Our wise government is highly interested in Data Science, and this manifested in the establishment of the Saudi Data and AI Authority and the initiatives launched by Misk and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, among others. For that, I encourage Saudi youth to explore data science - a key pillar of the fourth industrial revolution.
One of the biggest yet most exciting challenges I face at work is the need to keep up with modern data technologies, an ever-changing and evolving world. A university course sparked my curiosity about data science. So, I embarked on the world of data by registering in the Data Analysis program offered by Misk, in cooperation with Udacity, and enrolling in many courses and programs on popular international websites. I also read renowned books and followed influential data science experts.
Misk programs have allowed me to start strong and influenced my decision to pursue my professional career in data science, which was one of the reasons I was offered a training opportunity at my current company, before becoming a full-time employee.
I work at Lean’s Advanced Analytics Department, which provides data solutions, extracts information using advanced technologies and methods such as AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and automation, and builds complex systems and data products to extract information that can be used to support decision-making.
I participated in several data science competitions. I ranked first at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals regional FinTech hackathon, and finished second, out of 1,500 competitors, at the health innovation hackathon organized by MIT, in which I participated with other colleagues. I participated in the AI opportunities hackathon organized by the Thakaa center, in which I qualified for the final stages, and the Open Datathon organized by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, and many more.
A background in technical or statistical science is not a requirement to specialize in data science, in my opinion, anyone with a scientific background can specialize in data science. In fact, many experts even have engineering, management, or basic technical backgrounds. Anyone can succeed if they are passionate about learning and determined enough to follow through with it.
A data scientist can stay up to date with the latest technologies, software, and tools by following technology websites and by continuously reading online data science forums and articles, in addition to following influencers on social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., and attending courses, conferences, and workshops.
That said, my advice to future data scientists is: continue learning, be passionate and patient, follow experts, and partake in initiatives and competitions. Data science is constantly evolving and changing, and if you're not keeping up with it, odds are you will fall behind.