As the world changes rapidly, storage servers globally are filling up with more and more data – gigabytes of numbers, facts and text that have been collected online about our planet and ourselves.
For Chan Won Lee, the prospect of a future career identifying the interesting information from the mountains of data available is an exciting one.
Chan Won moved to New Zealand from Korea for high school in Auckland, then moved to the University of Otago where he studied for a Master of Business Data Science, which he describes as a “hot topic in the world right now”.
“There is so much data we collect, from sales, from politics, from business. We use it to make all sorts of decisions. The data tells us how people are behaving, how they are changing…”
Chan Won is personally interested in text mining – software programs that trawl through screeds of written text, such as reviews on the App Store, to draw out useable data for decision-making.
“If a person has an app on the store, and it gets 20,000 reviews, they cannot read them all and manually collect useful data.”
His research, therefore, looked at ways to collate what questions and problems users have had, and integrate the answers so developers can make changes that are effective.
The applied nature of the Master’s degree was appealing to Chan Won.
He also loved the camaraderie of the experience. “Here in New Zealand people are really friendly and happy. There is no ranking – people are likely to help each other and try to work together to make our studies easier to understand and I’ve made many close friends. That gives us all motivation to succeed.”
Chan Won plans to take his Masters and gain work experience, but hopes to return to University and pursue a PhD.