The Analytics Education Drive in the Philippines

Article by AAP Business Analyst, Ludilyn Pridas

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) recently conducted a free Master Class last January 15-17, 2018 about the application and use cases of Data Science to different fields. It was also a venue for them to provide more information and some insight about the relevance and competitiveness of their newly proposed course, the MS in Data Science (MSDS) Program. The Master Classes aimed to provide some perspective on role of Data Science in the business world today.

During the second day, AIM focused on the applications relevant to the Finance and Banking sectors. The session which was primarily conducted by the Institute’s MSDS Program Director Erika Legara, PhD. She talked about the place of data science in business and emphasized on the importance of the data scientist’s ability to communicate his/her findings to the business decision makers effectively.  Let me highlight some of the things I found particularly relevant.  A good data science team is crucial to leveraging on company curated data as most often than not, good amounts of historical data are left untouched or under-utilized. This is because people in the business are rarely equipped to handle data, more so transform and use it through modelling.  Aside from this, it was also emphasized that analytical knowledge alone will not be enough to achieve success for the business. A data scientist should also have domain knowledge on the relevant business alongside his/her data analytics skill set and techniques. The combination of both is needed to effectively revolutionize one’s business. To sum it all, AIMs seminar was a great opportunity to get an introduction on data science and its relevance, as we know that the Philippines is now adapting to keep up with the trend.

In 2013, the Commision on Higher Education (CHED) released a memo outlining the guidelines and policies for the launching of specialized courses in business analytics targeted towards students who are taking up Business Administration and Information Technology. The goal of this endeavor is to prepare students for the big global analytics wave which will likely open up a lot of career opportunities. In fact upon the release of the memo, various schools expressed their interest to add this new program to their curriculum such as the University of the Philippines – Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Asia Pacific College and University of Santo Tomas, among others. The visualization below shows the list of schools that have expressed interest in launching their own Data Science and Analytics programs. (Click the visualization below to open and interact with it in a separate tab).

Teaching Analytics

 

Similar to AIM and the abovementioned schools, the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP) also aims to shed light on the relevance of analytics to businesses and the overall economy. As an enabling organization, we aim to come up with a unified ecosystem in the Philippines where industry, the academe, and practitioners meet and find synergies. By helping mobilize trainings and programs for Filipinos that focus on how to upskill in analytics with strong regard for business domain knowledge, we hope to facilitate the creation of a new breed of data scientists that can really revolutionize organizations.  Quoting the popular magazine-format newspaper, The Economist, the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil but data. In line with this and the objective of the AAP, we serve to help individuals optimize their practice and remain well-informed about the developments of the field to make their work more valuable to them and their respective organizations. We hope to complement the efforts of AIM and other educational institutions as we take on the same objective of upskilling Filipinos. The AAP undertakes this mission through massive and inter-regional projects throughout the Philippines, hopefully reaching the seams, and making it available to all who are eager to learn.

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