The academic months of January and February have been eventful, as they mark the beginning of a new year and the start of a new learning experience with respect to our practicum projects. As part of the program, the practicum projects help us apply the concepts we learned in real world dynamic environments. Personally, I can say that these months have been a period of immense learning and growth.
As a data scientist, my practicum experience at the Ministry of the Attorney General has been an exciting and rewarding one. Over the month of January, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of topics, ranging from hypothesis testing to case backlog analysis, COVID-19 casual analysis to building predictive models to identify the cases at a risk of breaching their reasonable trial timeline.
Though I was initially skeptical about this due to it being a particularly rare and challenging application of data science, one of the most significant aspects of my practicum experience has been the opportunity to collaborate with a team of experienced data professionals at the Ministry and learn how to tackle the problem with the support and guidance from our faculty advisor and teaching assistant (TA) at Rotman. This team has been generous with their time and knowledge, providing us with guidance and mentorship that has been invaluable to our growth as a data scientist. They have also challenged us to think creatively and strategically about how to use data to drive better decision-making in the field of law.
One of the biggest challenges yet was understanding the process of the justice system here in Canada. As an engineer, understanding the criminal court case life cycle and applying data analytics to derive insights was something which I have only read in research papers as proof of concepts. Connecting with various stakeholders within the Ministry and gathering business knowledge and communicating our findings to explain its impact on their lines of business was key to developing a product.
Overall, my practicum experience at the Ministry of the Attorney General has been an incredible opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge gained in the previous semester in data science to real-world problems. It has helped me bridge the gap between the business and technical ends of the spectrum in a data science product and has been an eye-opener for the diverse applications of the field. The month of February has brought back a feeling of familiarity, going back to classes in the Rotman building, meeting friends, and attending events after a month of working on our practicums. Being the MMA Representative for the Business Technology Association (BTA), I had the opportunity to be a part of the outreach team for organizing the annual industry night. By bringing together analytics leaders from across the industry, the event was a powerful way to connect with professionals in the field, share knowledge and expertise, and seek advice from on starting a career in Data Science and Analytics.
It has been a rollercoaster of a journey so far and I cannot believe there are just 4 months left to the end of the program. I have learnt and experienced so much in both the personal and professional fronts and am looking forward to what the next few months will have in store for me.
The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics, and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional