According to the Financial Times, Big Data Analysis truly matters: beside strategic thinking, the ability to solve complex problems and influence others along with drive and resilience, Big Data Analysis is one the top 5 most difficult skills to recruit, a testimony of the seventy-two employers surveyed by the daily. While developing and honing the first four mentioned dimensions in the curriculum and the array of group assignments and team projects, picking up the technical skills of Big Data does not necessarily come as easily, especially in the loaded schedule of an IMD MBA Candidate.
With a goal to equip us with relevant knowledge of future leaders based on practical experience, IMD took a bold action and designed Digital Week consisting of Agile / SCRUM certification and Python programming for Big Data Analysis and AI. For many of us, this was a horizon-opening and confidence-building experience. We were amazed by the intuitive tools and business applications Python can be used for. Something that looked like a hard-to-crack pile at the beginning of the week, was a rewarding insightful experience by the end of the week. Maks, who started his own e-commerce in Hong Kong prior to coming to IMD, shares his three unique learnings, many based on retrospective aha moments:
“Keep yourself updated about new opportunities: technologies evolve pretty fast. You don’t need to be an advanced coder to do Machine Learning thanks to PANDAS (note: open-sourced data analysis library for Python) was released. Little weekly learning = ton of saved time. I was surprised how easy it was!”
“Scrum / Agile: if you can’t come to agreement about a technical feature, do an A/B test. It may sound too basic, but it was a striking discovery for me. I never used A/B tests before to find who’s right about the feature. I wish I could have applied this knowledge during my Hong-Kong adventure.”
“Also, surprisingly there more powerful tools in Python for data analysis than in Excel. And they are not much more complex!”
I personally enjoyed the acceleration of performance we were able to achieve under scrum. I can see the value of this approach to team problem solving beyond the area of software development. Going into our international consulting projects, we can now apply the acquired knowledge to ramp up quickly to high-performing teams.
The Digital Week marked another important milestone in our MBA journey: the last full-class learning experience. After the consulting projects, only electives remain. The count down seems to gain in intensity, amplified by the finishing work on the year book and emails related to our graduation in December. As natural visionaries and goal-oriented individuals we direct our minds towards the next streak on the horizon. Still, we try to hold our horses, focus on now and enjoy the moments when we are together. Friday’s dungeon party was a great example of the power of our community.
Best of luck and a great learning experience in the international consulting projects, dear cohorts!