Nigeria is set to key into the fast growing Data Science sub-sector of the ICT profession with the launch of the Data Science Nigeria, a Corporate Social Responsibility project led by MTN’s Bayo Adekanmbi.  The initiative seeks to train and mentor young Nigerians through face-to-face, virtual online classes, project-based support and holiday boot camps with the objective of “raising a generation data-preneurs, who can run data science businesses and bring good FOREX to Nigeria”.

Mr. Adekanmbi who recently returned to the country after a one-year PhD research sabbatical across the Uk, India and America said, “India is already tapping into the Data Science space and I believe Nigeria can become Africa’s data science outsourcing destination with our brilliant undergraduates, graduates and young analysts with degrees in Engineering/Sciences and other numerate subjects”.

In line with The Economist’s claim that “In the 21st century, data can be equated to what Oil was in the 18th century”, therefore Data Science Nigeria is designed to consistently add value the nation’s wealth especially through the younger generation.   The inaugural edition of the practitioner-led model seminar will hold on Saturday 26 November 2016 between 12noon – 3pm at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki , Victoria Island, Lagos.

The faculty will be led by a US-based Nigerian leading data scientist and IBM Distinguished Engineer/Chief Data Scientist,   Dr. Uyi Stewart.  Dr. Uyi who holds  10 patents in the use of advanced analytics will be supported by other experienced, Nigerian-based practitioners such as  Ngozi  Dozie of OneFi, Kazeem Tewogbade of LeadPath, Dr. Femi Oyenuga of Oracle,  Bunmi  Okunowo of NITDA, Seun Onigbinde of BudgIT and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, co-founder, Flutterwave.

Data Science as the fastest growing ICT profession in the world, the convener revealed is a hybrid skill-set that combines Mathematics/ Statistics with programming ability to develop solutions for real-life problems. These include but not limited to traffic modeling for outdoor advertising efficiency; crime tweets tracking for security effectiveness; customer lifestyle profiling using context of ATM/POS used; precision agriculture/weather data for yield management and national sentiment rating based on Sunday/Friday religious tweets.

Glassdoor.com and CareerCast, both listed Data Science as the No. 1 Best Job in America for 2016 while Harvard Business Review also described it as “the sexiest job of the 21st Century”. Projections based available statistics revealed that by 2018, the United States of America alone could face a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions (McKinsey). Currently, India is taking the lead with a market share of 60% to 70%, as of 2014. These confirm that Data Science offers a huge opportunity for the vast Nigerian youth population.