Advancing in Academia

NUS SCALE Human Interest Story MDIS

Learning to manage Big Data for better decision making has helped this Master’s student become a more effective educator, and opened up new career opportunities.

19 July 2021 — It has become essential for businesses, regardless of size, to translate data into brand success, whether by forecasting trends or gaining a better understanding of their customers.

Recognising the changing tides, Tan Kien Chiang, an educator at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), decided to enrol in National University of Singapore’s Data Analytics for Managers course. The one-day course covers best practices in the establishment of data analytics infrastructure, hiring and building a data science team, as well as data analytics project scoping.

“It is always great to keep pace with various industry changes today – one such change revolves around managing Big Data. The course would benefit anyone who is involved in decision making in their workplace,” said Tan, who teaches business modules such as management and international business.

With its introduction to powerful open source analytics tools and hands-on guide to algorithms commonly used by data scientists, the course provided Tan with ample practical guidance on data analysis.

“I am now able to consider different perspectives in my analysis and most importantly, speak the language of data analytics,” he said, adding that he has gained a competitive edge.

On an organisational level, the course has also lent insight to the inner workings of strategy and policy implementation across different companies. Tan has also harnessed his newfound skills in analysing his students’ performance using Orange software, while he actively seeks opportunities to support his institution’s sales and marketing team and director through data analysis. Admittedly, this is a learning process.

The proponent of lifelong learning, who is currently studying for his Master’s Degree in education, has - over the course of two years - attended a series of other professional courses offered by NUS. These include Customer Insights Begins With Me, Data Analytics Begins With Me, and Data Visualisation Begins With Me, which were partially funded by his SkillsFuture Credits.

He shared that the courses have enriched his educational journey by helping him navigate a variety of digital resources. “I learnt about (the visual analytics platform) Tableau, which has helped build up my confidence in presenting information to stakeholders,” he said.

Beyond that, broadening his knowledge has also opened up new potential mid-career pathways.

“As a mature learner, I need to keep upgrading my knowledge and skills, so I can keep contributing to the development of Singapore,” he concluded.

19 July 2021