build and metric evaluate a model. I have also learned how to query data from a database with SQL.
5. What unique challenges does learning data science present?
In Africa where the cost of access to the internet is expensive, completing online courses becomes a challenge. Other than this, one needs to schedule time appropriately and persevere to finish an online course.
6. Where do you see the Africa data landscape three years from now and what role do talent development companies, such as Blossom Academy, play in it?
Indeed 'data is the newfound oil', and it does not relate to only the developed world but to
developing world like Ghana. With modern technologies continuously being implemented in several industries, it presents Africa's data landscape exponentiation of structure and unstructured data. It will then be necessary for industries to seek experts who analyze this data for insight to champion data-driven decisions. In this direction, data science educational programs like DataCamp and Blossom Academy is doing great to prepare all interested to meet the field demand.
7. What are some other exciting use cases of data across Africa?
I am fascinated by the work of minoHealth AI Lab in Ghana. They have used Artificial Intelligence to improve the health system. In the first case, they have developed a health system that can predict if a female patient will develop Diabetes in the next five years or not. In the second case, their health system predicts if a Breast Tumor is Malignant or Benign. Currently, they are building an app with an A.I system that can detect disease in plants.
Blossom Academy is a technology talent development company that recruits and develops African analytics talent, with the goal of connecting them with full-time job opportunities. Kindly click on www.blossomacademy.co to read more about us.