Vodacom has joined with the global initiative Women in Big Data to promote inclusivity in this field. We chatted to four women in the data sciences at Vodacom about their experiences. Here, Naledi Modise shares her story.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in data science?
I have close to four years of experience as a data scientist within the banking sector and three months in telecoms. I pursued a career in data science because I enjoyed the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning courses at university and wanted to make a career out of it.
What are some examples of Big Data we may have seen in recent times in South Africa?
Credit score predictions and customer campaigns are two examples. A lot of research involving computer visions, remote sensing and natural language processing for South African languages is being done at universities and research institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
What exciting developments do you think we can expect in this field?
Changing what we offer customers and how we interact with customers is a very exciting area. I think customers will experience more personalised products that meet their needs as a result of behavioural models.
How can we inspire more women and/or youth to enter the tech world?
We need to expose women and youth to other women who are in technology. Also, we must help them realise that they have the intellectual capability to get into the tech world and that they must not doubt themselves.
What misconceptions or myths exist around Big Data?
One misconception is that only introverted personality types are within the field.
What unique capabilities can women bring to the STEM careers?
Having women or any form of diversity in STEM careers allows for a diversity in solutions.