'Data is the currency of business...'
Studying towards a Master of Applied Data Science
Self-employed Management Consultant & Business Analyst
Voluntary Mentor, Business Mentors New Zealand
As a Management Consultant, Roelant helps business owners to see new and different ways of running their organisation and to better recognise their potential.
‘I enjoy getting inside a business and understanding how it works,’ he says. ‘Every business is faced with a rapidly changing environment. Understanding how these changes can be harnessed to make a business grow and then being able to be part of that is so cool.’
Roelant's application of IT has given him a competitive edge in his work throughout the decades, such as using Business Intelligence and Predictive Analytics.
His passion for data was further ignited after attending a SingularityU Summit in Christchurch in 2016.
‘I came away from this summit a changed person, excited and focused. Not a single day goes by without thinking about what was learnt there,’ he says. ‘Data is the currency of business. It’s needed for self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, machine learning, business intelligence, predictive and prescriptive analytics. As a society, we are producing huge amounts of digital exhaust - data.’
With UC’s Master of Applied Data Science on offer the following year, Roelant planned to gain further skills in areas such as programming and statistics, interpreting unstructured data and natural language processing.
One great experience towards his goals was taking part in a Mathematics-in-Industry NZ (MINZ) event.
‘During the MINZ study group I met and worked with fellow mathematicians from NZ and around the world to demonstrate my skills directly to industry representatives. It was a week-long intensive period of collaborative brain-storming and a great way of solving problems arising in industry and the environment.’
Outside of work and study, Roelant is actively involved in Christchurch Sunrise Rotary to give back to the local community, and enjoys sailing as a ‘mentally challenging’ way to be ‘spiritually refreshed in our spectacular natural environment’.
Once he’s finished his master’s study, Roelant looks forward to mentoring more kiwi businesses in the future to take on more innovative approaches with data. He advises others considering Applied Data Science to gain as much experience adapting to new methods and technologies as possible during study.
‘Take every opportunity offered to immerse yourself in real-life “data science” challenges. It’s a wild ride as you learn about all the aspects of Data Science, so hold on and enjoy. Data is the lifeblood of almost every organisation. You can’t go wrong with this course.’