This bootcamp enhanced my data science tool kit and taught me different methods by Sara Lopes da Silva

data science bootcamp
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Data per se is not a competitive advantage until we have the data analysis capabilities and data transformation processes in place to transpose raw data into key insights that improve our businesses. This bootcamp enhanced my data science tool kit and taught me different methods to dig into data and transform it into actionable information.

Hi, my name is Sara Lopes da Silva, I am Portuguese and I have been living and working in Barcelona for the past two years. I have an academic background in Applied Mathematics and an International MBA. I have a professional consulting background in Financial Services where I have constantly leveraged data tools to enhance my client’s results. More recently in travel industry from the client side where I keep leveraging my analytical capabilities now focused on Pricing and Revenue Management. I relish off a challenge and I am constantly seeking opportunities to expand my data science knowledge and experience.

IE’s Data Science Bootcamp has provided me with the intellectual stimulation that I thrive off and has built my resilience such that I can transition immediately into a role within the data science field: 11 weeks, more than 50 hours of classes per week and in parallel a Capstone project where we constantly had to apply the new concepts and tools we learnt daily in class.

This bootcamp was not only about learning new data science concepts, machine learning algorithms and programming languages, it was also about challenging ourselves; realizing our boundaries, getting in touch with our emotions and managing our stress levels…etc, getting to know ourselves better. Bonding with 14 people from different cultures and backgrounds expanded my knowledge of how data science benefits different industries and environments and was the starting point of conversation at the team building coaching session – the first class of the Bootcamp. Over 11 weeks I built lasting friendships with my fellow Bootcampers who were a great support circle to lean on during fatigued moments.

The final week started with our last exam: Machine Learning in R. The week ended with the event that represents the culmination of the 11 weeks: Demo Day! We presented our projects to our “clients”, other companies and recruiters. The expectations were high and all groups received great feedback from the Jury (check the presentations in IE Youtube channel)

Projects wrap up:

  • Minsait: estimating NO2 levels in Madrid through regression and classification (activate or not the protocol that Madrid has in place) models
  • Iberia: improving customer retention through clustering
  • Amadeus: predicting cancellations with a classification approach and using open source data
  • Nielsen: getting business insights through granular data, looking at the relationships between products

For my project, Minsait, we applied all possible methods, even some that had a low probability of providing accurate results, just to gain as many insights about the data as could – we used our data to keep learning and test all the possible algorithms. This is one of the advantages of having real data, we felt the pain of cleaning data; missing information and of multiple variables. After exploring and modeling data, what’s next? We kept transforming the data and refining the models, we kept formulating new ideas, that is the beauty of this field. I learnt much more than just cleaning data and applying algorithms, I also learnt about how to execute a data science project and the different stages involved; data extraction, preparation, exploration, modeling, testing and client management.

As the IE Data Science Bootcamp comes to an end, I have so many mixed feelings – overwhelming excitement for successfully completing the theoretical part of the course, a sudden release of tension after presenting the project for the practical part of the course and a sense of sadness knowing that I will no longer be cocooned in Maria de Molina Data Lab with 14 other fellow Bootcampers and an array of industry instructors – I spent more time with them in the past three months than I have in yoga classes in my lifetime! The focus now shifts and it is now time to start thinking about new beginnings!

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest gratitude towards all my fellow Bootcampers, Bootcamp instructors and my Client for this amazing experience and journey!

For me this experience was all about the people that I met, how they made me feel and how much I learnt from them! Thank you all!

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