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Data Science Seminar To Promote Big Data Among Students At UTM


Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) held a one day seminar called ‘Data Science with Python’ at their campus yesterday. It was attended by students and working adults from various fields looking to gain more insights into the world of Big Data, Data Science and Python.

It was in line with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s call to herald young minds into the various fields or the digital age with Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning for Data Science.


The one day seminar was purposed to give a basic description to participants on the profession Data Scientists and the work they do.

Keynote speaker Dr. Poo Kuan Hoong, who serves as a Data Science practitioner and currently Senior Manager Data Science at Nielsen Malaysia, says that the majority of the work done by a Data Scientist, is cleaning.

“The term Data Scientist is very glamorous, but the job entails a lot of cleaning up skills”, he says in jest. According to data which he himself cleaned to find, almost 60% of the time that Data Scientist spend at work will be in cleaning data to be used for analysis.


Malaysia’s aim is to produce 2,000 Data Scientists and 16,000 data professionals by 2020 with currently 300 data scientists present in the country. New technologies have made interpreting vast amounts of data possible through a number of Big Data tools. Businesses have begun to realise the potential of this source of competitive advantage and are looking for ways to utilise this data effectively.

Keynote speaker William Yap, Data Scientist from the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) informed of the governments initiative to drive the Digital Economy through their many programs especially in the skill development area. He says that with the help of organisations such as Coursera and The CADS, MDEC is able to produce working candidates within a very short time span.

Currently, UTM Skudai have 33 students enrolled in their Data Engineering course. The students will go through 2 years of tertiary education and another 2 years of field experience education. The objective is to have the students ready with work experience as soon as they graduate from the University.