Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), through its Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Center of Excellence (AI & Innovation CoE), co-created a Data Science Development Program with the goal of educating students and young professionals on data science, in line with the Bank’s “Tech-up Pilipinas” advocacy that promotes improved literacy among Filipinos when it comes to technology.
The XCELLERATOR Data Science Development Program is a six-week course, free of charge to all who would participate, designed with the goal of introducing and empowering learners on data science foundations and principles. The program involves a series of hands-on learnings, live remote mentoring through intervention sessions, and a final requirement of a capstone project that participants will need to submit, present and defend. Exemplary participants may qualify for an internship opportunity at the AI & Innovation CoE.
“The field of Data Science and AI is brimming with opportunities with its diverse applications across functional areas and industries,” notes Dr. Adrienne Heinrich, UnionBank’s AI and Innovation CoE Head. “The XCELLERATOR Data Science Development Program is designed to instill a data-driven mindset among the participants and build their Data Science and AI capabilities that can be applied to address real-world problems and unlock new opportunities.”
The program has four modules that offer a holistic view of data science. Foundational Topics include refreshers on statistics, algebra, calculus, and guides on frequently used programming languages in data science. Meanwhile, Data Analytics and Preparation provides an overview of a typical data science project, specifically detailing business problem formulation, data processing, data extraction, database management, exploratory data analysis, and web scraping, among others.
Machine Learning Techniques details the aspect of machine learning in data science projects and how predictive analytics can greatly benefit organizations, and includes technical knowledge on machine learning techniques such as supervised and unsupervised machine learning. Finally, Data Science Applications highlights the importance of data science portfolios and projects, data storytelling and visualizations, AI ethics, and the potential business impact of having analytics projects in an organization.
The program was launched in February and was completed in two batches. The first batch, which lasted until March, was composed of UnionBankers, employees from other units of the Aboitiz Group, and students from Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, and University of the Philippines. The second batch, which was done from May to June, involved students from the Asia Pacific College (APC).
The program was a huge success, having a satisfaction rating larger than 4.5 (out of 5) among the participants, with a total of 261 participants completing the program. A third batch was launched this November 2022, with more program runs to be offered in 2023.
Additionally, successful graduates of the program have the option to join UnionBank as interns, which can help them advance their career and their learning experience, and even potentially be able to work with the Bank in the future.
“As a trailblazer in data science in the Philippines, we at UnionBank have the collective goal of upskilling and ‘tech-ing’ up professionals and aspiring data scientists in the country,” said Michelle Rubio, UnionBank’s Chief Human Resource Officer. “We highly encourage students, young professionals, and even those with limited access to education in the upcoming field of data science, to join future batches of XCELLERATOR’s Data Science Development Program under AI & Innovation CoE’s mentorship.”
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