BDU China initiatives
Every time I travel to China, I can’t stop thinking that the entire population of Canada probably fits in a single Chinese city! To serve such large population Chinese officials, professionals, and workers are used to doing things fast. Really fast. From the moment I applied for my Chinese visa to checking-in at airports in China, I’m often amazed at the speed and efficiency in which they operate. Technological advances and adoption have followed the same pace. AliPay or WeChat Pay have gone mainstream in China for some time, while Apple Pay in the west is yet to take off.
With such great and vibrant population we could not have done something small to relaunch BDU in China. On September 3rd and 4th BDU sponsored the CDA (Certified Data Analyst) Summit in Beijing, China with an attendance of more than 3000 data analysts, data scientists, data engineers, students and academia. The event put BDU in the minds and hearts of the community we want to reach. There were 6,382 people registered to the event, of which 3,221 checked-in, and others watched online. We participated in the keynote, a panel, and 4 breakout sessions.
- “Great opportunities ahead for Data Scientists” by Yan Yong Ji (Y.Y) – Director, Analytics Platform Services on Cloud, IBM China Development Lab (CDL).
- “BDU initiatives in China” by me (Raul F. Chong)
This was a mixed panel (not just mixed backgrounds but also languages!), with the theme being: “Getting started with Data Science”. I was honored to be the moderator and to have my colleagues Saeed Aghabozorgi (BDU Chief Data Scientist), and Henry Zeng (IBM China Senior Data and Solutions Architect), with me on stage along with four other panelists representing the industry, academia, and startup companies. We managed to cover interesting questions in English and Chinese (live translation) from comparing the Chinese with the US data science outlook, to clarifying the distinction between the terms “Data Analyst”, “Data Scientist”, and “Data Engineer”.
- Smarter Traffic (Henry Zeng)
- Data science: Competition to beat humans (Saeed Aghabozorgi)
- Data science: Methodology, tools and skills (Saeed Aghabozorgi)
- Data science: From university to BDU (Saeed Aghabozorgi)
The team also participated in media interviews, and had a booth were flyers and small gifts were provided.
At the event, the following announcements were made:
- The re-launch of BDU China with an updated course management platform
- The launch of a new BDU Learning Path in Chinese: Data Science Fundamentals (consisting of 4 courses: Introduction to Data Science, Data Science Methodology, Data Science Hands-on with Open Source Tools, Introduction to R)
- The launch of “Verified Exams” to obtain a verified certificate and badge for more recognition (targeting end of October)
- The launch of meetups in partnership with CDA (and Liepin.com). The first meetup is to be run on Oct 12
- The successful completion of 2 BDU Data Science bootcamps (Kunming, Beijing), and plans for future bootcamps.
- Plans to run a BDU internship with a maximum of 10 students
- Announcements of plans with new and current BDU Ambassadors (CDA, Edu-Edu, CNMooc, Ketang-Weibo)
- Launch of the BDU WeChat official Account.
With WeChat dominating social media and communication in China, we focused on launching and promoting our WeChat official BDU Account. While at the conference, this newly created account grew to more than 1000 subscribers! If you have not yet done it, please subscribe!:
Video recording is available here:
I’m looking forward to continued collaboration with our existing BDU Ambassadors, and new partnerships for the rest of the year and 2017!