Based on successes in its home country, the EXPLORE Data Science Academy (EDSA), South Africa’s world-leading data science training institute, will soon offer its range of online data science and data engineering courses in the UK.
EDSA began training young data scientists in South Africa back in 2017 when its founders, three experienced actuaries working in business, realised that there was a huge and growing disconnect between the demand for data science skills in business and the supply of qualified data scientists.
In its first year-long, full-time course, 100 new data scientists were fully sponsored by corporate companies and successfully graduated. Since then, the EDSA has trained over 1,000 students in data science through its full-time, short and long online courses. Their courses have also been recognised by Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has partnered with EDSA recently.
At the same time, the range of curriculum options has been expanded to reflect the rapidly advancing technological environment.
● Its flagship learning pathway, Data Science, where students uncover the magic of how data can be used to solve difficult problems in any context.
● Data Engineering: students learn how to store, move, process and manage the powerful data platforms that run large enterprises.
● Data Analytics, gathering and analysing data to deliver business insights.
● Business Intelligence: mastering the art of telling stories from data through beautiful, insightful and value-driving visualisations.
Data from QuantHub indicates there was a global shortage of 250,000 data science professionals in 2020. Some 35% of organisations surveyed said they anticipated having difficulty finding appropriate skillsets for data science roles.
Research also indicates that there is a similarly high demand in the UK for people with data science skills, which is currently costing the UK government more than £2bn a year. Specialists in the field are highly sought after by a wide range of organisations, but supply of these skills falls far short of demand.
EXPLORE is not entirely new to the UK. They have been delivering AI solutions into Europe across a range of clients, the most successful being the work they have done for Britain’s largest water utility Thames Water.
After becoming aware of EDSA’s pioneering work in Cape Town during its prolonged drought, EXPLORE-AI, the consulting arm of EDSA, was invited by Thames Water to deliver the advanced analytics to help it model the supply and demand of its network.
The project has proven to be very successful – proof of which came when EXPLORE-AI’s consultancy agreement was extended to see them as a preferred data science provider as part of Thame’s digital partner framework. In addition, the Thames Leakage Detection app, which EXPLORE-AI’s team helped build, was recently awarded “UK App of the Year” and “Productivity App of the Year” categories in the UK App Awards.
EXPLORE-AI currently has a team of 70 data scientists involved in the Thames Water project helping them build out their Smart Water and Smart Waste platform.
“The Thames Water success story validates EDSA’s decision to move out of the South African context and take its place on the world stage,” Shaun Dippnall, CEO of EDSA says.
“EDSA’s courses are designed to be practical and deal with real-world problems in business. The innovative design of our learning platform and the passion of our scientist facilitators equip EXPLORE learners to do great things, skilfully mentoring them throughout the programme.” he adds.
Potential applicants can find details on how to apply, the courses available, qualifications and aptitudes needed, application deadlines and costs by visiting the website.