Why Data Science Should Be Accessible to Everyone

1 month ago 387
Celina Lee, CEO and co-founder of Zindi.

Data science is a set of tools that we can use to create value from the vast amount of data produced by organisations all over the globe. It refers to using a combination of programming and statistics to generate insight. 

Zindi Africa, a data science company with a mission of building a data science ecosystem in Africa, says its data scientists demonstrate a wide range of skills including machine learning, deep learning, engineering, business intelligence, data analysis, and data visualisation, all of which are increasingly in demand at companies looking to make better use of their data. 

Many industries including healthcare, telecommunications, retail, media and entertainment, transportation, education, government, banking and finance benefit from data science. Zindi says data-driven healthcare, in particular, is a huge, growing industry, especially in Africa where there’s an opportunity to really “leapfrog public health forward by using AI and machine learning in combination with low-cost computing”.

“Zindi has challenged our community to use machine learning to diagnose tuberculosis in images of chest x-rays. We ran several COVID-related challenges during 2020 and 2021, including a challenge to predict the spread of COVID-19,” Celina Lee, CEO and co-founder of Zindi, said. 

She adds that there is a lot of work they have done for public health including creating solutions for air quality monitoring and mental health support for students.

Lee says that their company wants to ensure that data science is available to everyone, especially Africans. Among its many ambitions, Zindi says it wants to open opportunities for millions to learn and obtain jobs in the industry. 

“In less than 4 years, Zindi has delivered almost 300 crowd-solved machine learning solutions to our clients and partners. So I have no doubt that data scientists can change the world, and have already done so, through Zindi and through their work at countless other organisations,” Lee said. 

The data science company has built relationships with global tech firms that include Microsoft, Google, AWS, NVIDIA, Mozilla, DeepMind, InstaDeep, and Uber. 

“Providing challenges that are exciting and relevant to our community means that many of our solutions are focused on the continent – this is something we know is very important to our users,” Lee added. 

“There is no shortage of interesting and complex data science challenges right here in Africa, from using computer vision to improve crop yields and reduce diseases, to using Natural Language Processing or NLP to automate the translation of underserved African languages,” she said. 

Lee says their target market is the sum of undiscovered talent around the world. 

“We believe that Zindi will be the go-to place for millions of aspiring data professionals to find their community, learn, grow, build solutions and get jobs. We are working incredibly hard to make the platform a place where people want to spend time and contribute to each other’s professional journeys, and to support our communities all over Africa and beyond by providing the tools they need for success,” Lee concluded. 


By Zintle Nkohla 
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