Connect with us

E-Business

Data Science Nigeria to Raise New Generation of Datapreneurs

Published

on

Bayo Adekanmbi.

 
Young Nigerians in their hundreds participated in the maiden workshop for the Data Science Nigeria aimed at positioning the country to benefit from the growing global importance of data and data science in proffering solutions to the myriads of human challenges.
 
Speaking at the workshop in Lagos, the convener and moderator of the event, Bayo Adekanmbi, a C-Level Executive with MTN Nigeria, informed the capacity filled audience that the initiative, a professional-led approach is designed to train and mentor young Nigerians through face-to-face, virtual online classes, project-based support and holiday boot camps.

The ultimate intent of which is to raise a special breed of entrepreneurs who will set up data science based businesses and attract foreign exchange to the nation.

Adekanmbi disclosed that the initiative is a give-back project premised on what he has learnt across the world especially during his recent one-year PhD research sabbatical in 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”.

According to him, data and data science will become the oil of the 21st century and Nigeria must join the league of countries that will be positioned for comparative advantage in data science. The workshop assembled leading lights in Data Science to mentor participants as panelists. These include Ngozi Dozie of OneFi Nigeria, Dr. Femi Oyenuga of Oracle, Seun Onigbinde of BudgIT and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Founder, Andela while a US-based Nigerian leading data scientist and IBM Distinguished Engineer/Chief Data Scientist,   Dr. Uyi Stewart inspired and motivated the audience with his presentation titled: Leveraging Data Science to enable Nigeria Leapfrog”

The panel analyzing the growing importance of data science submits that countries, organizations and individuals need to make smart and sharper decisions, to do these “they need data and data scientists”.  According to them, data science is the potpourri of information and insights intelligently brought together to add value to human life. This can be done by studying pattern over time in a bid to build intelligence.

However, to become proficient in data science, both soft and technical skills are needed. These include natural curiousity, communication, romance with data and attention to details.

Attention to details is critical, emphasized the Aboyeji (Andela) unfortunately, not many Nigerians are good at this, he said, “the world is still a secret, you make money by identifying those secrets and proffering solutions to solve the challenges”.
 
Delivering his keynote, Dr. Uyi who currently holds 10 patents in the US, said: “Nigeria is at the tipping point with two choices open to her: investing in infrastructure or invest in data which is technology that will bring about transformational change through killer applications”.

“Investing in infrastructure will only bring about incremental change, this is where most of us are right now” said Dr. Uyi “If we decided to invest in infrastructure we choose to compete with the Chinese, we have to maintain the structure unfortunately, we do not have maintenance culture. We can achieve progress through data not infrastructure”, he submitted.

According to the IBM Chief Scientist, “Data is the new basis of comparative advantage”, he disclosed that we are surrounded by a sea of data with 2.5 Gigabytes of data generated every day.

Considering the scenarios, “Nigeria’s immediate and strategic opportunity is to leapfrog to the next wave of IT by leveraging technology and cognitive system”, Dr. Uyi advised, adding that there should be a sense of urgency for data and data science. To make progress, he said participants must innovate on how they collect data, curate data, run analysis and the custom ability of the insights generated.

According to the data expert, Nigeria has a high potential for disruption through business model and technological innovation.

He cited models where data have been used as bedrock to bring about breakthrough developments in Agriculture (Kenya), Health –Ebola (Sierra Leone) and education. Other uses of data include e-government, smart city planning, security, tourism, to mention but a few.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

E-Business

Millions Exposed in Facebook Data Protection Failures

Published

on

Passwords of millions of Facebook users were accessible by up to 20,000 employees of the social network, it has been reported.

 

Brian Krebs, Security researcher, broke the news about data protection failures, which saw up to 600 million passwords stored in plain text.

 

The passwords that were exposed could date back to 2012, he said.

 

In a statement, Facebook said it had now resolved a “glitch” that had stored the passwords on its internal network.

 

In a detailed expose, Mr Krebs said a Facebook source had told him about “security failures” that had let developers create applications that logged and stored the passwords without encrypting them.

 

Commenting on Mr Krebs’s story Facebook engineer, Scott Renfro said an internal investigation started after Facebook had uncovered the logs had not revealed any “signs of misuse”.

 

In public comments, Facebook said it had discovered the issue in January as part of a routine security review.

