Dell EMC educating future Data Scientists in Kenya

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In December 2016 the Dell EMC Nairobi, Kenya office hosted seventeen IT Faculty from Africa Nazarene University, United States International University (USIU), Kenyatta University, Riara University, Strathmore University, Moi University, KCA University, Multimedia University of Kenya and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT) for a fully sponsored five-day Data Science & Big Data Analytics workshop.

Such empowerment of faculty will improve the quality of IT programs delivered in the country and help potential organizations to find the right talent quickly.

These academics were welcomed on day one by Said Rechchad, General Manager for Dell EMC East & Southern Africa who has been a firm believer in the importance of such activities to complement national efforts in building competitive human capital.

The workshop was facilitated by Hisham Arafat, a Digital Transformation Expert, Technology Strategist, Solution Architect & Researcher who works on innovative technologies, applications and business solutions globally. During the initial session, captivating examples of how various organizations have leveraged Big Data for digital transformation were showcased. Afterwards participants were then taken through the six phases and processes necessary to manage a successful data analytics project.

Hands-on lab sessions using tools such as Hadoop and MapReduce were also conducted to cement the theoretical understanding. One of the key benefits for the participants was the fact that this program is based on multiple highly relevant case studies. It was delivered from an open, vendor neutral manner including the best practices to follow when consulting for organizations with different technology environments. The content of this course was also focused on the Data Scientist’s point of view.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) envisioned in a report titled IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Big Data and Analytics 2016 Predictions that the shortage of Data Scientists will have a compounding annual growth rate of 23% through 2020. This study also emphasized the required skills needed for Big Data professionals all of which were covered in this program. This global Dell EMC Academic Alliance continues to epitomize successful initiatives that promote a closer collaboration between industry and academia.

Dell EMC is fulfilling its promise of further strengthening its relations with relevant institutions of higher learning around the world. This was the first workshop to be organized on Data Science and Big Data Analytics. Apart from big data, Dell EMC has also supported training for Kenyan faculty on Cloud Infrastructure & Services among other topics.

The lecturers are now able to easily adopt this curriculum and impart these important skills in the classroom so that their learners are thoroughly prepared to pass the respected EMC Academic Associate exam for free and immediately handle big data or other analytic projects.

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