The scope of Data Science and how the University of Oulu can help you

Data is the new oil. It is used as fuel to run the organizations and produce better revenues. Many businesses are aiming to adopt a data-driven approach in their business model to enhance growth. Approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated per day all over the world. One can get useful information when this data is analysed with proper techniques. Here, in this blog, let’s discuss how organizations are leveraging data and why I chose the University of Oulu to pursue my career in Data Science.
University Building

Leveraging analytics to run organizations

Since the invention of big data, the bandwidth for data scientists in organizations has increased. The data can be in any form, for example, text data, image data, tabular data, numerical data, sensor data, time series data, etc. The integration of the Internet of Things into industries (especially supply chains, production plants, geospatial surveying, agricultural, health care diagnostics and many more) has increased the role of data.

Businesses are shifting from expert centric approach to a data-centric approach that is helping them to find out the patterns which can be used as insights for their future business strategy. According to Businesswise, the big data analytics market is projected to reach $105.08 billion by 2027.

Data analysis is a sub-part of Data Science which implicitly deals with descriptive and predictive analytics where the historical data is used to understand the trends and patterns in it and predict the probability of its occurrence in the future.

The use of business Intelligence tools like Tableau, Looker, and Power BI has made it possible to gain more insights from data through visualizing, dashboarding, and reporting mechanisms.

According to a report published by Mckinsey in 2018, 32% of the companies have altered long-term strategies in order to cope with the data and analytical boom, and 7% of marketers say they are effectively able to deliver real-time, data-driven marketing engagements across both digital and physical platforms.

Role of a data scientist and job opportunities

As a data scientist, one should be able to extract the information from the raw data by performing analytical techniques such as data visualizing, data mining, data modelling, and building data pipelines.

A data scientist has the power to reshape the whole organizational structure

For example, consider the case of Target (retail firm); it created a new department for business intelligence and analysis to leverage the data analytical capabilities. By adopting analytical capabilities in the organizational structure, the firm has seen a constant increase in its quarterly revenue despite the financial crash in 2008. The integration of data science with various industries helps to optimize production rate, resource usage, financial cost, and time efficiency.

As the requirement for a data-centric approach is increasing, so is the job market. According to the reports published by Word Data Science Initiative, about 80% of global companies are investing in the data analytics division, and it has been estimated that there will be a growth of 11.5 million new jobs for data scientists by 2026.

Me at the University of Oulu

The University of Oulu is one of the northernmost universities in Finland. It is well-ranked for its 6G, artificial intelligence, and wireless communication research. I am pursuing my master's degree in Business Analytics – Computer Science major, a two-year programme.

The course structure is very well organized, and each course gives us a new perception to look at things in a different way. The university offers flexibility to choose courses based on personal interest, although we need to complete the compulsory courses in the assigned time.

Most of the courses have group assignments and workshops where each one of us should read the case studies of different companies and learn how those firms built their strategies to be in the market using data science. For example, the above-mentioned instance of Target is one of the case studies that we have done in the Digitalisation and Innovation course.

Apart from that, in a course named Intermediate Course to Business Analytics, we need to prepare a learning diary after every lecture by analysing various materials. Even though the task is a bit hectic, I really enjoyed the process and was able to learn a lot, and the best part is we always find a situation during the studies where we are using the knowledge that we gained in real-time.

Discussing Intermediate Course to Business Analytics assignment

I am about to complete my first period of studies and I am very excited to start the second period with my favourite course in it, Deep Learning (optional course). Not only that, but the university also offers career guidance workshops. I recently attended a workshop on "Elevated pitch, Interview, and Salary Negotiation" by Angela Suorsa, which the career centre organized at the university. And they also offer resume and CV guidance, job-seeking guidance, and part-time job offers.

Lastly, the Survival Finnish course I took for this period is incredible. The lectures are interactive, and everyone has a say in the class. The lecturer who is teaching this course is making us (international students) understand the culture and traditions of Finns.

Even though the class on Wednesdays was at 8:15 in the morning, I still prefer to attend the class to make myself relax, and that whole day would be good. I mostly spend my time at the Pegasus library at the university. My mates and I usually hang out there to do assignments, group tasks, and group discussions. The picture below is in front of the library where the PhD students should attach their work to that tree.

Gaining knowledge from the knowledge tree

About the author

Fuzel Ahamed Shaik from India is a master’s student in Business Analytics. He is really excited about the learning path and the activities that the university is going to provide him during his studies.