I am a data science consultant in one of the Big 4 consulting firms. This means that I use data, maths and technology to solve business problems. After working for a few years, I realised that data science is too vast a topic to continue learning from the internet at the level I was working at. Therefore I made the decision to pursue a formal Master’s part-time to establish a strong understanding of the fundamentals of business analytics.
In September 2020, I joined Imperial College Business School’s MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time) programme. It has been an exciting journey so far, and I am already using a lot of what I am studying already at work.
On a recent project at work, I was building a supplier allocation system for one of my clients. They are a manufacturing client who wanted to source different parts for their business, and for each part, there were multiple bids from different suppliers. The goal was to reduce overall costs involved with logistics and sourcing. In addition, there were many business constraints, and they wanted a tool where they could add or remove conditions and get the optimal supplier allocation in each scenario.
The project started with creating databases and queries for handling bids from suppliers. Concepts that I had learned from MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time) module 'Fundamentals of Database Technologies' like normal forms, database maintenance and ORM's, were helpful to use during this process. Next, I used the 'Network Analytics’ module concepts to understand the supply chain network and the flow. Finally, the supplier allocation system was implemented using integer programming in Python, which I learned from the 'Optimisation and Decision Models' module.
The problem was complex, and the concepts that I had learned on the programme helped break down the problem into manageable parts and implement them one step at a time. Thanks to my experience working with Python from the 'Data Structures and Algorithms' module, I was able to converse with the backend and frontend teams who integrated the data science part into an application.
The experience of implementing what I have been learning on MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time) has helped me to understand the concepts better and look at the programme content from implementation and business use, rather than a purely academic perspective. It has also opened my eyes to the complexity of real-world problems and made me appreciate the depth of teaching material.