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“We discuss Data Science techniques at the dinner table.” Interview alumni Frits and Koen de Raad

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JADS is a unique combination; of two universities, of business and technology, of theory and practice. And now we have another unique combination: of father and son. Frits and Koen de Raad both studies at JADS, one participated in a Professional Education program, the other followed the Master Data Science and Entrepreneurship at JADS.

Why did you choose to study at JADS?

Frits: “The ecosystem of master students, professional students, PDEng’ers, and start-ups creates a unique entrepreneurial environment for data-scientists, that’s what I was looking for. ”

Koen: “During my bachelor’s, I had a side-job at the data department of a large online marketing agency. Here I saw how data analysis was used to fuel business decisions. For me, this was an eye-opening experience that made it very clear that there was more to technology than just the technical part. There is also the business part, involving many different stakeholders. For my master’s degree, I wanted to learn more about how to marry these two seemingly different fields of work. I did some research and, after a hint from my father, ended up at the DSE master at JADS. Here the primary focus was not just on technology, but on a combination of technology and its operationalization on a business level.”

Do you have a shared ‘best’ memory of JADS?

K+F: “Our shared best memory at JADS occurred during the master student graduation ceremony last year. Here, my dad surprised me by showing up to the graduation as a representative of the alumni board. I had no idea that he was going to be there. At one point just before the ceremony started, someone tapped me on my shoulder. When I turned around to look who it was it turned out to be my dad. It was a big and fun surprise as we were only allowed to bring one person, and I had already given away that opportunity to someone else.”

What is the most important thing you learned at JADS?

Frits: “The huge diversity of data science applications that can generate adding value solutions for all kinds of businesses.”

Koen: “Don’t assume, validate. If it’s on a business level or on a data level. Making assumptions leads to going in the wrong direction. This is something that is mainly emphasized during the DEIA courses. But also, during the machine learning-related courses. Making an assumption can lead you down the wrong path. Always make sure to validate your assumptions in a thorough way.”

In what way is data science an important, inspiring topic at your family dinners?

K+F: “This is a sensitive topic you touch upon. Too often and too long, in the eyes of the rest of the table, we discuss data-science techniques that we encounter in our work as well as the business implications that these techniques can have. For the rest of the table, these discussions tend to be completely incomprehensible and just plain boring. But hey, what can you expect, both of us share a passion for data science.”

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