Over 100 UR statistics students complete data analysis training
A total of 108 students from the Applied Statistics Department at the University of Rwanda (UR), on December 13, concluded a three-day boot camp focused on training in data analysis using Python.The training programme was organised by the African Centre of Excellence in Data Science (ACE-DS) in partnership with the Applied Statistics Students Association (ASSA), with support from Cenfri, which facilitated the engagement of experienced trainers.
Python is as a computer programming language that is used to create various programmes, from simple scripts to complex software applications and websites.
The primary objective of the boot camp was to empower participants with fundamental skills in proficient data handling, manipulation, and analysis using Python.
According to Charles Nzaramyimana, the Administrator in Charge of Postgraduate Studies and Research at ACE-DS, the boot camp aimed to enhance the skills of students in various applied statistics fields.
He said the boot camp not only aimed at upgrading the skills of the students, but also prepared them for the labour market. "We expect these students to upgrade their level of analysing data, but also to satisfy or meet the labour market as they graduate," he explained. Nzaramyimana further highlighted expectations for trainees to apply for the master's programme at ACE-DS after completing their undergraduate studies.
Festus Niyonkuru, the President of ASSA, highlighted that the idea for the boot camp arose from observing gaps in skills during an academic internship where students faced challenges, especially with Python, as it wasn't initially taught.
To address that, they sought support from ACE-DS and Cenfri to organise the boot camp to bridge the gap and explore data analysis using Python. Niyonkuru expressed gratitude for the opportunity, highlighting its success, leading to extended opportunities.
“We believe our members are now open to exploring Python more and have gained confidence to apply for opportunities in different institutions,” he said.
Gisele Murebwayire, one of the trainees, is a Level 3 student pursuing a degree in Applied Statistics.
She said that she learned the basics of Python for the first time, covering topics such as how Python works, its libraries, and syntax. Murebwayire emphasised the importance of Python in data analysis and expressed the intention to continuously use it.
"Python is one of the fundamental programming languages most data analysts use. I will use it more frequently now that I know what it's about," she said.
Murebwayire also highlighted that the university's module on statistical computing only covered theoretical concepts, making the practical application learned in the boot camp a valuable addition to their education.
François Twizerimana, another applied statistics student at UR said she learned the use of Python libraries, along with data visualisation techniques. He highlighted the significance of Python programming due to its clarity, accessibility, and cost-free nature compared to other tools.
"Everyone for free can access Python compared to other statistical tools that are somehow expensive. As students, we need things we can use without paying, and Python provides those data and other materials we need," he said.
Twizerimana added that he plans to further explore and apply Python through online resources. He called for more practical training opportunities to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application, aiding students in preparing for the job market.