 

And its investigation showed that most of the people affected were users of Facebook Lite, which tends to be used in nations where net connections are sparse and slow.

 

“We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users,” the company told Reuters.

 

But it added it would enforce a password re-set only if its taskforce looking into the issue uncovered abuse of the login credentials.

 

The news caps a long period of trouble for Facebook over the way it handles and protects user data.

 

In September last year, it said information on 50 million users had been exposed by a security flaw.

 

And earlier in 2018 it revealed that data on millions of users had been harvested by data science company Cambridge Analytica.

Continue Reading

E-Business

Konga Rated in Top League of Globally Viable Start-Ups

Published

on

E-commerce giant Konga has emerged among an exclusive list of globally viable start-ups and corporate organizations after achieving top scores in a rating by Early Metrics, an European based independent rating agency for start-ups and innovative SMEs.

 

The rating places Konga in a rarefied club of the top 14% of the 2,100 startups rated globally as at March 2019, further justifying the elevated standing of the company as one of the most promising ventures in the Nigerian and African business space.

 

A European-based global rating agency, Early Metrics assesses the growth potential of innovative and early-stage ventures. Their ratings support decision makers such as investors and corporates to identify innovative start-ups worthy of their time and money.

 

Their ratings also help the organizations themselves, as it allows them to critically examine their strengths and weaknesses, gain credibility and give their investors added confidence by being audited by a third party.

 

Konga, acquired by the Zinox Group about 12 months ago, has been undergoing strategic restructuring and expansion to position it as the first and largest Omni – channel e-Commerce group on the African continent.

 

Continue Reading

E-Business

NITDA says Only 4.7% of Nigerian Govt. Institutions Use IT Effectively

Published

on

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has criticised government institutions for underutilising enterprise technology saying only 4.7 per cent of federal institutions use IT “in somewhat effective manner”.

In contrast, over 66 per cent of such institutions are at what the agency called “emerging stage” of IT utilisation, maintaining only websites “offering basic information online”.

The agency, which is responsible for formulating and supervising government’s IT policies, bemoans the low compliance with modern technology by government ministries and agencies.

NITDA’s director general, Isa Pantami, however said with the presentation of Nigerian Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA) framework to stakeholders yesterday, the agency is setting the tune to changing the current reality.

He sought the support of the stakeholders, arguing that “public institutions for a big critical enterprise that must be managed efficiently to ensure its resources including IT are maximized to create value for stakeholders given the prevailing political, legal and administrative contexts.”

Mr Pantami, who was represented at the event by NITDA’s director of e-Government Development and Regulation, Vincent Olatunji, however, acknowledged improvement in IT systems of some public institutions which, he said, however, come with other challenges.

He listed some of the challenges to include inefficient IT environment, poor interoperability of IT systems, poor information sharing across agencies, maintenance of unnecessary multiple sites and unstandardized communication channels.

Other challenges he outlined are high cost of IT investments and poor sustainability of IT projects by host institutions.

“In addition to the previous challenges mentioned, ICT adoption and implementation in Nigeria naturally faces a lot of challenges ranging from inadequate basic infrastructure such as electricity, broadband and other digital technologies to insufficient human capital and the required skills in the public sector effectively implement and utilise ICT solutions.

“We also have unfriendly and weak institutions; inadequacy of finance for ICT projects as a result of competing demands and inability to properly align government businesses and ICT deployment, among others,” he said.

Mr Pantami said the implication of those challenges on the sector resulted in the inability of public institutions to fully translate national or organisational visions, policies and programmes into effective enterprise change and add value.

“This has prevented IT, to some extent, from becoming an asset shaping strategic future opportunities of public institutions and the government as a whole,” he said.

The official, however, commended ICT adoption as exemplified by the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), Government Information Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), Bank Verification Number (BVN), e-Taxation, e-Passport and e-Wallet system for farmers.

In his presentation on the draft NGEA document, Soji Adegunwa of Goldberry Systems Ltd said enterprise architecture is a recommended technology system that is being accepted by governments all over the world.

He said the adoption and harmonisation would help the government reduce costs in IT investment, as it cuts multiplicity and allows for collaboration.

He said with common platforms, there will be a reduction of “administrative headache” among agencies.

Mr Adegunwa also allayed fears of government institutions saying the technology is only making things more efficient without “taking powers away.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.