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Wrangle Malaysia Interviews: How Data Science Impacts Us All


Wrangle Malaysia was held on 9 Dec 2016, and was co-organized by MDEC, Big Data Malaysia and Cloudera. It was a single-day, single-track event about Data Science across multiple data-rich industries where 10 international data scientists flew down to Malaysia to share their toughest problems, and the solutions they found for them.

We managed to interview a few attendees – from a variety of ICT and non-ICT backgrounds – on what their thoughts were on a plethora of topics such as how big data and data science applied to their organizations and individuals, the types of skill sets required to be a data scientists and how attending Wrangle Malaysia would help them think about their big data strategies and projects.

Check out these 6 awesome video interviews below.

“There seems to be a disconnect between arts and science, but there is actually a very important connection. Data looks so dry when it is just numbers, but when it interacts with artists, the implication of data can be conveyed, and the way data is expressed will be different. Artists can help convey the impact of data to the public. So I think the interaction between arts and science need to be brought out. ~ Wan Zaleha Radzi” – Managing Director, Asiapromote Ventures Sdn Bhd

“If I have to summarize the skills that a data scientist needs – one would be the stats and math skills for developing complex models to solve problems, the other would be programming skills to convert unstructured data to structured data, and the third would be the business skills… people having business skills is difficult to find. These are the people who can bridge the data gathering and data modeling with the the right business problem. The lack of such [business-oriented] people is the reason why many do not see the usefulness of data science.” ~ Fajar Jaman – Head, Data Science Indonesia

“Advice on how fresh grads can get themselves involved with big data analytics] I think technology is the current wave right now, and if you are still thinking about it, I would say just jump in and dive into it. And when you start, that’s when you start developing your knowledge and experience, and that’s where people will start hunting you for jobs. Go participate in competitions. Even if you just sit in, you would be inspired by all the great ideas. Joining online courses; you will learn something that will help in your journey as well.” ~ Dr. Yap Poh Hean – Technology Consulting Manager, Accenture

“In data science, it is very important that you are able to put your point across to the other person. Being able to present your idea and convey your message is something that has to be ingrained into the data scientist.” ~ Ashish Dutt – PhD candidate, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of Malaya

“Over the past 2 years, the demand for data scientists has increased. The events that MDEC organized have created a lot of awareness. And now it’s up to the industry to pick it up and hire data scientists and perform more analytics. Sometimes a data scientist can be called a unicorn because it can produce magic. But a data scientist is very dependent on the domain he or she is in. In different industries, a data scientist may be doing different things… domain knowledge or expertise of the data scientist is very important.” ~ Dr. Poo Kuan Hoong – Senior Manager Data Science, Nielsen

“In oil and gas, there are very large volumes of siesmic and petrophysics data, but volume alone doesn’t really make the cut for big data. Big data is about the 4V’s… once you bring in streaming and realtime data, you start to add the additional V’s and the problem is compounded. It’s not only about static data for throughput and process. It’s really about making decisions on the fly with data that is hitting you very quickly. There are lots of use cases [in O&G] and pockets of data that need to be studied together in order to come to better business decisions and that’s where the whole data science play comes in. ~ Philip Lesslar” – Principal Consultant, Technical Assurance – Technical Data, PETRONAS Exploration & Production