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Data Science: not only about data! Interview with alumna Mariëlle Gallegos Ruiz

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Marielle Gallegos Ruiz followed the JADS Data Science for Health track. We talked to her about her experience at JADS and how this track helped shape her understanding of data science.

Marielle Gallegos Ruiz is molecular biologist living in Utrecht. She performed research in academia to identify therapeutic targets and biomarkers for patients with lung cancer and currently works for Roche. Roche is a global healthcare company investigating and delivering diagnostics and medicines for various diseases. Marielle works for the Dutch affiliate, to create and shape a data-driven personalized healthcare environment in The Netherlands to fit within a global healthcare network.

Why JADS? Innovative, compact and deep

“My attention to JADS was specifically drawn because of its innovative character, it being a collaboration of two universities. The fact that a track on data science, specific for healthcare, was offered, made me visit the information session in Den Bosch. There I was further motivated by the design of the track. Compact enough to fit within my daily life as a mother and my work for Roche. And also deep enough to advance my skills and knowledge around data engineering, data analysis and decision support.”

Great balance between lectures, networking and practice

“The best memory of my study at JADS is the connection with my peer students. JADS offers a great balance between lectures, networking and practice. I valued the diversity of our group in terms of organizations we work for and yet the common interest we share; to improve healthcare through better use of data. The programming practices in python and the personal help I received to do my programming in R also are also something I will never forget. Of course another great memory is the ambiance of the former monastery of Mariënburg and its chapel.”

It’s not all about data

“The most important thing I have learned at JADS is that it is not all about data. That must sound strange to learn from a data science institute but I believe it stresses the most important aspect of data science. Data becomes valuable when the actual problem that needs to be tackled is well defined and all relevant stakeholders are able to stress their point of view, before diving into the ‘big data’. You will have to go back and forth between the data and the different stakeholders to let data science help you in making the right decisions. So it’s about understanding the needs and understanding the data.”

Turning complexity back into simplicity

“In my professional mission the problem is that healthcare is so full of innovations that it is challenging to oversee the right option for the right patient. I believe that through good data organization, data governance and data culture we can let data help turn all this complexity back to simplicity. So that each person gains control over their own life, their own disease and also their own data.”

About the program Data Science – Execute

How can healthcare use data in a smarter way? The program: Data Science – Execute with Health specialization teaches you to make healthcare data-driven!

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