Businesses given chance to Enfuse their operations with Big Data
National College of Ireland’s MSc in Data Science students are bringing their skills in data analysis and machine learning to a Dublin City Council and Local Enterprise Office initiative called Enfuse.
Enfuse allows micro and small enterprises and social enterprises in the Dublin CIty area to gain access to the specialist knowledge of postgraduate students at DCU, TUD and, now, NCI.
“This is the third year we’ve run the competition,” says Norman Thompson, part of the economic development team at Local Enterprise Office Dublin City, “and we’re delighted to welcome National College of Ireland into the fold. The enterprises that participate in Enfuse know they can grow but don’t always have the resources to refine their strategies. Masters’ level students are on top of all the latest thinking, with access to cutting-edge technology, but rarely have the chance to grapple with a real business case. ENFUSE fuses enterprise with masters students.”
For smaller businesses, this is like suddenly having access to a focused R&D department; and for students, it is an opportunity for real world consultation experience.
“Any enterprise with a clear mission will benefit from working with our masters’ students,” said Dr Anu Sahni, Programme Director of the MSc in Data Analytics at NCI (pictured). “Our students can take on huge amounts of data and analyse it for patterns or outliers, allowing you to better understand current operations and, so, how you can best progress, or providing you with a true picture of where you sit in a landscape that includes your competitors. For smaller enterprises that might not know where to start, we can also help find sectorally relevant data for analysis and identify insightful questions.”
Bespoke plans for participant enterprises are formed through regular meetings between students and clients, and also receive academic input from the lecturers supervising the postgraduate programmes taking part.
“Enfuse aligns perfectly with work already being undertaken by MSc students,” says Dr Sahni, “but is an enhanced experience, offering them the chance to make a measurable difference to a real business and to network with potential employers.”