Learners at Data Science Nigeria are Achieving Personal and Professional Milestones With DataCamp
DataCamp launched our giveaway initiative this spring to provide quality data science education at no cost to disadvantaged communities around the world. We hoped it would open up new opportunities for those aspiring to upskill and find better-paying jobs amidst a pandemic. One of our partners in this initiative is Data Science Nigeria. They’re leveraging the depth of DataCamp’s curriculum to build exciting data projects for the benefit of all Nigerians.
About Data Science Nigeria
Data Science Nigeria (DSN) is an artificial intelligence nonprofit with a mission to train, mentor, and inspire Nigerian students to build skills in advanced analytics and data science. “We love DataCamp's mission of democratizing data science education,” says Ezekiel Ogundepo, a data scientist at DSN. “It is in line with our vision at Data Science Nigeria to build a world-class artificial intelligence knowledge, research, and innovation ecosystem that delivers high impact and transformational research, business use applications, AI-first start-ups, employability, and social good use cases. In 10 years, we aim to train a million AI talents, and we hope Nigeria will become one of the top-10 global AI talent/knowledge destinations with a 20% GDP multiplier impact. That’s why we gave licenses to our staff, our AI+ Community members, and to some to outstanding participants in DSN Artificial Intelligence Bootcamp 2020.”
This is an extremely ambitious goal, but one that can be achieved with the proper training. “Our staff and our various communities are equipping themselves by taking various courses in data science and machine learning at DataCamp. I learn R programming on DataCamp,” said Ezekiel.
Using DataCamp for maximum efficiency
The amount of training their employees, volunteers, and students are undertaking on DataCamp backs up how serious the organization is about raising Nigeria’s profile in the global data science community. In just four short months, their members and employees have logged an extraordinary 3,400 hours of learning. That’s over 450 courses completed and over 1,000,000+ XP earned.
What are the reasons for this impressive engagement? “The hands-on experience, the simplified video contents, and the instructors are just awesome,” said Jeremiah Nwaneri, a DSN learner and intern at KPMG. “It's very engaging. You just want to keep learning once you start with DataCamp. The DataCamp course instructors are great inspirers and motivators. My enthusiasm to learn has greatly skyrocketed.”
Toluwani Adegoke, a student at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, agrees: “I find it enjoyable. Working on DataCamp projects helped me improve my CV and my portfolio.” What’s keeping their members motivated and learning is DataCamp’s wide variety of courses and activities that appeal to different learning styles. DSN learners regularly cited our guided and unguided projects, Signal assessments, and mobile app experience as their favorite features.
For Peter Onuoha, a data analyst at DSN, DataCamp’s core functionality provides all the tools you need to learn and practice right there in the courses, in your web browser. “The integration of a developer environment into their learning site is phenomenal. I don't have to be shuttling from Jupyter notebook to the instructional videos, as everything is on the website,” he said.
Learning at home is a priority during COVID-19, and we aim to provide the best learning experience to build data skills online. DSN learners have found that their gains from using DataCamp are impressive even when compared with the results of traditional in-person education. “It is as if there is no difference between DataCamp and in-person education,” said Julius Odunga. “Each time I made a mistake in my code, DataCamp has a way of telling me where exactly I got it wrong.”
“DataCamp gives the feeling of being personally lectured by a world-class tutor,” said Fortune Uwha. Our platform gives her the tools to assess, learn, and practice her data science skills—and also to apply them in the real world.
According to Ezekiel, “Evidence from the experience gathered so far shows that there is a significant difference (P-value < 0.05) that DataCamp is more effective when compared with in-person computer science education.”
Real learning, real results
Many DSN learners reported that DataCamp helped them place higher in coding competitions, achieve accolades and build confidence, and stand out on their resumes. Fortune, a DSN learner currently looking for work, thanks DataCamp for her recent success: “With the skills gained from taking various courses in the Machine Learning Fundamentals with Python track, I placed among the 10th percentile in a Data Science Nigeria Hackathon hosted on Kaggle.”
But free access to DataCamp for a full year means a lot more than amassing medals and trophies. Many DSN learners report that the skills they acquired on DataCamp have helped them land internships, paying jobs, and even improve their current work situation. Fortune confirms, “Learning on DataCamp has helped me keep my programming skills up to date. It helps my brain stay sharp and in the business. This has helped me land a few freelance projects.”
DataCamp’s learn-by-doing methodology has helped many learners to apply and share their knowledge. Emmanuel Onwuegbusi used the natural language processing skills he learned on DataCamp to build an OCR system that extracts text from images and uses the GENSIM package to summarize the OCRed text. For Ezekiel, one of DSN’s resident data scientists, the ongoing health crisis was the most pressing application. “I took DataCamp's skill track in Time Series with R, and I was able to manipulate various COVID-19 time series data,” he said. “In addition, we just published an article in Data in Brief Journal about Nigerian economics and healthcare during the pandemic, using skills acquired on DataCamp.”
DSN members are bringing their skills to bear in the academic community, but they are also hard at work visualizing this essential data for the masses. Precious Ebiendele, a student at the Federal University of Technology Akure, built a COVID-19 case tracker for all of Nigeria after taking only two data visualization courses on DataCamp. He said, “For a new or aspiring data scientist, I would recommend DataCamp because of its simplicity and teaching method.”
If you know of a nonprofit organization that could take advantage of free subscriptions to DataCamp, please reach out to [email protected].