“I live and breathe it.”
This is how Isaac Reyes describes his decade long relationship with data. And with over 3,000 hours of data science training experience at the world’s leading institutions, the numbers certainly add up.
“Teaching is definitely a passion”, says Isaac. “I’ve always kept one foot in the education sector and one foot in the commercial sector. A trainer who is unfamiliar with the commercial application of his methods risks becoming too esoteric in his teaching. On the other hand, a practitioner who doesn’t teach misses out on the peer review process that occurs when presenting to a smart audience.”
Before stepping into the role of Lead Trainer at DataSeer, Isaac taught statistical theory at his alma mater, the Australian National University. He has also lectured on big data and analytics at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), the Operations Research Society of the Philippines and the Philippine Association of Data Scientists.
“Our clients will continue to win because they end up with staff capable of playing at the highest levels of the analytics value chain.”
Responsible for the design and delivery of the DataSeer training curriculum, Isaac is a big believer in what he calls ‘data driven education’:
“We like to practice what we preach, so DataSeer’s whole training process is heavily data driven. We are big believers in pre and post training assessments that allow us to measure whether our clients are getting the specific training outcomes they need. We also encourage validation of the effectiveness of our courses by measuring the ROI or quality of analytics projects both before and after our training.”
Yet another method is used to validate DataSeer training outcomes: global data science competitions such as Kaggle. “I was nervous when the first batch of DataSeer graduates entered their first Kaggle competition”, Isaac says. “Turns out that I had nothing to worry about. Our first batch of DataSeer graduates ended up ranked in the top 2.6% of Data Scientists worldwide! I couldn’t have been more proud of our graduates.” Since then, DataSeer graduates have continued to post top 5% finishes in the world’s most competitive machine learning competitions, including those issued by industrial equipment giant, Caterpillar, and the large European retailer, Rossman.
More recently, Isaac shared his vision for Data Science with perhaps the biggest teaching stage of them all – TEDx. “Speaking about the intersection of Data Science and world issues at a TED event was something that I’ve always wanted to do. My TED talk focused on how we can use Data Science to measure how much we really care about the issues that matter.”
So what does Isaac have in store for DataSeer training in 2016?
“2016 is the year we implement all of the feedback we collected from our course attendees in 2015.
We plan on creating more realistic workshop problems around commercial datasets that reflect the digital, high throughput and unstructured data environment of 2016. We are also set to deliver domain specific custom trainings that provide our corporate partners with the exact outcomes they need for their specific industry vertical or departmental needs.
Finally, the vision is for our clients and course attendees to keep winning. Our training attendees will continue to win because they build analytical skills that increase their value in the labor market. Our clients will continue to win because they end up with staff capable of playing at the highest levels of the analytics value chain.”
Isaac holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science from Macquarie University and a Master’s Degree in Statistics from the Australian National University. He was previously a Senior Analyst at Quantium, a Statistician at Datapharm and an Actuarial Analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers.