Retailer looking for aspirant data scientists

Maegan Mackenzie, a member of the first cohort of apprentices at Shoprite's Data Science Academy, presents her analysis of wastage across operations at the group's supermarkets.

An exciting opportunity exists for young people who love working with numbers and are excited by big data. Are you interested in joining the biggest retail enterprise in Africa?
Shoprite Group’s Data Science Academy has opened up applications for the January 2020 intake from now until the end of September 2019.

According to a press release by the group, data science is a multidisciplinary field that combines mathematics, statistics and computer science to automatically extract knowledge and insights from large amounts of data for the purposes of improved decision making. The group’s data sets involve sales, inventory, consumer spending and much more.

Maegan Mackenzie, one of the academy’s eight current apprentices, believes there is no better place to gain experience of data science than at the Shoprite Group’s Data Science Academy.

“It provides an incredible environment in which to learn about data science and its applications, while also gaining knowledge about the retail industry,” says the 22-year-old graduate from Stellenbosch University.

The group says a key component is the mentoring each apprentice receives from an experienced data scientist. These mentors act as guides for the apprentices who are given real work problems to which they have to apply the knowledge obtained through the academy or at university.

“Included in the curriculum are tools and languages, such as Tableau, SQL, Python and AWS Cloud products, which are routinely required when building data science applications. Apprentices also benefit from job immersion and self-paced project work, which both involve team dynamics and interactions.

In addition, they gain exposure to areas such as data validation and exploration, statistical modelling and machine learning across different areas that include pricing and promotions, inventory and waste management,” reads the statement.